Update: This event has been postponed (coronavirus). A virtual ceremony will be held on October 23, 2020.
Dr. Kerry J. Byrnes
M.A. Communication ‘68; B. Sociology ‘67
Kerry Byrnes worked 40 years as an applied social scientist supporting agricultural and rural development in Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. His employers/clients included development organizations such as Michigan State University, International Fertilizer Development Center, the World Bank, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Agency for International Development, and various consulting firms. Byrnes has conducted hundreds of short-term assignments in developing countries and provided project design, evaluation, and oversight for research and training initiatives in fertilizer use/marketing; agricultural research, extension, and education; organizational management for sustainability; trade capacity building; and food security and food safety.
Byrnes has authored hundreds of technical reports and publications, including Sistemas de Información y Comunicación de Mercadeo en la Zona de Influencia de Cali; Diffusion and Adoption of Innovations in Fertilizer-Related Agricultural Production Technology in Developing Countries; Water Users Associations in World Bank-Assisted Irrigation Projects in Pakistan; Farmer Organizations: Tapping Their Potential as Catalysts for Change in Small-Farmer Agricultural Systems; and “The Spirit Lives On: Communication Seminars as a Surprisingly Hardy, Valuable, and Promising Heritage of NPAC.”
He received several awards from USAID, including Meritorious Group Honor Awards, the Superior Group Award, and the Administrator’s Outstanding Career Achievement Award upon retirement.
Byrnes also has a doctoral degree in sociology from Iowa State University. He was honored with the Okemos Education Foundation’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2018. He lives in Reston, Virginia with his wife, Sonia Byrnes. They have one son and one grandson.
Retired - Agriculture Development Officer, U.S. Agency for International Development
Kenzie A. Cameron, Ph.D., MPH, FACH
Ph.D. Communication ‘98; M.A. Communication ‘96
Kenzie Cameron arrived at MSU in 1994 on a University Distinguished Fellowship, after spending 18 months working in Moscow, Russia. While working through culture shock, she valued being surrounded by faculty, staff, and students, who mentored, motivated, challenged, and supported her throughout her graduate studies and beyond.
After five years on the faculty at the University of Georgia, Cameron joined the Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Department of Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in 2003. Cameron is a research professor in the Department of Medicine, with secondary appointments in the Departments of Medical Education, Preventive Medicine, and Medical Social Sciences. She has authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications with colleagues from communication, internal medicine, emergency medicine, medical education, hospital medicine, medical social sciences, obstetrics and gynecology, preventive medicine, and transplant, among others.
In 2016, she was honored with the Feinberg School of Medicine Mentor of the Year Award. Cameron seeks to honor her own mentors through her passion for mentoring, and believes it is her responsibility to pay it forward.
Cameron is a native of State College, Pennsylvania, and earned both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Public Health degree from Northwestern University. She lives in Chicago with her husband, Steve Dickerson, and their two cats, Cassie and Raven.
Research Professor, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
B.A. Telecommunication ‘98
A senior technical writer for Broadcom Inc, Peter Collman works in the Czech Republic, producing technical documentation for mainframe global services and rich media content for customer and corporate needs.
Collman also has an undergraduate degree from Marshall University. He received several West Virginia Associated Press awards in the mid-1990s for small and large market radio news documentaries while working as the WDBM-FM station manager. He also won the 1998 Michigan Broadcasters Association award for Best Newscast with his production of a program called Independent Today.
From 1999 through 2011, Collman served as the community relations manager and injury prevention specialist for Shepherd Center Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. He reached over 60,000 Atlanta youths with his message of avoiding spinal cord and brain trauma through safer behavior.
Collman was a member of the U.S. Wheelchair Fencing team from 1999 until 2006. He was on both U.S.A. World Championship squads in 2004 and 2006, and was named first alternate to the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
Today, Collman oversees podcasts on history and culture through Podcastnik, LLC Productions— a company he co-owns. In six years, he has secured 2.8 million downloads, with content released in three languages. As the producer and host of his YouTube channel Past Access, Pete travels the world in search of historic insight into battles, culture, and human achievement while providing tips for wheelchair disabled travelers.
Senior Technical Writer, Broadcom Inc.
Coleen M. King
B.A. Communication ‘83
Coleen King is the president and founder of King Media, a full-service marketing, advertising, public relations and digital media agency. For more than 21 years, she has helped clients move the needle with research-based strategies, and has won 26 national and international awards for her work.
King started her career with Avery Knodel, a prestigious national firm in Chicago, where she negotiated with the nation’s largest ad agencies on behalf of American Dairy, Kellogg, Sears, Unilever and Procter & Gamble. Next, she blazed an impressive trail as the first female sales representative at WLNS, Lansing’s CBS affiliate. She quickly became the top-performing regional sales manager within the then male-dominated field.
She founded King Media in 1999, and her agency now has offices in East Lansing, Grand Rapids and St. Joseph. During the Great Recession, which shuttered so many small companies, King’s tireless work ethic and business acumen kept King Media afloat. While she was recently honored globally as the PR News Boutique Firm of the Year, she remains rooted in her commitment to work that makes a positive difference throughout Michigan.
King lives in East Lansing with her husband, Chris King ’73 and their adorable-yet-naughty pug, Lucky.
President and Founder, King Media
Roger L. Martin, APR
B.A. Journalism ‘81
Roger Martin is president and partner at Martin Waymire, a full-service public relations and digital communications consulting firm in Lansing.
Through nearly four decades as a journalist and public relations executive, Martin has been recognized as one of Michigan’s best communicators.
After earning his bachelor’s degree he taught MSU undergraduate and graduate writing and reporting classes for about a decade. While a reporter and political bureau chief at The Detroit News, he won many awards for journalism excellence, including being named Michigan's Best Reporter, and being nominated three times for a Pulitzer Prize.
Martin started a new career in public relations after leaving The News in 1991, and has won numerous local, regional, and national awards for PR excellence. Martin Waymire staffers have won four Silver Anvils—the nation's top public relations award—including a 2019 Silver Anvil for a successful statewide ballot campaign to end partisan gerrymandering in Michigan. His campaigns have won “Best of Show” at least five times in the past dozen years in the Central Michigan PRSA Pace Awards contest. He was also named “Pacemaker of the Year” by CMPRSA in 2001.
Roger and his wife, Lynne, live in Mason, where they raised three daughters. One is an alumna of the Eli Broad College of Business, and their youngest is a sophomore at MSU.
Partner and President, Martin Waymire
B.A. Advertising ‘83
David Thuma leads brand management, advertising, data/analytics management, and line of business marketing across PNC Financial Services Group.
Before being named to his current position in January 2016, he served as senior vice president of Integrated Line of Business Marketing for five years. In this role, he led marketing efforts for all PNC businesses with an emphasis on customer acquisition and cross-sell strategies. Thuma joined PNC in 2011.
His broad marketing experience includes roles as executive director of product and field marketing for Morgan Stanley’s Global Wealth Management Group in New York, and vice president for Fidelity Investments’ Direct Marketing and Integrated Marketing divisions in Boston. Early in his career, Thuma held account management roles with several advertising and marketing agencies servicing consumer packaged goods, business-to-business, retail, technology and financial service firms. He also holds an MBA from Wayne State University.
Thuma currently serves on the Board of Directors for the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania where he leads the marketing committee efforts. He also serves as a board member for WQED Public Television in Pittsburgh.
EVP and Chief Marketing Officer, PNC Financial Services Group
B.A. Journalism ‘11
Known to most as an Emmy Award-winning news anchor for WESH 2 News Sunrise, Jazmin Bailey is also a best-selling author and dynamic speaker.
Each morning, Bailey greets Central Florida viewers on WESH 2 News Sunrise with her bright smile and the day’s top headlines. She has covered some of the area’s biggest stories including: The Pulse Nightclub shooting, a deadly gator attack at Walt Disney World and several destructive hurricanes. As a student at MSU, Bailey was a member of the Delta Zeta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and co-founder of Successful Black Women: An organization that provides resources for African American women on campus.
After nearly a decade in television, Bailey remains passionate about supporting women. She now takes her storytelling outside of the newsroom and inspires young adults and girls with her personal life lessons.
Some of those lessons inspired Bailey’s first book, The Woman With The Oil. The book sets the scene of her abusive marriage and catapults readers into jaw-dropping, emotional moments. The Woman With The Oil was the top-selling title in Amazon’s divorce category during its release weekend in 2018.
Morning Anchor, WESH 2 News
Richard E. Wiley
In 1983, Richard E. Wiley co-founded Wiley Rein, L.L.P., a Washington, D.C. law firm with the largest communications practice in the United States. He is a former chairman, commissioner and general counsel for the Federal Communications Commission.
“Dick” Wiley has been profiled in The New York Times as “Telecommunications’ Ubiquitous Man of Influence”, the Los Angeles Times as the “The Sixth Commissioner”, The International Herald Tribune as the “Most Influential Media Lawyer in U.S.”, Toronto’s Globe and Mail as the “Father of HDTV”, and The American Lawyer for the “Brand Name of Communications Law.”
Wiley was awarded an Emmy for leading the development of digital television. His multitude of industry recognitions include the National Association of Broadcaster’s Distinguished Service Award, the North American Broadcasters Association’s International Achievement Award, the Library of American Broadcasting’s “Giants in Broadcasting,” the Broadcasters Foundation of America’s Excellence in Broadcasting Award, the Consumer Electronics Association’s Gold Medal and Hall of Fame, and Broadcasting & Cable Magazine’s “100 Men of the Century.”
Wiley graduated with distinction from Northwestern University with B.S. and J.D. degrees. He holds a master of law (LL.M.) from Georgetown University.
Chairman Emeritus, Wiley Rein LLP
M.A. Student Affairs Administration '12; B.A. Marketing '07
Julie Hagopian provides student-centered advising to empower, challenge and assist students in discovering and attaining their educational and career goals. She strives to prioritize inclusivity and empathy, and she works to find new ways to help students feel supported at ComArtSci.
Hagopian has held several roles in advising at MSU’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences, where she now works as an academic advisor and new student orientation coordinator. She has served on many committees, including stints as the chair of the ComArtSci Internship Award Committee and the student outreach chair of the Mid-Michigan Creative Alliance, a chapter of the American Advertising Federation.
Her roles have included coordinating the ComArtSci Student Weekly, a newsletter sent to undergraduate students with academic, career, internship and student organization information. She has worked as an assistant teaching courses on job search strategies for communication fields, freshmen seminars and the Los Angeles Field Experience, where she coordinated 15 company and studio visits for students. In 2012, she developed the first MSU freshmen seminar focused on international students to help these students transition to life in a new culture. Among her many achievements, she demonstrates a commitment to help all students succeed by making the most of their college experience.
Hagopian is an alumna of Michigan State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing in 2007, and a Master of Arts in Student Affairs Administration in 2012.
Kim Kersten Williams
Kim Kersten Williams works in the Dean’s Office as an accounting specialist at MSU’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences. As part of the Accounting and Research Team (ART), she handles travel reimbursements, purchase orders, operational statements and requisitions, fulfilling her role with a high degree of professionalism and positivity.
Williams works closely with the MSU School of Journalism and the Department of Media and Information, processing the largest volume of financial transactions of anyone in the ART office. She joined ComArtSci in 2000, and she possesses a wealth of institutional knowledge. She serves as a mentor to new faculty and staff, making complicated procedures easy for her colleagues. She finds this mentorship gratifying, and she has offered to develop a Staff Mentoring Policy to provide more support. She has served as a member of the MSU Travel Committee, and she attends training programs to enhance her skills. For 10 years, she also worked as the secretary to the chair of the Department of Telecommunication (now Media and Information.)
Williams goes above and beyond in her work, volunteering her time and energy to support initiatives that build community among ComArtSci’s faculty and staff. Known for her humor and friendly smile, she also adds pizazz to special occasions. She has been instrumental in planning activities like Take Your Child to Work Day, and she has stepped up to lead the event in the spring.