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Annual Communications Banquet honors students, faculty

From The Navigator

Eight communication and media students were honored Thursday, April 11, at the 29th annual Communication Honors Dinner and Media Showcase, with seniors Misha Irfan, Adrian Ruble and Sarah Mecklenburg named Communication Students of the Year. 

Fifty students, professors, family members and friends attended the event at the Davis College of Business, with communication faculty members also recognized by students for their service. 

(Watch a short video of the students and faculty assembled below:)

The annual Student of Year award goes to the graduating student with the highest grade point average. This year, three students attained nearly identical grade averages, said Dennis Stouse, professor of Communication and chair of the Department of Communication. 

“Misha Irfan and Adrian Ruble attained GPAs above 3.9. They were named Communication Student of the Year for 2012-13,” Stouse said. “This is the first time we have had a virtual tie.” 

Meanwhile, Sarah Mecklenburg, who graduates in December, attained a perfect 4.0 GPA. 

“Since our major awards event is always held in December, we decided to honor Sarah as our Communication Student of the Year for 2013-12,” Stouse said. 

Irfan has completed a double major in communication and humanities. She is from Dammam, Saudi Arabia, and has served as business manager for the Navigator and news director for Dolphin Radio. Her senior project was a public event that celebrated Islamic art and culture. 

Ruble is a member of the JU NROTC unit. From Mableton, Ga., he has served as an on-air reporter and anchor for Dolphin Channel television and in leadership positions within the NROTC unit. His senior project was an analysis of the channels of communication within naval reserve officer training corps units. 

Mecklenburg is completing a minor in Spanish as well as her major in communication. She is from Germany and has served as station manager for Dolphin Channel television. She will be honored for her sports reporting at the Florida Associated Press meeting later this month in Orlando. 

Bryan Jones, editor-in-chief of the Navigator, was named Communication Student Leader of the Year. This award honors a communication student who has distinguished himself or herself in student activities within and beyond the Department of Communication. From Port Republic, Md., he is also a JU Ambassador, active in the JU Pre-Law Society and in numerous student activities and his fraternity. 

Awards for outstanding academic achievement went to Rose Charlene Charles of Paris, France, and Tanya Singh from Gwalior, India. Chavis Fulmore, a music business major from Jacksonville and station manager for Dolphin Radio, was honored for outstanding service to the department.  Also recognized for outstanding departmental service were Christina Kelso and Mecklenberg.  Kelso serves as news editor of the Navigator and Mecklenberg has led the Dolphin Channel television for the past year.

New members of the national communication honorary society Lambda Pi Eta were initiated.  The new members are Taylor Agnew, Thaddeus Foster, Misha Irfan, Adam Jordan, Mathew Killen, Allison Konig, Clayton Levins, Emily Long, Sarah Mecklenburg, Adriana Rodrigues and Ethan Wellhausen. 

The evening also included tributes to the Department of Communication faculty. Misha Irfan spoke about Courtney Barnes, adjunct assistant professor of communication; Greg VanOekel shared his thoughts of Dr. Derek Hall, adjunct assistant professor of communication; Bryan Jones discussed Dr. Keith Saliba, assistant professor of communication; Sarah Mecklenberg talked about Dr. Annmarie Willette, associate professor of communication; and Tayna Singh recognized Dennis Stouse, professor of communication. 

The evening concluded with recognition of graduating seniors.