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On Tuesday, April 17, the Meadows Museum hosted the SMU Corporate Communication and Public Affairs (CCPA) division’s annual senior awards ceremony and, for the first time, official induction of new CCPA majors. This auspicious night serves as an opportunity for the CCPA faculty to recognize the graduating seniors who have become CCPA stars and made an impact on the Division. These students excelled during their work in classes, mustangconsulting, PRSSA, debate team, and earned a spot in the honors society, Kappa Tau Alpha, among many other accomplishments. The CCPA Stars come out to shine.
CCPA faculty bid farewell to seniors and welcomed new majors, a fresh batch of students eager to begin their journey through the halls of Umphrey Lee. Founders of the new CCPA Young Alumni Advisory Board were present to lend their support to new majors and soon-to-be grads alike.
Several seniors received awards for their outstanding performance in the areas of academic achievement, Organizational Communication, Social Innovation and Nonprofit Engagement, Political Communication, and Public Relations and Strategic Communication. Two new majors were honored with CCPA Advisory Board scholarships. Recipients of these awards were chosen for their dedication to their schoolwork, participation in the classroom, and commitment to excellence. Alongside these awards, DeAngelo Garner was named as the Commencement Marshal for May 2018 graduation ceremonies, along with Shara Helland, as the Commencement Reader.
Recipients gave speeches upon receiving their awards. A common theme emerged as students ascended the podium: None of their accomplishments would have been possible without the CCPA faculty of SMU. CCPA Chair Dr. Sandra Duhé is fond of telling her students that professional communicators become successful by standing on the shoulders of giants, and these CCPA students have certainly learned and stood on the shoulders of the giants who came before them at SMU.
Family, Friends, Faculty, and Donors
This night was as much for family, friends, faculty, and donors, as it was for the CCPA stars, said Duhe. Everyone in the auditorium on Tuesday night played a crucial role in helping the seniors and new majors arrive at this momentous occasion, and the auditorium was full of hope and promise for the new graduates and new students.
Along with the support of their family and faculty, these CCPA stars’ accomplishments would not be possible without the support of the CCPA Advisory Board. Tuesday night, Dr. Duhé took the time to honor two members, John Weekley and Stan Levenson, whose decades of time and financial contributions have played a significant role in thriving CCPA. Mr. Weekley has served on the CCPA Advisory Board for 20 years and Mr. Levenson for 30 years, noting during his remarks that “he’s just getting started.”
As the attendees filed into the Smith Auditorium, they received a program stating, “Find your voice. Change our world.” This call to action embodies the spirit of these outstanding students and reflects the culture of SMU, where world changers are shaped. The ceremony marked another successful year for CCPA, as they bid farewell to their CCPA stars and welcomed a new year of students ready to find their voice.
To view photos from the 2018 CCPA Awards Ceremony visit http://stevelee.zenfolio.com/ccpaawards2018/
2018 CCPA Awards
Commencement Marshal, DeAngelo Garner
Commencement Reader, Shara Helland
Outstanding Academic Achievement in Corporate Communication and Public Affairs, Courtney McKinney
Outstanding Corporate Communication and Public Affairs Student in Organizational Communication, Caroline Davis
Outstanding Corporate Communication and Public Affairs Student in Social Innovation and Nonprofit Engagement, Emily Gullo
Outstanding Corporate Communication and Public Affairs Student in Political Communication, Spencer Gutierrez
Outstanding Corporate Communication and Public Affairs Student in Public Relations and Strategic Communication, Alex Twiss
Corporate Communication and Public Affairs Advisory Board Scholar Award, For Reyna, Julia Tognotti
Stan Levenson Honorary Scholar Award, Julia Tognotti
Recognition of Outstanding Seniors
Outstanding Student in Debate and Speech, Matthew Lucci
Outstanding Student in Mustang Consulting, Caroline Davis and Emily Gullo
Outstanding Student in PRSSA, Hailee Elledge
Outstanding CCPA Student Fellow, Brittney Effner
Corporate Communication and Public Affairs, Emily Gullo, Courtney McKinney
Public Relations and Strategic Communication, Caroline Davis, Emily Gullo, Mary Roland Lewis, Jacqueline Putegnat