In two end-of-the-academic-year award ceremonies, the UW Department of Communication honored students with scholarships and excellence awards worth nearly $218,000 in total. These students have proven to be exceptional in the areas of journalism, research, communication, and ethics.

Department of Communication students have the opportunity to receive awards because of generous gifts from our alumni and friends. Each award given at the Scholarship Ceremony and the Excellence Awards has a story behind it – whether created by friends of the Department to honor a prestigious professor, recognize a prized alum, or remember a fallen journalist who left behind a legacy. Read about each award and recipient below:

Department of Communication Scholarships:

The Bob Doble Memorial Scholarship was established in the 1930s by Jim and Peg Marshall to honor her son, Bob, who was a community leader in Ellensburg, WA. The Bob Doble Memorial Scholarship has been funded over the years by contributions in various amounts by a large number of supporters.


Margaret Hsiao is a third-year student at the University of Washington, Seattle. She is currently pursuing double bachelor’s degrees in Communication: Journalism and Visual Art, minoring in Informatics. Her future career goals include broadcast, editorial, and print journalism.

Ryan Phelan is a junior at the University of Washington studying Journalism and Political Science with a focus in International Security. He has been a staff writer and columnist at The Daily of the University of Washington for over two years and previously interned at The Seattle Globalist this past winter. After graduating, Ryan wants to work in entertainment journalism and continue telling interesting stories through feature writing.


Bob Willey / Dan Warner Memorial Scholarship

The Puget Sound Advertising Federation made initial contributions to this fund in 1978 to honor Robert Willey, a 1953 graduate of the former School of Communications, who received national recognition for his expertise in radio advertising. Dan Warner was honored by the Puget Sound Advertising Foundation for his significant contributions to the field.


Christina Bentler grew up on the Eastside of Seattle amongst trees and nature. Her passion for supporting her community began at a young age with her family’s focus on social justice. As a communications major and education minor, her involvement grew exponentially, and going forward she hopes to use her education to advocate for mental health issues around the globe.

David Guan is a junior studying communication and entrepreneurship, along with earning his sales certificate. He is a first generation college student, and his biggest challenges are balancing familial duties along with school. He is passionate about creating opportunities for first generation students like himself to pursue higher education.

Kamelia Miladinova


The Cassie Lawrence Bryant Scholarship was established in honor of Ms. Bryant and her service to the Association for Women in Communications. She was elected as the first treasurer of Theta Sigma Phi, the original name of the organization, which was founded on this campus. Early in her professional life, she saw the importance of strong local and national organizations committed to the development of women journalists.


Despite initially having a hard time selecting a major that suited her, Elaine Stachowiak feels fortunate to have taken an introductory course to communications that taught her what the major is about. Soon after, she knew that this is what she came to UW to do. It has not been hard for her to put in the work to succeed in the communications major, as she is so passionate about, and intrigued by, her courses. Elaine hopes to use what she has learned to succeed in the field of media and marketing, and also to help others learn the value of communication.


The Christy C. Bulkeley Endowed Memorial Scholarship was established in honor of Christy C. Bulkeley, who was one of the few female newspaper publishers in the United States in the 1970s.  Bulkeley later helped update landmark research about women in journalism. She was also a Pulitzer Prize nominating judge and a 1978 winner of the national Headliner Award from what is now the Association for Women in Communications, and served as that organization’s national president.


Ryann Funk is a junior pursuing a double major in Communication (concentration in technology and global media), and Art with Honors (concentration in Photo/Media). She is also an active member of the Chi Omega sorority, where she served as Alumni Relations Coordinator for two years. Ryann aspires to go into creative directing in the arts and entertainment industry in the future.

Tyler Wong


David Horsey Scholarship

David Horsey is a 1976 graduate of the Communication department here at the UW. At UW he took on the job of political cartoonist for the UW Daily and became the first cartoonist to become editor in chief. In 1979, he was hired by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and over the next 32 years, he won two Pulitzer Prizes for his work. He worked for the Los Angeles Times, and in 2014, he received the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for his cartoons related to social justice issues. He recently returned to Seattle to work at the Seattle Times. He and his wife, Nole-Ann Usery-Horsey, created the David Horsey Endowed Scholarship to support outstanding students in journalism.


Emma Aitelli went to high school in La Canada, California, and came to the UW to study communications. She is not only passionate about academics, but also philanthropy, having volunteered a lot in high school; she now volunteers with Make a Wish through her sorority, Chi Omega. She was accepted to the communication major as a freshman, which is one of her biggest accomplishments. She also has made the Dean’s List both quarters, and hopes to do so again.

Twelve years ago, Lu-Fang Hung started her immigration to the US. Her fourth grade classmate’s comment to her one day, “you speak like a baby,” due to her lack of English skills, became her inspiration to proactively react to and overcome the challenges that she faced. Now as a student majoring in Communications, Accounting and Information Systems, Lu-Fang has the passion to explore new things and places, and the wish to make a positive impact on others.


The Don Pember Journalism Endowed Fund was established in honor of Professor Don Pember, who cared greatly about providing education opportunities to all students. Many other donors, both alumni of the Department and former students and colleagues of Pember, also contributed to the establishment of the scholarship. Don Pember joined the University of Washington faculty in 1969 and served as a mentor to many undergraduate and graduate students. He received the UW’s prestigious Distinguished Teaching Award in 1973 and was recognized two years later for excellence in teaching by the Carnegie Foundation. He retired in the early 2000s.


Xuan You Lim was born in Malaysia and spent six years in Singapore. He is a sophomore pursuing a double degree in journalism and electrical engineering. Xuan You hopes to pursue data journalism, and use data visualization to tell stories. He is passionate about important social and ethical issues involving emerging technology.

* * *

The Excellence in Journalism Scholarship was established by a UW Journalism alum, and provides financial support for journalism students who have expressed an interest in a career in journalism, and to encourage the highest standards of journalism: to encourage excellence in thought and expression, to encourage the exercise of the First Amendment’s right to freedom of speech and the press, and to advance the people’s right to know in a responsible manner.


Alec Dietz is a senior graduating in the fall of next year at the UW. Alec serves as the Sports Editor at the Daily, where he mostly covers football and men’s and women’s basketball. Additionally, Alec has dabbled in broadcast journalism after completing an internship with KING 5 sports, last fall.

Rachel Morgan is a sophomore pursuing a dual degree in Journalism and Marketing. While she works on completing her degrees, Rachel is working as the Opinion Editor at The Daily to help expand her writing portfolio and support student journalism. She enjoys writing about the unfamiliar, as it allows her to meet interesting people and explore different ways of life.

Shadrak Musafiri is a junior double majoring in Journalism and Photo-media, with a passion for visual storytelling. He moved to America from Congo, Kinshasa when he was 13, and comes from a family of 14. With his education, he hopes to cover community leaders that are helping immigrant, minority, and other underserved communities.

Emma Scher


Since 1999, the Flip Wilson Memorial Scholarship has been helping outstanding minority students who seek a career in communications at five universities across the nation, including the University of Washington. The award honors an American comedian and actor from the 1970s who hosted his own weekly variety series. It addition to honoring Wilson, the award is funded completely from his estate. The scholarship provides assistance to undergraduate full-time students requiring financial need.


Darius Presley is currently in his third year at the University, studying Communications with a minor in Political Science. He is so honored to receive the Flip Wilson scholarship, as it will help him finish his last year here at the UW. Darius is from Federal Way, Washington; the eldest of three children, he grew up in a single parent home. Paying for college has always been a thing that’s difficult for him to discuss; there was a time when he thought he wasn’t going to be able to attend due to a lack of funds, but through financial aid and a few loans here and there, he has been able to make it happen. This scholarship will help relieve part of the stress of paying back part of those loans, and his fourth and final year here at the UW. Again, he is so very grateful.


The Harold E. Carr Scholarship in Communication was established by Harold E. and Joyce C. Carr to support upper level undergraduate students in the Department of Communication who study in the fields of journalism, public relations, global communication, and political communication.


Pamela Correa is a First generation Mexican Venezuelan. She is a full time student, and part time worker pursuing a Communications major and Diversity minor. She has been on the Dean’s List at least 5 times. She also serves as the Public Relations Chair for the National Society of Leadership and Success at the UW.

Juliana McKinney is a junior in the Communication Department. She is the diversity chair in her Alpha Chapter of Chi Omega. Having worked with Nordstrom for over a year, she can’t wait to grow within the company, either in a public relations or human resources role.


The J. Daniel McConnell Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship in Journalism and Public Relations honors Dan McConnell, a highly regarded instructor in UW Professional & Continuing Education, his hard work and lifelong dedication to communications, public relations, and community service.


Tony Huynh is a proud Seattle born and raised first generation Asian American. He has been able to overcome a personally sensitive obstacle of his with the pursuit of a career in the field of Communication. He credits his will for deciding upon this career path to a desire to follow in the steps of his grandfather. He is determined to pursue a career about which he feels passionately, and where he can overcome cultural stigmas.


Jane Roller established the Jane and Reid Roller Scholarship in Communication in memory of her husband, J. Reid Roller, to support Department of Communication undergraduate students. J. Reid Roller was an Associate Professor in the School of Communications in the 1980s. He came to the department after a long career at J. Walter Thompson, a renowned advertising agency (known as JWT since 2005).


Jessica Xie is an international student from China. She embraces cultural differences, and is constantly taking on challenges to shape herself into a better person. She has also demonstrated her leadership skills at the UW as a FIG (first-year interest group) leader.


The John H. and Harriet Reid Memorial Scholarship was established by their son Wally Reid to honor their commitment to education and journalism.  John was orphaned in 1886 at the age of 13 and taken in by Capt. Luther Osborn, who owned the Red River Valley News in Glyndon MN.  By the age of 16, John knew he wanted to be a journalist and Capt. Osborn was happy to teach him.  Over the next 28 years, John owned 2 newspapers then founded a third, the University District Herald, when his family settled in the University District.  Although neither John nor Harriet had a high school education, all 9 of their children graduated from the University of Washington, two with a degree in journalism.  In 1941, John and Harriet received Honorary Degrees from the UW, only the third time that honor had been awarded.


Andy Yamashita is a second-year journalism student with a minor in diversity. He has been a sports writer and podcaster at The Daily since the first quarter of his freshman year. Currently in his second year on the baseball beat, he has over 180 clips at The Daily, and has also been published in the Seattle Globalist and the International Examiner. Though Andy initially just wanted to get paid to watch games, he has since found a love for storytelling, and hopes to ultimately write about sports through the lens of society, culture, and race. A proud Californian, he spends his free time scouring Seattle for good tacos.


This Journalism Foreign Intrigue Scholarship was established by a UW Journalism alumna, and provides financial support for journalism students to work as intern reporters at a foreign news organization and to travel after the internship. The donor’s goal is to give journalism students an exposure to another culture outside of North America and a more thorough understanding of journalism and culture.


Emily Gilbert, Jakarta Globe || Jakarta, Indonesia

Emily Gilbert is a graduating senior, who will be interning with the Jakarta Globe, an English-language news outlet in Jakarta, Indonesia this summer. Since joining the journalism program a little over a year ago, she has interned at the Whidbey News-Times and South Whidbey Record, covered the UAW 4121 – UW labor negotiations and served as News Editor for The Daily, studied abroad in Spain and has been interning at King 5 on the digital media team. In her non-journalism life, she has started a kettle corn business as part of her work completing the entrepreneurship minor through the UW Foster School of Business. She is grateful for all of the opportunities and skills the UW Communication Department has given her, and is excited for what’s next.

Yemas Ly, Prachathai || Bangkok, Thailand

Yemas Ly is a senior, and she is excited to soon hold her diplomas in meteorology and journalism. She’s been a hard news maker for the past three years, but is currently searching for what it means to tell a story beyond using multimedia. In the future, she may tell you forecasts as a broadcast meteorologist, reveal other parts of the world as a foreign correspondent, or simply write about student athletes as your local reporter. Regardless of where she works, she will give you an update.

Grace Li Dong Madigan, Citizen Matters || Bangalore, India

Grace Madigan aspires to tell stories that reveal the intersection of race, identity, and food. She has interned at Seattle Met, KCTS 9, and Sip Northwest during her time in the journalism program. After her summer internship through the Foreign Intrigue program with Citizen Matters in Bangalore, India, she hopes to find a way to keep telling the stories she loves.

Liz Turnbull, The Jordan Times || Amman, Jordan

Emma Scher, Awoko || Freetown, Sierra Leone


The Journalism North American Scholarship was created through another donor of the Department who was inspired by the Journalism Foreign Intrigue Endowed Scholarship. This endowment provides financial support for a journalism student to work as an intern reporter at a foreign location in North America. Through this experience, the student will gain a better understanding of journalism and culture.


Sammi Bushman is a junior(-ish) studying Journalism and working as the Science Editor at The Daily. She is interested in environmental journalism and persuading The Stranger to employ her in any capacity possible. This summer she’ll be living in Mexico City as an intern in the Journalism North America scholarship program, (yay)!


The Leadership in Communication Scholarship was created to provide student support for intense, immersive opportunities for leadership development in the Department of Communication. It is designed to support students who are seeking to be civic and community leaders, with communication at the heart of their work.


Ragini Gupta is interested in exploring narrative journalism, and how writing can be utilized as an intersectional tool to enhance human connection. She aspires to combine her love for poesis with narrative journalism by exploring topics such as gender, race, and sexuality – to name a few. She is currently working on a poetry chapbook with experimental prose-poems that authentically address mental health.


The Kevin Ellis Endowed Scholarship was founded in 1985 by the parents of Mr. Ellis who graduated from the UW in 1981. In 1982, he was kidnapped by rebel dissidents in Zimbabwe while on a tour of Africa to learn more about the country and its people. His death was confirmed in 1985. The Westin Hotels and family members and friends have contributed to this fund as well. The scholarship is awarded to students who, like Mr. Ellis, have an interest in international communication.


Kailee Bruner is from Buckley Washington, and currently pursuing a degree in communications with a double minor in international studies and disability studies. Kailee is heavily involved on campus, serving the ASUW for the past two years, serving as the director of public relations and recruitment for the UW SHRM chapter, as an active member in the International Justice Mission RSO, and currently as the VP of New Member Experience for her sorority, Alpha Gamma Delta. Kailee is a first generation college student, and would like to thank you all for this amazing opportunity.

Rosalyn Goveia was born in Arlington, Washington into a family who have loved and supported her in all of her academic and extracurricular endeavors throughout her life. She has been taught to love our Earth and the people around her, and she hopes to give back to a community that has inspired her to explore and learn at every moment of her life. In the future, she looks forward to exploring the field of public relations and working internationally after graduating with a major in Communications and a minor in Spanish.

Since arriving at the UW, Julia Jannon-Shields has immersed herself within the community through ASUW, OMAD, and various other organizations while maintaining Dean’s List status. Julia hopes that her passion for advocacy, sustainability, and international unity leads her to a career within the United Nations. She is grateful for the UW and the Department of Communication for allowing her to develop the tools necessary to get there.


The Marjorie Kaczor Alhadeff Endowed Scholarship in Journalism was established by Marjorie Kaczor Alhadeff who graduated from the University of Washington in 1971, with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Sociology and Communications (Editorial Journalism).  An ardent advocate of responsibility and ethical reporting, she offers this scholarship in support of future responsible and ethical reporters.


Jake Goldstein-Street is a junior studying journalism and political science at the UW. He has written for the UW Daily extensively as well as the Seattle Times, Crosscut, the Capitol Hill blog, and the Seattle Globalist. Jake is interested in political reporting and hopes to one day work in Washington D.C.

Tyler Agafonov is currently in his second year studying Journalism at the University of Washington. As a member of the Alutiiq tribe of southwest Alaska, he is one of the first in his family to attend college and he has enjoyed it so far. He is excited to begin his junior year this fall.


The Marty Wilson Scholarship was established in 1996 with memorial gifts received from Marty Wilson’s family, friends, and admirers. Her professional career began in 1957 with the development of a program about education from the point of view of a parent. She produced numerous programs for KOMO-TV and served as a visiting lecturer in the UW School of Communications. Her many achievements and awards throughout her creative and courageous career offer an example of what a new generation of journalists can accomplish.


Nicole Pasia is in her second year of studying Journalism at the UW. She has made the Dean’s List for several quarters, and plays alto saxophone in the Husky Marching Band. She is a dedicated member of the publications committee of Kappa Kappa Psi (national honorary band fraternity), and is a writer and photographer for the Daily.

Hannah Sheil is a first year student at University of Washington who graduated from Steilacoom High School in 2018. She is an award winning filmmaker and photographer, whose career highlight is winning first place in the All American High School Film Festival Invitational in 2016. Hannah is continuing to pursue photography while also majoring in journalism, and hopes to become a photojournalist.


The Max & Monica Holsinger Scholarship was established in 2006. Max Holsinger, a 1938 graduate, was a lifelong supporter of the UW. After graduation, he sold advertising for Mining World in Eastern and Western Europe and Africa. He also had a long and successful career in the publishing industry. The Holsingers established a scholarship to not only support UW journalism students, but also the communities in which the students will ultimately pursue their careers.


Om Khandekar is an undergraduate freshman from Sunnyvale, California. He chose to study at the University of Washington because of all the opportunities and experiences that Seattle has to offer, and as of fall 2019 he will be officially studying Journalism in the department of Communication. For the last four years, Om has been working towards having a career in video production and video-journalism, and now h he primarily films and shoots for The Daily of the UW.

Stevie Riepe is a junior at the University of Washington. He has many goals in his life, and many things about which he is unsure. However, he is excited for what awaits him in the future, and is thankful to have the fortune to stand here today. Thank you all for this opportunity to make a difference.


Assunta Ng, the President and Publisher of Northwest Asian Weekly and the Chinese Post, established the Northwest Asian Weekly Scholarship. She received her bachelor’s degree from the UW in 1974, her teaching certificate in 1976, and a master’s degree in Speech Communication in 1979. In 1982 and 1983, she founded the Seattle Chinese Post and Northwest Asian Weekly, respectively, with a goal to connect an Asian community that was greatly ignored by other newspapers in Seattle. Assunta has been honored many times for her work in the Asian community and beyond.


Ray Alfonso is a non-traditional student, at 36 years of age. He has been blessed with the opportunity to return to school after so many years away. His education is what is most valuable to him.


Northwest Automotive Press Association Scholarship

The Northwest Automotive Press Association (NWAPA) is a professional organization of automotive journalists and media members from throughout the Pacific Northwest and Southwest Canada. Founded in 1991, NWAPA includes 53 voting members representing more than 100 newspapers, magazines, radio stations, media groups and the Internet. Non-voting members include representatives from automotive manufacturers and related industry professionals. NWAPA and its members are dedicated to supporting future journalists (automotive or otherwise) and are proud to offer this scholarship to journalism students.


Conor Courtney


The Pam Edstrom, WE Communication Student Support Fund

Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, Inc. established this award to honor Pam Edstrom, a public relations industry pioneer. This fund celebrates and cements Edstrom’s legacy in our community, and will carry on her work and aid those with the passion to grow and find their own place.


Nikhila Iyer is a student currently studying both Communication and Informatics at the university, particularly because she is passionate about data and the effective communication of this information. This summer, she will be putting her studies to work in Chicago, as a data analytics intern at GrubHub, on their partnership marketing team. She also is a member of Kappa Delta Sorority and UW Natya, a competitive Indian classical dance team.

Isabella Nielson is a sophomore from Point Roberts Washington. Her long-term goal is to pursue a career in Public Relations after possibly attending graduate school to earn her masters. She hopes to work as the director of Public Relations for a major company in the Pacific Northwest, so she can continue to pursue her love for dance and performing. She is excited to explore the rest of her two years here and grow more within the Communication department.


The Patricia Cranston Creativity in Communication Scholarship supports students in their pursuit of professional opportunities, with the goal of supporting student creativity, in any forms, so that students can take a chance on an idea.

Patricia Cranston taught at the UW School of Journalism for more than 35 years, where she was the first tenure-track woman professor. She helped start KCTS and KUOW, where she was the News Director, and became the first woman president of the Broadcast Education Association. Cranston retired from the UW in 1990.


Eyerusalem Dessie is an an undergraduate senior in the Communication and Comparative History of Ideas (CHID) departments. Her passions lay in film; she loves its ability to connect, critically engage and enlighten individuals and communities.  She is currently breaking into the filmmaking industry, which is just one of her career goals. However, she has been having trouble, in some ways, really getting started. She is excited to attend this trip because she believes it will give her insight into how she can contribute her own ideas to the industry. She believes that this trip will serve as a huge step in the right direction.


Deborah Wiegand created the Richard Wiegand Earl Memorial Scholarship in memory of her husband, Richard Earl Wiegand, who worked for The Boeing Company and retired shortly before his passing in 2006. Richard Weigand was born in Illinois and attended the University of Illinois, graduating with a degree in communications. Richard would go on to be elected President and recognized as a Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication. Deborah Wiegand has been a longtime faculty member in Chemistry here at the UW and is beloved by students. She is deeply committed to community partnerships and in 2000 she received the Sterling Munro Public Service Faculty Award.


Lorenzo Chiodo accepts this scholarship in honor of his brother Luciano, and his parents who are absolute warriors. Luciano has autism and will never be able to live a life like Lorenzo is able to, so he does everything he can to lead the best life possible for his brother.


Robert F. Philip Scholarship

Robert F. Philip graduated from the UW in 1940 and was an active participant in, and observer of, University affairs for over 6 decades — as University of Washington student in the 1930s, as president of the Tri-City Herald newspaper, as a member of the Medical School’s visiting committee, as district governor of the Alumni Association and, for 18 years, as a member of the University of Washington Board of Regents. Mr. Philip established this scholarship to ensure academic and professional excellence at the University, in particular in the field of Communication.


Nataly Castellanos is in her second year at the University of Washington. Currently pursuing a career in broadcasting, she says that her biggest challenge thus far has been realizing that she needs to follow her own dreams, and not what others expect her to be.

Kristen Donovan is from Aberdeen, Washington, and is the youngest of four siblings. She earned her Associate in Arts degree from Grays Harbor College in 2017. She is an active member of Alpha Gamma Delta, a sorority here at the UW, and is currently serving as their Vice President of Administration.

Jordan Finlay transferred from a nearby community college with high hopes of getting into the University of Washington. Not only did she do that this academic year, but she also got accepted into the Communications major. In addition to this, she made the dean’s list during her first quarter at the UW!

Zijie (Jessie) Ke is a sophomore student at the UW, pursuing a degree in Communications. Due to her passion in learning about culture and diversity, she is also hoping to minor in the Jackson School of International Studies.

Thomas Lim came to the UW from the Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory. He says it was difficult to transition into a life away from his parents, and there were plenty of challenges that he overcame, including depression and anxiety. He feels stronger now than before. He is currently trying to learn a myriad of languages, in order to connect his to his goal of bridging culture and technology to better reduce language barriers as much as possible.

Born May 15, 1999, to Mexican immigrants, Adriel Lora comes from a small town in eastern Washington, but has big entrepreneurial goals to achieve in the city of Seattle.

A first generation college student born and raised in Seattle, Christopher McKinley

Always hoped to get into the University of Washington. He received his Associates degree from North Seattle College before transferring.

Abby Tish is a junior from Bellevue, Washington. She is double majoring in Communication and Community, Environment and Planning. She is passionate about community engagement and environmental sustainability, and hopes to pursue a career in public relations.

Born of two Ghanaian parents, Victoria Tyron is a student who has taken the UW belief of “being boundless” to heart. In doing so, she has involved herself as a leader in the works of numerous entities on campus. As a double major in both International Studies and Communication, and a minor in French, she looks to leverage the skills and knowledge she has acquired during her time at the UW to communicate and maximize practices of equity and diversity, both in the U.S. and in her home country of Ghana in the future.

Carly Workman is a junior in the Departments of Communication and Applied Mathematics at the University of Washington.  During her time at the University, she has developed an interest in the ways people communicate with, and through, technology, and plans on obtaining her master’s degree in User-Centered Research after graduation.  Carly is currently preparing for a study abroad program in Greece over the summer.

Catherine Hartono

Ashley Tan


Robert L. Patterson Scholarship

Robert Patterson was professor emeritus at Castleton State College in Vermont. After the passing of his wife in 1991, Marilyn Mathis Patterson, UW Class of 1948, he arranged for an endowment for her alma mater.  Marilyn was an avid journalism alumna, was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Delta Pi, and recipient of the UW Faculty Medal while she was a student here.


Griffin Dugan is a student and a learner, first and foremost. In his time at the UW, he has dipped his toes into a variety of fields, including public health, psychology, education, research, and ultimately communication. He is grateful to receive this award, as it exemplifies continued support for Griffin to continue to find ways in which his skills can be used for the good of society.

Tanya Isarankura, graduating this upcoming fall with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and minor in Anthropology, strives to one day work in the media and entertainment industry. By utilizing today’s wide social connectivity and modern technology, she aspires to spread happiness to the world, particularly in the elevation of minority representation in the media. Looking forward to what the future beyond the UW holds, she is excited for all her upcoming endeavors in joining the workforce.

Amanda Lin was born in the United States, but grew up outside the country in China and Taiwan. She came to Seattle to attend the UW as a Communication major, International Studies minor, and Diversity minor. She believes that communication is a bridge between different groups, and if done effectively, can make the lives of others better. She hopes to work in the field of entertainment someday, in order to spread knowledge and communicate with others all around the world.


The Ruddick C. and Cherry Lawrence Endowed Scholarship was founded in 1996. Lawrence began his professional life as the Director of Publicity for the Detroit Institute of the Arts and then went on to serve as manager at The American Boy magazine and Fortune magazine. He was vice president of the New York Stock Exchange from 1953 to 1968 and founded his own consulting firm, Lawrence Associates, in 1977. Throughout his career, he was committed to community service and education.


Dylan Bacher was born and raised in Kirkland, Washington, just like his parents before him. His grandparents are proud alumni of the University of Washington, and he is grateful to follow in their footsteps. Dylan has maintained a 3.53 GPA, and is also a member of the sales program.

Riley Benedetti is a student-athlete at the University of Washington, with a desire to serve others. His experience and participation in helping with Teytum’s Gifts has led him to seek a career in communications, in order to better serve his community.

Nicole Hardman is a sophomore double majoring in Communication and Cinema & Media Studies. She currently has a perfect GPA in both of these departments, and has maintained a place on the Dean’s List for the past four quarters.


The Seattle Times / Blethen Family Memorial Scholarship was established in 1990 with a goal to introduce new ideas and customs into university study programs; and to spread ideas, understanding and information to the general public by increasing the number of underrepresented men and women in journalism.


Samuel Medina was born and raised in the middle of the Bible belt, Mississippi in particular. There he witnessed unspeakable racism, homophobia, and other forms of oppression. He decided to move to Seattle in 2014, and ended up getting accepted into his dream school at the UW, where he is pursuing his dreams of becoming an advocate for minorities like himself. His ultimate goal in life is to live in a world that chooses love over hate, acceptance over judgment, and truth over lies.

J.J. Pollard is a junior majoring in English and Journalism, with a minor in Education. Alongside being a mentor and teacher for children, working overnight shifts for part time jobs, and being an RA in UW dorms, in her three years she’s maintained a 3.99 cumulative GPA. In her free time, she’s dedicated herself to volunteering at local youth homeless shelters through her club “Husky Roof,” and watching crime shows. Her proudest accomplishment so far has been her ability to put herself through college, and her determination to make her dream of being a journalist come true.

Abigail Taylor is a recipient of High Scholarship, and has been on the Dean’s List for five consecutive quarters. She studied ethnographic communication and narrative writing in León, Spain with our department, and is a currently a writer for The Daily. She plans on pursuing a career searching out the truth as an investigative journalist.


Department of Communication Excellence Awards:

Jody Deering Nyquist Public Speaking Contest

All students who compete in this contest attend Matthew McGarrity’s “Intro to Public Speaking” course during the year, and were selected from 60 eligible contestants, going through multiple rounds of judging to become finalists:

Noah Whitman – 1st Place

Kristine Nichols – 2nd Place

Darren Lee – 3rd Place

Brianna Cho – Finalist

Baylee Harding – Finalist

Drew Locknane – Finalist


The Deborah Kaplan Awards for Narrative Journalism were created to honor the work and legacy of Communication professor Deborah Kaplan, who passed unexpectedly in 2006. Kaplan was an innovative journalist and educator who had a long history of writing about social issues. In both of her careers, as a journalist and as a university professor, she used in-depth interviews, immersion reporting, and field work to document and detail the human condition. The Deborah Kaplan Awards are given annually to support outstanding undergraduate work in narrative journalism.


In the category of A Story about People on the Margins:

Stevie Riepe – “Mother’s Pain”

Stevie is a junior at the University of Washington. He has many goals in his life, and many things about which he is unsure. However, he is excited for what awaits him in the future, and is thankful to have the fortune to stand here today. Thank you all for this opportunity to make a difference.

In the Category of Story with a Strong Writing Style:

Giulia Szanyi – “Brown Paper Bag”

Giulia Szanyi is a graduating senior at the UW receiving degrees in both Journalism and French. She has always loved writing, but never saw it as a viable career option until entering the journalism program at the UW. Under the tutelage of numerous outstanding professors, her confidence as a writer has increased tremendously, and she hopes to bring her talents to the PR profession after graduation. This financial award will benefit her by helping her with living expenses as she spends the summer applying to fall PR internships, and she would like to thank all the donors for their support of budding writers. Merci beaucoup!

Gena Wynkoop – “The Moment that Changed My Life”       

Gena Wynkoop is graduating this spring with a journalism degree, and is also the assistant editor of Seattle Refined, KOMO News’ lifestyle website. After graduating she plans to continue working at Refined, and will work on writing and playing music as a hobby! She also plans to take a month off of work to do some traveling around Australia and Indonesia.

In the category of A Story with a Strong Human Profile:

Oloth Insyxiengmay- “Facing the Music”

Originally from Tacoma, Wa via Laos, Oloth found a home at the University of Washington, where he currently studies Comparative History of Ideas (CHID), as well as minoring in Law, Societies and Justice, and  and Education, Learning and Society. Oloth is pursuing a B.A. in CHID because of his commitment to utilizing higher education to address the under-representation of the Southeast Asian community to which he belongs. With guidance from his academic Advisers, he has gained a better understanding of how to navigate the university life as a first generation college student. His career interests include pursuing a career in community outreach and advocacy in youth related work; he hopes to become the type of role model that he himself lacked as an adolescent.

In the category of A Story that Demonstrates an Epiphany:

Ryan Phelan – “Smoke”   

Ryan Phelan is a junior at the University of Washington studying Journalism and Political Science with a focus in International Security. He has been a staff writer and columnist at The Daily of the University of Washington for over two years and previously interned at The Seattle Globalist this past winter. After graduating, Ryan wants to work in entertainment journalism and continue telling interesting stories through feature writing.

Megan Saunders – “Loud Noises”

Megan Saunders is an inspired storyteller with a passion for open, honest, and transparent discourse. She believes that when narratives are truthful and representative at their core, connections between communities are created and sustained. Megan is extremely grateful for the opportunity to share her work with a broader audience, and hopes she can continue to write in a way that opens the minds of others. It is a huge honor for her to receive a Kaplan Award for her work, and she will sustain her mission of fostering connectivity through her pieces in the future.

In the category of A Story about an Important Public Issue:

Makenna Dreher – “How I Got to Thailand”   

Makenna Dreher is a graduating senior, with degrees in Journalism and Political Science, and minors in Human Rights and Law, Societies & Justice. Makenna grew up in Edmonds, Washington, and is currently a reporting intern at the Edmonds Beacon. She is driven by social justice narratives of diverse voices in her reporting, in her community, and across the globe.


Pioneer News Group Awards

Pioneer News Group is a multimedia company committed to advancing and empowering the communities it serves by providing essential information and services as a trusted and indispensable public resource. In partnership with Pioneer News Group and as a result of their generous support of Journalism studies at the UW, the Department faculty gives annual awards in multiple journalism categories.


In the category of Community Journalism: 

Makenna Dreher is a graduating senior, with degrees in Journalism and Political Science, and minors in Human Rights and Law, Societies & Justice. Makenna grew up in Edmonds, Washington, and is currently a reporting intern at the Edmonds Beacon. She is driven by social justice narratives of diverse voices in her reporting, in her community, and across the globe.

Yuna Kim is a senior pursuing a major in journalism and a minor in writing. She enjoys telling stories through a variety of multimedia components, in order to reach the broadest audience in the world. She is particularly interested in video storytelling. Her work has appeared in The Seattle Globalist, the Northwest Asian Weekly, the Mercer Island Reporter, and The Korea Daily.

In the category of Visual Journalism:

Claire Butwinick will graduate from the University of Washington this spring with a degree in Journalism and Gender, Women, and Sexuality studies. She is also an editorial assistant at the Pacific Northwest’s leading design publication, GRAY Magazine, and a music blogger for Rainy Dawg Radio. She was recently accepted to the New York Career Exploration Program through the UW Communication department, and was nominated for a Hearst National Journalism Award for Feature Writing in 2018. After graduation, Claire hopes to continue her love for storytelling and communication through journalism, marketing, or public relations.

Grace Li Dong (DD) Madigan aspires to tell stories that reveal the intersection of race, identity and food. She has interned at Seattle Met, KCTS 9 and Sip Northwest during her time in the journalism program. After her summer internship through the Foreign Intrigue program with Citizen Matters in Bangalore, India she hopes to find a way to keep telling the stories she loves.

In the category of Data Journalism:

Olivia Grace Madewell is a senior at the UW, double-majoring in Journalism and English. She loves the detailed, fact-based approach to writing on topics of law and ethics, while still finding the humanity behind each story. She hopes to carry this focus into crime/courts reporting, or PR work related to law enforcement. Olivia is a retired competitive hunter/jumper equestrian, ballet dancer, and French horn player, and is proud to have been homeschooled prior to coming to the UW. Her spare moments are likely filled with a mug of tea and a classic novel.

In the category of Legislative Journalism:

Jake Goldstein-Street is a second-year student at the UW from Shoreline, Washington, studying journalism and political science. He writes for The Daily as well as freelancing around Seattle. After college, Jake hopes to cover national politics, and his favorite books are All the President’s Men and Between the World and Me.

In the category of Audio Journalism: 

Max Wasserman started out reporting for The Daily, where he covered the effects of Seattle’s growth in the U-District. From there, he went on to cover the state Legislature — first for a newspaper, and more recently for a group of public radio stations in Washington. Now, Max plans to take what he’s learned covering the news into the realm of podcasts. His passion is for narrative journalism, and this summer he’ll work at a long-form podcast called “Sound Effect,” where he’ll share interesting and unexpected stories about people from across Washington.

In the category of Ethics, Difference and Equity Journalism:

Iman Mohamed is a recent graduate from the University of Washington. She spent her time at the UW studying journalism and international studies. Iman considers herself a storyteller and a fan of anything discussing traveling and self-reflection. She is looking to spend the next few months freelancing and traveling.

In the category of Ethics and Empowerment Journalism:

Keelin Everly-Lang

Ask Keelin Everly-Lang what she is studying and you’ll hear about the power of Solutions Journalism, environmental justice, food systems and a dash of positive psychology. She spends her days as a full time manager at the PCC food co-op, volunteering with urban farms around the city and trying to squeeze in studying whenever she can. She is passionate about intersectional equity and using creative communication strategies to share solutions. Keelin will graduate with her Bachelor’s in Journalism next winter quarter. Until then, look for her doing freelance reporting throughout the summer, and diving back into her studies in the fall.

In the category of Climate/Environmental Coverage:

Xiang Shen is a senior pursuing a double major in Journalism and French. She comes from Beijing, China. She is passionate about art, culture, human rights, and environmental sustainability. She has written for The Seattle Globalist and My Ballard, and will be working as a reporting intern at NetEase this coming summer.

In the category of Local-Global Journalism:

Hannah Myrick is a senior studying Arabic and journalism. Throughout her time at the UW, she has reported internationally through UW’s foreign intrigue program at The Jordan Times, and worked at community-centric papers like the International Examiner and Real Change, reporting on how a changing Seattle interacts with underrepresented groups throughout the city. This summer she’ll be traveling to Amman, Jordan to learn more Arabic. She hopes to keep strengthening her language skills and tell stories to make the world a little more connected.

Nicole Pasia is in her second year of studying Journalism at the UW. She has made the Dean’s List for several quarters, and plays alto saxophone in the Husky Marching Band. She is a dedicated member of the publications committee of Kappa Kappa Psi (national honorary band fraternity), and is a writer and photographer for the Daily.

In the category of Sports Reporting:

Andy Yamashita is a second-year journalism student with a minor in diversity. He has been a sports writer and podcaster at The Daily since the first quarter of his freshman year. Currently in his second year on the baseball beat, he has over 180 clips at The Daily, and has also been published in the Seattle Globalist and the International Examiner. Though Andy initially just wanted to get paid to watch games, he has since found a love for storytelling, and hopes to ultimately write about sports through the lens of society, culture, and race. A proud Californian, he spends his free time scouring Seattle for good tacos.

In the category of Enterprise Reporting:

Claudia Yaw is a second-year journalism student minoring in Law, Societies, and Justice. She currently works at The Daily, where she reports on the UWPD and administration. She hopes to pursue a career in watchdog journalism.

In the category of General Excellence:

Bryan Nakata is a journalism student determined to tell stories that are catalytic for change, and which amplify diverse voices in media. He has created films, written stories, and taken photos for the University of Washington, CBS KSTW, the Seattle Seahawks, and more during his undergraduate career. In addition, he has presented research on media representation and volunteered with various student groups. As a recent graduate, this award will be invaluable in his transition to a career in media content production. He is excited to be interning with Vulcan Productions this summer.


Jody Deering Nyquist Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Research

Jody Deering Nyquist is Associate Dean Emerita of the UW Graduate School and an emerita member of the graduate faculty of the UW Department of Communication. Having received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the UW, Nyquist has been a faculty member since 1969. In 2005, Nyquist was inducted into the inaugural class of the Department of Communication’s Alumni Hall of Fame, and in 2014 was selected the Department’s Distinguished Alumna. Nyquist and the University of Washington Department of Speech Communication (now part of the Department of Communication), established this annual award for undergraduate students who have demonstrated excellence in the study of communication and original research.


Kiel Hicks is a senior who will graduate this spring, and is pursuing a career in Firefighting. He is also minoring in Digital Arts, where he has a passion for video productions and would like to take it to a professional-level someday. For the past three years, Kiel has participated on the UW Boxing Team and served as the team captain for this 2018-2019 school year.  This season he won the 2019 NCBA Regional Championships, took 3rd place at the NCBA National Championships, and finished his season at a record of 6-2.

Graduating in spring 2019, Megan Main has spent the last six months assisting with identifying, revising, and implementing organizational processes at a local law firm. Her time at the UW has helped to refine her skills and hone in on a career that will utilize her knowledge of Communication studies, as well as foster her interest in the field of organizational communication. Megan hopes that one day she can apply this knowledge within the non-profit sector in order to enhance opportunities and equity within her local community.

Ariel Wilson


Fred Baker Ethics Awards

Frederick E. Baker was a successful advertising and public relations practitioner in Seattle and beyond, influencing political and civic affairs in the state and in the nation’s capital.  The Fred Baker Ethics Award was established in recognition of his accomplishment and quality of caring, and is awarded to students who embody this long-time Seattle advertising executive’s commitment to ethical practice, leadership, and civic engagement.


Kenneth Applewhaite is a graduating senior, focusing on the intersections between diversity, public relations, and politics. Throughout his college career at the UW, Kenneth has been engaged in various on-campus programs, like the communications honors thesis program, PRSSA, the Engaged Scholarship Summer Program, and many others. Kenneth hopes to use his studies of public relations and diversity to bring equitable initiatives to the business world, and later pursue a Ph.D. program in which he can dive deeper into ideas of intersectionality, gender, race, and power.

Christina Bentler is passionate about serving her community and advocating for mental health. As a rising senior, she is excited to expand her knowledge with the UW Communications Department in León, Spain, during Fall Quarter. As the current President of Society for Human Resource Management at UW, she is thrilled to be a part of paving the way for young adult women in leadership. Christina also hopes to utilize her strong creative flare in her endeavors, as she carries a strong interest in advertising, marketing, and design.


Faculty Awards for Outstanding Completed Research

Alumnus Peter Clarke is a world-renowned professor and researcher in the area of health communication who has invested in our graduate and undergraduate students in all kinds of ways. Clarke and the Department of Communication created the Faculty Awards for Outstanding Completed Research to provide support and honor students who have completed research projects. The set of awards include four categories: an undergraduate honors thesis, an M.A. thesis (which was not be awarded this year), an M.C. project, and a Ph.D. dissertation.

Last year, The Barbara Warnick Award for Outstanding Completed Research was added. The Outstanding Paper in Rhetoric honors the research, mentoring, and service of Barbara Warnick, whose leadership in Communication Studies broadly, and in rhetorical scholarship especially, produced knowledge about public argument that has inspired many colleagues and students.

This year, to further honor Barbara Warnick’s legacy, we will give out the Barbara Warnick Dissertation Proposal Award. The Barbara Warnick Research Endowment provides financial support for insightful, creative scholarly research by M.A. and Ph.D. students in the Department of Communication.  As part of this endowment, the Department offers an annual Dissertation Proposal Award, open to all research themes, theory, and methods

Finally, we also have added the Janice L. Ames & William E. Ames Diversity Research Award. This award goes to an outstanding completed research paper by a graduate student with a focus on communication and difference.


Best Ph.D. Dissertation

Anissa Tanweer || “Data Science of the Social: How the Practice is Responding to Ethical Crisis and Spreading across Sectors”  

Anissa Tanweer is currently a research scientist and staff ethnographer at the University of Washington’s eScience Institute, where she focuses on human-centered data science. Her work incorporates a range of qualitative methods for studying the practice, and culture of, data-intensive computational work, including interviews, surveys, and participant observation. She is passionate about socio-technical thinking, collaborating with data science teams, and leveraging action research to foster reflexive, ethical data science practices. In particular, she engages with efforts to harness data for societal benefit, and has both studied, and helped develop, the eScience Institute’s annual Data Science for Social Good program.

Best M.C. Project

Jess Testa, Digital Media || “Empathic and Inclusive Design in UX: Implementation to Support Users with Visual Impairments”       

Jess Testa believes in the power of a human-centric approach to building experiences, while making sure all voices are heard. The core of her work is bringing fresh perspectives, passion, and quality to any project to help further client-audience relationships and create memorable connections. When she is not working, you can find her with a coffee in hand and exploring her home – the Emerald City.

Best Honors Thesis

Alice Lau || “Japanese Incarceration: Intergenerational Communication of Trauma and Cross-Generation Effects of Incarceration on Sansei Generation as Seen Through Densho Interviews” 

Alice Lau was born and raised in Seattle, Washington, and is graduating this quarter with a double major in Communication and Education. She is passionate about educational equity, race relations, and actively engaging with social justice issues. She is grateful for the opportunity to write this honors thesis, which not only illuminated how identity, trauma, and reclamation were interwoven, but also deeply transformed her sense of self in relation to identity and research. She is honored to accept this award during Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage month, and Mental Health Awareness month. She wishes to continue serving the communities she comes from through educational or community organizations, or working within schools.

Barbara Warnick for Outstanding Paper in Rhetoric

Alyssa Sambor || “Architecture of an Obfuscated Place: Space, Memory, and Material Rhetorics of Migrant Detention at the Tacoma Northwest Detention Center” 

Alyssa Sambor previously completed graduate coursework and taught in various places across the U.S. Southwest, and is now a Ph.D. student in the Department of Communication. Her research currently focuses on locating places where national borders are enforced in everyday life, in order to better understand the way such places work to expand and normalize the border from a rhetorical perspective.  More broadly, Alyssa is interested in putting rhetorical scholarship into additional conversation with scholarship on power and representation as they manifest and work to shape people’s lives.

Janice L. Ames & William E. Ames Diversity Research Award

Mia Lawrie || “Bulletproof and Unafraid: Black Masculinities in Marvel’s ‘Luke Cage'”                                                                                                

Mia Victoria Lawrie is a Black feminist pop culture scholar and Ph.D. student in the Department of Communication at the University of Washington. Motivated by a strong belief in the power of storytelling to constitute the realities of our everyday lives, her research primarily concerns representations of Blackness, gender, and sexuality in science fiction television. Through Black feminist frameworks, she uses science fiction to interpret our current cultural anxieties and imaginaries concerning Black experiences, and to envision worlds beyond and better than our own.

Barbara Warnick Dissertation Proposal Award

Rian Wanstreet || “From Seeds to Bytes: The Human Impacts of Data Transformations in the Agricultural Sector”