Communication Studies

CMST Program Awards

CMST Undergraduate Student (BA) Awards

Outstanding CMST Student Award

The objective of this award is to recognize the student in the CMST major who has achieved important accomplishments in a variety of areas. Such areas of achievement might include: significant academic achievement, substantial contributions to the department, university, and/or community, as well as maintaining other personal commitments (such as a job, family, etc.). The award should go to the most outstanding CMST student of those graduating, in terms of their collective accomplishments during their time as a major in our program and a student at the University. Therefore, the criteria to be weighed when selecting this award recipient could include any/all of the following:

  • Cumulative academic work (cum GPA)
  • Achievements within a course or courses
  • Department involvement/service, both type and duration
  • University involvement/service, both type and duration
  • Community involvement/service, both type and duration
  • Work history, both type and duration
  • Other personal commitments

Outstanding Student Option Awards: Communication and Public Affairs & Organizational Communication

The objective of these awards is to recognize the student who best represents his or her specific option. The primary criterion for this award is academic excellence in the option. The recipients of these awards should have substantial achievements in their major academic work (as opposed to all of their academic work) and any other related option activity deemed noteworthy. The criteria to be weighed when selecting the award recipients could include any/all of the following:

  • Cumulative option/major academic work (major GPA).
  • Performance in several classes central to the option.

Civic Engagement Award

This award recognizes CMST students who took initiative in or contributed to creating interest and/or spreading awareness of issues related to civic engagement. The recipient should be nominated by faculty based on the following criterion from the board:

Excellence in promoting civic engagement on campus and/or the community.

CMST Undergraduate Student Award recipients receive a medallion to wear at graduation and a certificate with the Chair, Dean, and President’s signature and are awarded in the classroom among their peers.

Kristina Sanville
Sierra Marshall
  • Outstanding Communication Studies Undergraduate Student

Sierra Marshall is an engaged student, a dedicated leader and the recipient of our 21/22 Outstanding CMST Student award. Faculty praised her writing across multiple classes. Her writing is characterized by beautiful prose, excellent evidence and appropriately deductive logic. Her presence in our classrooms elevated the whole group.

Joscelynn Aquino
Madison Crider & Stacy Pa Cha Vang
  • Outstanding Organizational Communication Undergraduates

Madison Crider and Stacy Vang shared the award for Outstanding Student in Organizational Communication. They are some of the highest performing students in the major. Stacy’s growth in and out of the classroom is a testament to hard work and talent. Faculty regularly noticed her creativity and passion--she didn't only complete homework assignments for a good grade, she treated them as an opportunity to prove and express herself. Stacy has a passion for marginalized groups and hopes to make them the focal point of her professional work. Madison showcased a keen understanding of theory and practice across many classes. She is also one of our highest performing students and received Summa Cum Laude designation from the campus. We are proud to call both Stacy and Madison CMST alums and the co-recipients of our 21/22 Outstanding Students in Organizational Communication.

Aundrea Mendoza
Ian Hilton
  • Outstanding Communication and Public Affairs Undergraduate

Ian Hilton is an outspoken and engaged student who produces excellent work. We are proud to award him with the Outstanding Student in Public Affairs award. Ian stands out, not only as a top performer, but as an extremely thoughtful and engaged student. We were particularly impressed by his passion for public affairs and political issues more generally. He brought an uncommon knowledge of history and government to the classroom and a quick understanding of how course concepts applied.

Liliana Garcia Ferreyra & Sarah Zucker
  • Communication Studies Civic Engagement & Leadership Award

CMST Graduate Student (MA) Awards

Outstanding CMST Graduate Student

  • GPA (Program)
  • Teaching performance/graduate assistant performance/other relevant university activities or involvement
  • Contributions to the department/university
  • Peer/faculty relationships

Outstanding Thesis/Project

  • Rigor of the project/thesis (e.g., extensiveness of method, developmental requirements)
  • Contribution to the discipline

Outstanding Teaching Associate

  • Teaching evaluations (documented)
  • Faculty evaluations
  • Other relevant supporting information re: teaching
  • Length of time teaching
  • Difficulty/types/variety of classes taught GPA

CMST Graduate Student Award recipients receive a medallion to wear at graduation and a certificate with the Chair, Dean, and President’s signature and are awarded in the classroom among their peers.

Alex Wilson
Alex Wilson
Outstanding Communication Studies Teaching Associate

Alex provided invaluable service to the department as a teaching assistant for both Public Speaking and the forensics team. In addition to working with students on the development of speeches, performances, and arguments, Alex made unique contributions with their technological skills. They developed a tournament hosting software from scratch, which they used to run and tabulate the Rookie Tournament for the time they were a part of the team. Mark Faaita, the Director of Forensics, commented: “in terms of technical support and assistance with finding information regarding policies and procedures, Alex was invaluable.” Alex is now an Informational Technology Consultant at Chico State.

Sheila Burke

Outstanding Communication Studies Graduate Student

Throughout her two years in the program, Sheila’s pursuit of knowledge was driven by the purpose of understanding organizations’ stakeholder engagement from a communicative perspective. Such a clear purpose drove her to not only have straight A performance, but also produce an impressive thesis project, earn a finalist place in the university’s Annual Student Research Competition, and present her competitively selected paper at the Annual Conference of the National Communication Association. Besides her own academic achievements, Sheila also genuinely cared about her peers and was always willing and eager to help in both the graduate seminars and with the Public Speaking course that the cohort taught as teaching assistants. Shelia is now an Internal Communication Strategist for KQED in the San Francisco Bay Area.