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
Haylei Dykes
  • Outstanding Communication Studies Undergraduate Student 22-23

Haylei Dykes has been an outstanding student her entire academic career and has achieved not only academic excellence, but she is an excellent representative for the Communication Studies program.  In her last year of college, Haylei joined the Chico State Speech and Debate Team and enhanced her achievements with success at tournaments and a trip with the team to Japan in Spring 2023, while maintaining all her work and personal priorities. Her talents were in full display in the Health Communication final Portfolio project, where she was able to synthesize her learning and research from the entire semester, hone her skills in creativity, self-direction, and develop professional interests into potential career path options.  Haylei is outstanding in her achievements not only due to excellence in academic work, but she consistently shows encouragement and support for others, in and outside of class.

Joscelynn Aquino
Emma Pera
  • Outstanding Communication Studies Undergraduate Student 22-23

Emma was nominated for this award by multiple faculty members who described with superlatives like “outspoken, supportive, thoughtful, and patient.” She is one of the most accomplished students in our program with an extremely strong academic record, a leadership imprint off campus, involvement in Greek life, all while working as well. In her classroom work she takes the road less traveled often tackling difficult and complex topics because that is who she is: curious, diligent, and brilliant.

Aundrea Mendoza
Marisa Miller
  • Outstanding Communication and Public Affairs Undergraduate 22-23

Rysa has been recognized by several faculty members for her outstanding contributions in the classroom and to the community. Rysa is currently a Student Fellow for the the California Volunteers through the Office of the Governor and this continues a pattern of service in her life that has seen her balance work, school, and service to the community. Rysa is the kind of student you wish there were more of in your class and in the world.

Salvador Torres
  • Outstanding Communication and Public Affairs Undergraduate 22-23

Salvador Torres has one of the highest GPAs in his class. In the classroom, he thoughtful, smart, and engaged. He is a skillful and insightful writer. Salvador is soft spoken, listening, and earnest, and when he does speak in class, he does so in a way that elevates the class discussion. He is also an excellent classroom citizen. In particular, he seems to show an interest in students that might be struggling. He will partner up with these students for class presentations, sit next to them in class, and help get them onboard. As someone who is genuinely intellectually curious, he seems more concerned with learning and helping others than in getting an "A," though it should be noted that he gets plenty of those as well.

Anna Barton
  • Outstanding Organizational Communication Undergraduate 22-23

Anna Barton represents academic excellence in the option of Organizational Communication. She has been on the Dean’s list for all four years and maintained a 4.0 GPA seven out of the eight semesters. She is awarded Magna Cum Laude, an honor awarded to the Top 3% of graduating seniors in the College of Communication and Education. Anna’s goal is to use her expertise in oral and written communication in a career where she can encourage, support, listen to, and help people.  In a practice interview in the career skills course, when being asked about an accomplishment that she is most proud of, Anna answered with “graduating from Chico State.”  We are also very proud of having Anna graduating from the communication studies program, as an org comm student. "

Nick Stamper

Communication Studies Civic Engagement & Leadership Award 22-23

The faculty of Communication Studies celebrates Nick Stamper for not only his excellence as a student and classmate, but most centrally for his work outside of the classroom. During his senior year, Nick served as an intern at Chicostart, a business startup incubator and resource center for Chico entrepreneurs. Furthermore, Nick was very active in the CMST student clubs during his time as a Communication Studies major. In 2022-23, he was inducted into Lambda Pi Eta, the national Communication honors club, and additionally served in a leadership role for the CMST Student Club "SOCS" (Students of Communication Studies). For SOCS in particular, Nick was incredibly generous with his time, routinely volunteering to meet and greet prospective students and thus providing an invaluable role as a student ambassador for Communication Studies.

Jayme Willis

Communication Studies Civic Engagement & Leadership Award 22-23

Jayme Willis has an energy that fills every room she steps in, and she uses that energy to promote campus events, encourage her peers and inspire those around her. Jayme has been recognized by the communication studies faculty for Outstanding Civic Engagement and Leadership. Jayme has served as a KCSC Radio Communication Design Intern, New Students Program Summer Orientation Leader, is a member of Hillel, and is currently working in Social Media Digital Strategy/Content Creating for Chico State. Jayme has been an active member of the Chico State Speech and Debate team for two years and is also a member of the Pi Kappa Delta Speech and Debate Honors Society. This season, Jayme qualified her informative speech for the National Forensics Association Championship Tournament and represented Chico State in Japan at the International Forensics Association Championship Tournament. Jayme has, and will continue, to be emblematic of what it means to be an outstanding ambassador for Chico State.

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.

Travis Souders
  • Outstanding Communication Studies Graduate Student 22-23

Travis’ straight "A" academic performance was driven by his insatiable intellectual curiosity, excellent writing and invitational participation style alongside his cohort. Each semester he brought his "A game" to the classroom, raising the bar for himself and his classmates, enriching discussion and usually pushing himself farther than the content planned for his classes. Faculty members who worked with him enjoyed rich theoretical and methodological discussions with Travis and he continued these discussions beyond the academy into other aspects of his life and community as well.  

  • Outstanding Communication Studies Thesis Award 22-23

Travis' thesis examines partner experiences and communication during miscarriage (pregnancy loss). Grounded in in-depth interviews with the partners of formerly pregnant patients who have miscarried, the work was theoretically compelling, extremely well written and addresses a subject that is taboo and under addressed in the health communication field. Travis was awarded for his work at the campus research competition and was selected to represent Chico State at the statewide research competition. Travis plans to continue this important work through the publishing process and sharing his findings within health care circles. 

Kristina Sanville
  • Outstanding Communication Studies Teaching Associate 22-23

Kris served as a teaching associate for CMST131 and a coach for the speech and debate team, and was excellent in both roles. Kris came to the program as an undergraduate transfer student, with a clear goal of teaching for CMST from the beginning. Her faculty mentors were very impressed by her investment in and contribution to the program, and commented that she "lives and breathes through the identity of an instructor and coach of the department." The debate team was able to qualify seven people for the national tournament, for the first time in 10 years, which would not have been possible without Kris.