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Fitzwater Center Honors Awarded at Franklin Pierce University

May 8, 2013

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Dr. Kristen Nevious, Director of the Marlin Fitzwater Center for Communication at Franklin Pierce University, presided at the Fitzwater Center Honors awards ceremony on April 29. Awards were given to outstanding students who have made significant contributions to the public discourse, as well as to an outstanding alumnus who has consistently demonstrated through his contributions to the public discourse a commitment to the same ideals that drive the Fitzwater Center. The mission of the Center is to educate leaders of conscience in public communication and is based on an unwavering belief that robust debate and the informed participation that results are the hallmark of a healthy democracy.

Franklin Pierce University President James Birge presented the Fitzwater Center Medallion for Leadership in Public Communication by an alumnus to Randell Kennedy ’85, president of Academy Communications, a national media-consulting agency based in the Boston area and specializing in higher education. Kennedy is a 25-year veteran in the field of educational media relations and journalism. As a consultant, he has provided extensive media-relations, crisis communications and editorial services for more than 100 colleges, universities, law schools and educational foundations. In his acceptance remarks, Kennedy expressed “thanks and deep respect to Marlin Fitzwater, who through his dedication to good writing, a commitment to ethics and best practices in communication, has made Franklin Pierce University a leader in communication education, through the center that bears his name.”

The Fitzwater Center Medallion for contributions to the public discourse by a graduating senior was awarded to Samantha Deabay, the station manager for FPTV-25, secretary of the Student Government Association, and an active campus citizen. Fitzwater Scholars Medallions for academic excellence were awarded to Valerie Armstrong, Ahmos Diaz, and Morgan Miller. Fitzwater Scholars are named as incoming freshmen on the basis of high school achievement and community involvement; they spend their four years at Franklin Pierce University as part of the Center's mentoring program, and many emerge as student media leaders. Armstrong most recently served as managing editor of The Pierce Arrow, Diaz covered the 2012 Presidential Election cycle for PoliticsFitzU, and Miller served as editor-in-chief of The Pierce Arrow. 

Seven students were given Pierce Media Group Leadership Cords for graduating seniors in recognition of excellence in their work in various areas of campus public communication (TV station, radio station, sports network, social media, school newspaper, and local and national political coverage). This is the first year that Pierce Media Group Leadership Cords have been awarded; criteria include working a minimum of six semesters in any Pierce Media Group outlet with at least two of those semesters spent in a leadership role. Recipients of the Leadership Cords were Valerie Armstrong, Patrick Ballantyne, Zachary Bylaska-Davies, Jennifer Connors, Samantha Deabay, Morgan Miller, and Amelia Walters.




                 An education that matters.

Franklin Pierce University is a regionally accredited university grounded in the liberal arts, with a focus on personal attention and high-quality instruction. The University consists of the College at Rindge and the College of Graduate & Professional Studies with locations in Arizona and throughout New Hampshire. Degrees are offered through the doctoral level. The institutional mission embraces an education that matters: one that achieves academic success through the integration of liberal arts and professional programs. Our community of educators and learners creates an environment that fosters intellectual curiosity and encourages experiential and applied learning. A Franklin Pierce experience enables each student to discover and fulfill his or her own unique potential. We prepare students to become confident, knowledgeable individuals and leaders of conscience.

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