Diane Rehm, Trent Spiner and others will be recognized with Fitzwater Medallions

March 20, 2017

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A year-long celebration of the 15th anniversary of Franklin Pierce University’s Marlin Fitwatzer Center for Communication will culminate with the annual Fitzwater Center Honors ceremony on Thursday, April 27, bestowing Fitzwater Medallions upon select honorees at the College at Rindge campus.

The honorees are as follows:

Diane Rehm will be awarded the Fitzwater Medallion for Leadership in Public Communication;

Trent Spiner ‘07 will be awarded the Fitzwater Medallion for Leadership in Public Communication, by an Alumnus; and

Adam Theriault will be awarded the Fitzwater Medallion for Leadership in Public Communication for Contributions to the Public Discourse, by a K-12 Teacher; and

Alyssa Borelli ’15, MBA ’17 will be awarded the Fitzwater Medallion for contributions to the Public Discourse, by a Graduating Student

Diane Rehm is an award-winning former American Public Radio talk show host and bestselling author. A native Washingtonian, Rehm hosted The Diane Rehm Show on WAMU and NPR for nearly 40 years, which grew from a local program to one with international reach and a weekly on-air audience of more than 2.8 million. She now carries on in podcast form, reporting on issues that matter most to her: what’s going on in Washington, ideas that inform, and the latest on living well as we live longer.

In 2014, President Barack Obama presented Rehm with the National Humanities Medal. Newsweek magazine named The Diane Rehm Show one of the most interesting talk shows in the country. In 2010, Rehm won a Personal Peabody Award, considered among the most prestigious and selective prizes in electronic media, for her more than 30 years in public broadcasting. 

Rehm is the author of three best-selling autobiographical books: Finding My Voice (Knopf, 1999), in which she describes her childhood, marriage, career, and voice disorder; Toward Commitment: A Dialogue about Marriage (Knopf, 2002), a deeply personal book co-authored with her husband, John; and Life With Maxie (Gibbs Smith, 2010), a lighthearted story about her dog. Rehm also wrote a fourth book, On My Own, published by Knopf in 2015.

Trent Spiner is the Executive Editor of the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News, President of the New Hampshire Press Association and a 2007 graduate of Franklin Pierce who wrote his way up the ranks of The Pierce Arrow staff to serve as editor-in-chief his senior year. He also helped found the University’s PoliticsFitzU unit. Spiner was a correspondent for the Union Leader, reporter for the Concord Monitor, and assignment editor/web producer for WMUR-TV prior to his current role at the Union Leader. He is the first alumnus honoree in the Fitzwater Center’s history who was also presented with a Fitzwater Medallion as a graduating student. Editor & Publisher recently named Spiner one of "25 under 35" who are making a difference in "delivering information and the truth to their communities."

Adam Theriault is an English/Media Arts teacher at Souhegan High School who emerged as a leader in the Fitzwater Center's The Presidency and The Press summer and Inauguration programs this year. Over the past several years, Theriault has dedicated much of his time researching the implementation of varying digital mediums and training students to create multimedia stories. His work lead him to establish Souhegan's online digital magazine, "The Claw." He currently teaches classes in video production and online media.

Alyssa Borelli was integrally involved in the Fitzwater Center during her time as an undergraduate student at Franklin Pierce, working her way up the ranks of The Pierce Arrow’s editorial board, serving as a contributing reporter, features editor and then managing editor. She also co-founded a nine-person marketing team, Four Corners Marketing On-Campus. A member of Alpha Chi and Lambda Pi Eta, Borelli graduated with a BA, summa cum laude, in Mass Communication with concentrations in journalism and media studies and a minor in public relations, and a Women in Leadership certificate in May 2015. She is current enrolled in the Franklin Pierce College of Graduate and Professional Studies MBA in Leadership program, and serves as a graduate assistant to the University’s communications department. Borelli is set to graduate in May 2017.

“For 15 years, The Marlin Fitzwater Center for Communication has dedicated its resources to educating leaders of conscience in public communication, from the town hall to the nation’s Capitol,” said Dr. Kristen Nevious, Director of the Fitzwater Center. “The robust debate that is at the core of our nation’s democracy does not just happen. It requires commitment. The Medallions are presented annually to those who have demonstrated a commitment to an electorate fluent in the issues of their time, and who have dedicated their lives to serving our democracy at its very core,” she continued. 

The Fitzwater Center Honors celebration will begin with the Medallion Lecture in Spagnuolo Hall at 3:30 p.m., where Rehm will engage in a public conversation with a student, moderated by an alumnus.

The program will continue with the Scholars’ Reception at 5 p.m. in the Marulli Center inside Peterson Manor, hosting the honorees and their families, incoming Fitzwater Scholars and their families, as well as current Fitzwater Scholars and Fellows. Other VIP’s will also be in attendance.

The Fitzwater Honors Ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. in Spagnuolo Hall, which will be followed by an Alumni Reception in the Raven’s Nest Pub, celebrating the fifteen years of the Fitzwater Center’s contributions to the University.


                 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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