Communication Arts Students Receive Awards

Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts recognized outstanding students in communication arts during OBU Theatre's Dorland Awards May 12, the 2009 Awards Convocation on May 13 in Raley Chapel and during other awards presentations.

Dr. Paul Hammond, dean of the College of Fine Arts, recognized outstanding seniors in fine arts during the awards convocation. Christi Mitchell, an electronic media production major from Blair, Okla., received the Outstanding Senior in Communication Arts award. The honor recognizes the most exemplary graduating senior majoring in communication studies, telecommunication or theatre arts. The student exhibits scholastic excellence, leadership, moral ideals, breadth of involvement and promise of success in the field of communications. Mitchell graduated with the designation magna cum laude.

OBU Theatre recognized its major players during the annual Dorland Awards, named for Dr. Rhetta May Dorland, a drama and theatre professor who was one of the major contributors to the creation of the University theatre department. Awards for top actors are voted on by the Dorland Committee, comprised of five members from both on and off campus.

Colin James Vardy Smart, a senior from San Antonio, Texas, was named Best Actor for his role as Dancing Bear in OBU Theatre's production of "The Arkansas Bear." Katherine Wortley, a sophomore from Fort Smith, Ark., was named Best Actress for her role as Sister Betsy in "As It Is In Heaven." Elliott Freeman, a junior from Paola, Kan., was named Best Supporting Actor for his role as Star Bright in "The Arkansaw Bear." Kendra Watkins, a junior from Meeker, Okla., was named Best Supporting Actress for her role as Mrs. Drudge in "The Real Inspector Hound."

OBU Theatre faculty members selected Taunia Logan as Technician of the Year. Logan is a senior from Perryton, Texas. College Players, a campus-wide social organization open to theatre and non-theatre majors, also honored Logan for Best Student Design for her set design in "The Arkansaw Bear." College Players selected Katie Tyner, a junior from Oklahoma City, as Best New Talent.

Communication arts faculty also presented year-end awards in applied communications, electronic media and journalism. Rachel Piontak, a senior applied communications major from Catoosa, Okla., was named the Applied Communications Outstanding Senior. Piontak graduated with honors in applied communications with the scholastic predicate magna cum laude.

In electronic media studies, Jonathan Studstill, a junior from Arlington, Texas, was named Newcomer of the Year. The award honors the "rookie" student who immediately accepts professional challenges and asserts leadership which serves as a role model for peers. Justin Mitchell, a senior from Lexington, Okla., was named Broadcast News Student of the Year. The award honors the student who demonstrates outstanding promise as a professional broadcast journalist, especially through the University Newscast. Megan Hungerford, a senior from Stillwater, Okla., was named Sports Broadcasting Student of the Year. The award honors the student who contributes significantly in producing sports programming, especially through student productions.

Jeremy Stephenson, a telecommunication major from Moore, Okla., received electronic media's Outstanding Senior award, which honors the senior who has done the most to further the ideals of excellence associated with the profession, the department and the University. Tylor McGee, a junior from Forney, Texas, was named Television Production Student of the Year. The award honors the student who demonstrates outstanding abilities in videography, sound and editing which serves as evidence for future success in the profession. Matthew Richie, a senior from Fort Gibson, Okla., received the Telecommunications Spirit Award, which honors the student who best exemplifies the attitude of helpfulness, enthusiasm and professionalism towards other telecommunication students and faculty.

Holly Easttom, assistant professor of journalism, recognized the following students with year-end awards: Andrew Adams, a junior from Salt Lake City, Utah, for outstanding leadership; Demetrius Hicks, a junior from Lawton, Okla., for community involvement; Da-Nell Rogers, a junior from Casa Grande, Ariz., for journalistic academic achievement; Phillip Suarez, a senior from Kansas City, Mo., for outstanding business contribution for the Bison student newspaper; Polly Morris, a senior from Ponca City, Okla., for outstanding business contribution for the Yahnseh student yearbook; William Korver, a senior from Broken Arrow, Okla., for investigative journalism; David Goff, a sophomore from Tulsa, Okla., for outstanding sports reporting; Natalie Syahareth, a junior from Bedford, Texas, for most journalistic potential; and Karissa Manning, a junior from Southwest City, Mo., for distinction in undercover journalism.

Graduating seniors participated in Spring Commencement Saturday, May 23, in Raley Chapel's Potter Auditorium. Students graduate with the scholastic predicate summa cum laude for maintaining at least a 3.95 grade point average. Students who maintain at least at 3.70 GPA are designated magna cum laude. Students who maintain at least a 3.40 GPA are designated cum laude.

The Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts provides opportunities for all students to experience the fine arts as an integral part of a liberal arts education. The curricula of the college offer strong professional programs in art, drama, music, communication and theatre. The college's diverse courses and print and electronic media performance opportunities enable students to acquire a comprehensive background of artistic experiences.