Elliott School banquet honors outstanding students, alumni
Wichita State University’s Elliott School of Communication (ESC) put a little “snazzy” on its resume Monday, April 28, when it hosted its first annual Scholarship and Awards Banquet for an overflow crowd of nearly 200 attendees.
The event was a who’s who gathering of communication professionals and students, featuring national sports broadcaster Gary Bender as emcee and special awards for Molly McMillin, senior aviation and aerospace reporter for The Wichita Eagle, and Chase Willhite, senior communication officer at the Kansas Health Foundation, all of whom are ESC alumni.
The event marked a banner year for the Elliott School, which celebrated its first year under the leadership of Director Matt Cecil and the successes of students whose studies include a strong focus on real-world experience. The school awarded more than $30,000 in communication scholarships to 37 students and honored Merit Award winners, who submitted work in 19 communication categories.
The Elliott School also honored eight of its newest graduates with “Outstanding Senior” awards, including:
- Aaron Lair, an electronic media major whose work on the Flint Hills Media Project won awards from the Kansas Association of Broadcasters
- Jen Bookhout, a journalism major employed as a reporter for the Cheney-based Times-Sentinel Newspapers group
- Trace Hughes, an integrated marketing communications major and staff sergeant in the Air National Guard who accepted a copywriting position at Brothers & Co. in Tulsa, Okla.
- Ashley Petty, a strategic communication major who will attend seminary next year
- Hollie Weatherburn, who studied journalism and strategic communication
- Allison Gettings, an integrated marketing communications major honored as the “Overall Outstanding Graduate”
- David Pan, who was honored as the “Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant”
- Adrian Fox, a graduate student honored for “Best Master’s Thesis”
The event was organized by Cecil and ESC faculty members Eric Wilson and Sandy Sipes.
“We wanted to create a way to bring everyone together; foster a sense of community and properly celebrate our successes,” said Cecil. “The banquet was the perfect solution. The Elliott School is a special place with amazing students, accomplished alums and generous friends and supporters around Wichita and throughout Kansas."