As 2020 is coming to its close (yeehaa!), we in the School of Communication (COM) is excited to share great news about several COM Redbirds who have earned awards recognizing their excellence in their work.

Dr. Steven Hunt, executive director of the School, was named University Professor by Provost Dr. Aondover Tarhule. As the award summary states, this distinction “honor[s] individual faculty members or administrators with appropriate faculty designation to demonstrate to the University and broader community that excellence is the foundation of Illinois State University and to assist in the recruitment and retention of outstanding faculty members.”

Dr. Steve Hunt, professor and executive director of the School of Communication.Dr. Steve Hunt, executive director of the School of Communication

Julie Navickas, assistant director of advising for the School, won the Herb Sanders Award for Outstanding Academic Advising. This important award “recognizes advisors who demonstrate a caring attitude for undergraduate students, who are assertive in their contacts with students and who support campus wide academic advisement.”

Photo of Julie NavickasJulie Navickas, assistant director of advising for the School of Communication

Two of the school’s graduate students earnred awards for their excellence in teaching. Josh Fitzgerald, a doctoral student, and Anjali Patel, a master’s student, were selected as winners of the Outstanding University Graduate Student Teaching Awards for their excellence in having sole responsibility for instruction in a course. From nominees from across the University, Josh is the recipient of the “Level 1-Doctoral” award and Anjali won the “Level 1-Master’s” award.

Photo of featured personJosh Fitzgerald, doctoral student and postgraduate student teaching assistant

Photo of featured personAnjali Patel, master’s student and graduate teaching assistant

Several COM Redbirds received a Redbirds RISE to the COVID Challenge award from Provost Dr. Aondover Tarhule. Those in COM who received this recognition for their exceptional helpfulness to students in their classes are Dr. Joseph Zompetti, Professor in the School, and graduate teaching assistants, Brian James and Kaitlyn Sullivan. The award’s name, RISE, refers to the attributes of Resilience/Resourcefulness, Innovation, Service, and Empathy in the performance of their job functions and, in doing so, positively impacted the Division of Academic Affairs. The award was created this year as a way to recognize ISU people who were exceptional models of support for others in the Redbird community. Anyone in ISU could nominate colleagues, faculty, advisors, staff, or graduate assistants who demonstrated one or more of the RISE attributes.

Dr. Joseph Zompetti, professor in the School of Communication

Brian JamesBrian James, graduate teaching assistant in the School of Communication

Kaitlyn SullivanKaitlin Sullivan, , graduate teaching assistant in the School of Communication

Congratulations to all these COM Redbirds! You make us so proud!