Here in Blooming-Normal, the Association for Women in Communications Student Chapter is associated with the national women’s organization. By promoting the advancement of women in all fields of communications, working with First Amendment rights and responsibilities of communicators, recognizing distinguished professional achievements, and promoting high professional standards throughout the communications field are all goals of the AWC.

Each year, The Association for Women in Communications awards Crystal Awards for local women leaders. The Crystal Awards honor the work of McLean county women whose professional and personal efforts embody the ideal of communication. Not only does this highlight the creative talent in Bloomington-Normal, but it is a way of bringing together people, goals, and the community.

This year, there are three Crystal Awards Categories. The first one being Outstanding Women in Communications Award, Innovation Award, and the Crystal Award.

The Outstanding Women in Communications Award exemplifies excellence in the field of communications. The Innovation Award honors a woman who has achieved excellence in communicating a project, mission, or event. Finally, The Crystal Award recognizes the AWC chapter member of the year whose dedication enriched the chapter.

Tiffani Jackson, an ISU senior and journalism major, won the Communication Innovator Award. Jackson founded and manages the first Black and minority student news outlet, the “Onyx Connect,” at ISU.

Tiffani Jackson

Millie Dean, a sophomore public relations and graphic design major at ISU, and Loreta Nigro, a senior organizational and leadership communication major, each received a $500 scholarship.

Last but not least, Rachel Kobus, alumna of COM and associate director for alumni engagement at ISU, won the Crystal Award. Kobus, who earned her bachelor’s degree (public relations) and her master’s degree through the School, currently serves as the AWC chapter president and has previously acted as secretary, vice president of programming, vice president of communications, president-elect, and chair of Crystal Awards 2020. At ISU, she manages all promotions, print projects, website content, email development and social media for alumni events, alumni services, and homecoming. She also is alumni editor for “Illinois State,” the university magazine.

Rachel Kobus

“It is an honor to be nominated and in the company of such amazing women who work locally in a variety of communications professions. I have seen my peers at ISU and other women get nominated and win Crystal Awards in the past and all are very honored and humbled to be recognized with these awards,” Second-year Graduate School student and 2021 Innovation Award nominee, Lyndsie Schlink says.

To be nominated for one of the Crystal Award categories, members of the local AWC nominate members based upon achievements and milestones in the professional careers as communications professionals.

This chapter is open to all Illinois State University students, with no gender or major restrictions. The group works together to bring our members professional opportunities and networking skills that prepare students for success in the future.