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2024 SOC Awards Recognizes Achievements, Partnerships

  • The 2024 Emerson College School of Communication Awards program took place on April 29 at the Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theatre inside Paramount Center.
  • STUDENT SCHOLARS & CREATORS SHOWCASE; Carter Castaneda ’26 shows off her Access to Early Intervention poster.
  • STUDENT SCHOLARS & CREATORS SHOWCASE; Journalism student, Averie Morren ’26, showcases her travel blog, Averie's Asking, next to Ellie Rowles ’27.
  • INNOVATION AWARD; Dean Brent Smith, BCE senior Stefani Davila ’24, and Marketing Communication Chair/Professor Nejem Raheem.
  • STUDENT ATHLETE OF THE YEAR; Assistant SOC Dean Lisa Wisman Weil, Journalism student, Claire Overton ’24, and Journalism Professor Angela Anderson-Connelly.
  • SPIRIT OF BCE; BCE Director Brenna McCormick, BCE student Sabrina Samuelson ’25, and Dean Brent Smith.
  • SPIRIT OF EMERSON; Dean Brent Smith, BCE senior Stefani Davila ’24, and Career Development Center's Drew Genova.
  • SOC AWARDS program attendees Eric Hogue, Triona Murray, Selah Casey, and Skylar Unger.
  • UNDERGRADUATE ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE; Recipient Georgia Winn ’26 and Phillip Glenn, Professor in Communication Studies department.
  • GRADUATE ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE; Assistant SOC Dean Lisa Wisman Weil, CSD student graduate student Kyra Bodey MA ’24, and CSD Professor Lindsay Griffin.
  • UNDERGRADUATE MOST VALUABLE PEER; Dean Brent Smith, Journalism student Nicholette Bentz ’24, and Tim Riley, Associate Professor of Journalism.
  • LEADERSHIP; Dean Brent Smith and Caroline Larangeira ’25.
  • STUDENT SCHOLARS & CREATORS SHOWCASE; Assistant Dean Lisa Wisman Weil, Oliver Katz Oliver Katz ’26, Carter Castaneda ’26, Briana Primavera ’26, Megan Marr-O’Neil ’25, and Callie Krosin ’24.
  • GRADUATE ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE; Kyra Bodey MA ’24, with her husband Eli Bodey, and Assistant Dean Lisa Wisman Weil.
  • STUDENT SCHOLARS & CREATORS SHOWCASE; Assistant Dean Lisa Wisman Weil poses with Megan Marr O’Neil and her family.
  • Marketing Communications Professor Nejem Raheem poses with students.
  • STUDENT SCHOLARS & CREATORS SHOWCASE; Academic Excellence Award nominee Emma Brady ’25 and Student Scholars & Creators Showcase presenter, Lauren Pruner ’25, with their parents.

Photography by Sami Ahmad ’20

The annual SOC Awards Program, held during the final week of the semester, continued the School of Communication’s tradition of recognizing student contributions and achievement.  This year, faculty from across the SOC nominated 40 individuals for their efforts among nine award categories.

This year’s program was accompanied by a new component — the Student Scholars and Creators Showcase.  Produced under guidance from Assistant Dean Lisa Wisman Weil, the showcase highlighted the work of nine students, who discussed their questions, findings, and creations with guests during the award program reception.

During his opening remarks, Dean Brent Smith reminded the audience that while the event recognizes individual contributions, much of their success is rooted in shared values and respect. 

“Some of you may have heard me say before, I am because we are. So in the moment we find ourselves right now, I encourage us all to think about what that might mean for us,” said the Dean. “I am because we are. You are because we are. They are because we are. May  we be mindful of that as we express, as we hear, see, listen and receive one another in this community, now and going forward.

2024 SOC Student Award Recipients


Caroline Larangeira ’25

Political Communication (Pre-Law minor)

Headshot of Nicole Townsend ’25.

“To call Caroline simply the stage manager significantly underreports her contribution to this year’s Southwick Recital. From scheduling and coordinating rehearsals, to the development of web and hard-copy promotional materials, from overseeing costumes and props to consulting on the content and flow of the script…Caroline did it all. She was an integral part of the Southwick’s success this past semester and was equally involved in the staging of the Southwick for the spring encore. The critical thing that separates Caroline from the pack, however, is her willingness to simply roll up her sleeves, dive in, and get to work. She is a thoughtful, dynamic collaborator and has taken on a true leadership role with other students when it comes to organizing and executing the recital. She is, frankly, as responsible for the event’s success as anyone. Given the importance of this event on the School of Communication’s calendar of events, Caroline’s involvement with and support of the Southwick Recital necessitates her recognition with this prestigious award.” 

Kenneth Grout, Executive-in-Residence, Communication Studies and The Southwick Recital

Additional nominees for Leadership 

  • Cari Hurley ’24, Journalism
  • Bailey Jenness ’24, Communication Sciences & Disorders  
  • Callie Krosin ’25, Journalism
  • Kimberly O’Donnell ’24, Business of Creative Enterprises
  • Lauren Pruner ‘25, Business of Creative Enterprises    
  • Luke Roehm ’24, Marketing Communication
  • Monica Rivera Sosa ’25, Political Communication

Nicole Townsend ’25

Journalism (Pre-Law / African American and Africana Studies minor)

Headshot of Nicole Townsend ’25.

“Where to start? Nicole Townsend is a junior in the Journalism Department. She has recently been accepted to the Emerson D.C. Program to pursue her interests in civic and community engagement and to continue her study of law and politics aligned with her minor. She has published news stories in the Bay State Banner and her co-curricular activities all demonstrate her engagement beyond academics, as the music director of Emerson’s first and only a capella group comprised of people of color, vice president of Flawless Brown, an organization dedicated to uplifting self-identifying women and nonbinary people of color, and chair of Flawless Sisterhood. Nicole is also the communication outreach coordinator for Emerson’s chapter of the National Association for Black Journalists.”  

Lu Ann Reeb, Interim Chair, Journalism, and Senior Executive-in-Residence

Additional nominees for Civic And Community Engagement 

  • Callie Krosin ’25, Journalism
  • Colette Lauture ’25, Journalism
  • Sabrina Porter ’24, Communication Sciences & Disorders   

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Stefani Davila ’24

Business of Creative Enterprises

Headshot of Stefani Davila ’24.

“Stefani’s amazing work in Ecuador with the nonprofit she started is just extraordinary. I have worked in Ecuador and have family there, so Stefani and I really got along when we first met. But then when I learned more about her organization, Meraki Youth, and what they do in Ecuador, I was just blown away. Stefani starts her master’s in education at Harvard in the fall, and I know she will continue to make us look good around the world.” 

Nejem Raheem, Professor and Chair, Marketing Communication

Anna Arriaga ’24

Business of Creative Enterprises

Anna Arriaga ’24 sits on a city stoop, eating.

“Annie has not only excelled academically, but also made significant impacts outside the classroom.

Her creation of the YUMMY Run Club in Boston stands as a prime example of innovation. This club, catering to over 300 members, deviates from traditional running groups by focusing on enjoyment and community, effectively filling a void for those seeking fun and fitness. Through strategic partnerships with notable brands and local businesses, Annie has transformed the YUMMY Run Club into a thriving community.

Annie’s contributions extend into her written work, with numerous articles for top publications like Boston Magazine and the Boston Globe, where she explores the intricate relationship between food and culture. Her ability to intertwine her passions with her academic and professional endeavors is further exemplified by her acceptance into New York University’s Food Studies master’s program, showcasing her ongoing dedication and passion for food.

Annie’s achievements reflect her unwavering commitment to creativity, leadership, and community engagement, making her an outstanding candidate for the Innovation Award.”  

Alan Geiss, Community Coordinator, Business of Creative Enterprises

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Georgia Winn ’26

Political Communication (Political Science minor)

Headshot of Georgia Winn ’26.

“Georgia was the top student in my Fall 2022 section of CC 266 Conflict and Negotiation. She was always prepared, making thoughtful contributions to class discussions. She demonstrated exceptional mastery of course concepts, excellent communication skills and peer interactions. 

This academic year, Georgia has been working with me as a research assistant through the SOC 320 Research Co-Curricular. Her project involves data preparation, creating detailed transcripts and digitized audio clips for excerpts from real-life conversations. Georgia’s work is of the highest quality. In addition to accomplishing what is asked of her, she identifies and implements improvements to the data preparation process. In weekly meetings, she reports her observations on the data she has transcribed and we have engaged in lively discussions about communication and conflict. 

Georgia exhibits an openness to and excitement about learning that infuses everything she does. This is a student who talks about selecting the most challenging professors and subjects, in fields such as philosophy and political science. A Political Comm major, she follows domestic and international relations closely and offers thoughtful insights regarding the latest developments. While holding deep convictions, she still speaks about diverse persons and views with respect and understanding. She avails herself of extra and co-curricular learning activities. A true Emersonian, she is a School of Comm student with classical music voice training and dance training who participates in School of Arts performances.” 

Phillip Glenn, Professor, Communication Studies

Additional nominees for Undergraduate Academic Excellence 

  • Bettina Runes ’24, Marketing Communication
  • Nicholette Bentz ’24, Journalism
  • Emma Brady ’25, Business of Creative Enterprises
  • Maya Freeman ’24, Visual Marketing and Design  
  • Anya Miller ’24, Marketing Communication
  • Megan Marr-O’Neil ’25, Communication Sciences & Disorders 
  • Anahita Sethi ’25, Marketing Communication
  • Yunhan Qiu, Journalism 
  • David Yu ’25, Marketing Communication
  • Shenghua Zhang ’24, Journalism 

Kyra Bodey, MA ’24

Communication Sciences and Disorders 

Headshot of Kyra Bodey MA ’24

“Kyra has been a stellar student from her first day at Emerson, with an unparalleled passion for erudition and active learning. In the classroom, her verbal and written communication demonstrate an advanced understanding of the complexities of speech-language pathology at a rate that supersedes her peers. She easily synthesizes information and expands upon her learning with critical thinking and application. Her insightful comments add to the classroom discussion in a helpful way. She welcomes feedback and excels at incorporating it into her writing and thought processes. She has excellent rapport with classmates and faculty, and goes above and beyond in her learning and contributions to the class. 

She is a lifelong learner, earning two bachelor’s degrees before enrolling at Emerson. Since beginning our master’s program in CSD, Kyra has sought out several continuing education opportunities. She has completed courses such as the MBSImP Graduate Student Course and a FEES didactic training intersession, to build upon her skills of assessing patients with swallowing disorders. She completed the SPEAK OUT! training for graduate students which will aid in her treatment of individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Finally, Kyra has been independently teaching herself Spanish since August 2022 in preparation for entering a diverse job market.

Kyra’s commitment to learning and knowledge embody and represent the values of Emerson College, the School of Communication, and the Communication Sciences and Disorders department. We recommend Kyra for the Academic Excellence award without reservation.”

Lindsay Griffin, Assistant Professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders

Additional nominees for Graduate Academic Excellence

  • Emily Dalmas MA’23, Business of Creative Enterprises
  • Alanah Gorczynski MA’24, Communication Sciences & Disorders
  • Nicholas Mestas MA’23, Business of Creative Enterprises
  • Samantha Secrist MA’24, Marketing Communication

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Nicholette Bentz ’24

Journalism (Psychology minor)

Headshot of Nicholette Bentz ’24

“Nicholette Bentz led our JUMP program for the past two years, pairing younger class students with upperclass mentors for their Journalism major. This involved contacting a new group of students over the summer, and linking overlapping interests and eagerness to learn how to navigate the Journalism major. Her leadership and enthusiasm for younger reporters created a lively atmosphere for connecting.” 

Tim Riley, Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director

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Additional nominees for MOST VALUABLE PEER (UG) AWARD

  • Olivia Deslauriers ’24, Communication Sciences & Disorders
  • Josh Fergang ’24, Marketing Communication
  • Charlotte Penn ’24, Marketing Communication
  • Trang Phan ’24, Marketing Communication
  • Olivienne Redding ’24, Marketing Communication

Juwairiah Syed-Razzaq ’25

Communication Sciences and Disorders 

Juwairiah Syed-Razzaq ’25

“Juwairiah is an amazingly caring student who exceeds expectations when it comes to supporting her peers. Both in person and online, Juwairiah models professionalism, respect for all, and a genuine interest in helping people.

As a peer tutor, Juwairiah has demonstrated her ability to support her peers across modalities and levels of education.. Juwairiah is known for being kind, organized and efficient within her sessions. She goes above and beyond to prepare herself and materials to go over various topics within the field.

Juwairiah has taken initiative to serve as an ambassador of the Speech@Emerson program. For example, last fall Juwairiah jumped at the opportunity to serve on a student panel for a Picture Yourself @ Emerson event and speak about her experience in our community. As a woman who sees herself at the intersection between her minority faith and her own neurodivergence, she highlighted Emerson’s mission and values and how she has been supported during grad school. 

Juwairiah is the embodiment of a dedicated, supportive, and caring student who strives to do the best for others while maintaining excellence within her own courses.”

Maggie Critchlow, SLPD, CCC-SLP, Assistant Director, Program & Student Support; Amanda Warren, MS, CCC-SLP, Associate Director, Program & Student Support; Emma O’Connor, Student Success Advisor; Kaylee Basel, Academic Success Program Coordinator; Nydia Bou, CSD Department Chair

Sergio Nogueira,  MA ’23

Sports Communication 

Headshot of graduate student Sergio Nogueira

“Sergio became an invaluable WEBN member during his time on campus. He was always ready to help other students in the studio with their production efforts or understand sports in general. He was always ready to step in and help the WEBN sports team during their tapings, and offered invaluable advice to younger students.

As a mentor, you could not ask for a better person; as a community member, the same could be true. I never heard a cross word or a complaint from Sergio that positive energy was infectious. Sergio also went out of his way to help students outside of Emerson, connecting production students with opportunities at Harvard Athletics and elsewhere. When an opportunity came up, Sergio’s first thought was, “Who can benefit and learn from this opportunity?” It was never about himself.

During the Global Summit in Barcelona, I saw further evidence of Sergio’s peer leadership. He was so supportive of other students who were presenting at the conference. He attended their presentations and asked questions to begin the conversation. I could see how other students relaxed more before presenting because they knew Sergio had their back and was there to support him.  Sergio exemplifies what it means to be a good peer at Emerson college, and beyond.”

Angela Anderson Connolly ’90, Journalist-in-Residence

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STUDENT ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

Claire Overton ’24

Journalism (Sports Communication minor)

Headshot of Claire Overton ’24

“Claire has taken her leadership skills from softball to the studios of WEBN. She has balanced a busy sports schedule while serving as a News Director for WEBN. I have seen her with teammates who have become part of the organization because of her leadership style. She is a true teammate on and off the field and has helped journalism and sports communication students develop their skills to the next level. She has a positive outlook and attitude.” 

Angela Anderson Connolly ’90, Journalist-in-Residence

Additional nominees for Student Athlete Of The Year 

  • Brendan McNamara ’26, Business of Creative Enterprises / Basketball

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SOC PARTNER OF THE YEAR

Myles Keogh ’25

Media Arts Production (Religion minor)

“Myles is a [Visual and Media Arts] major at Emerson College and is a vital partner to the School of Communication. Myles served this year as Assistant Director of the Southwick Recital. To say that Myles “saved the show” is not an exaggeration. The person who took over the technical duties was brand new to the recital and was overwhelmed with what they had to do. Myles literally sat with the person in the tech booth during the entire run of the recital, telling them what to do and when to do it. Myles was involved with every rehearsal and gave keen insights to both the script and the staging. Myles delivered “The Cask of Amontillado” at Fort Independence in South Boston so that we could record the reading of the story in the location that inspired it. Further, please keep in mind that Myles did this purely in support of the tradition of oral presentation at Emerson; he is a VMA major who was not reimbursed financially or with credits or even student participation credit. He did all that he did purely for the love of it. If that doesn’t merit recognition at the highest level we can, I don’t know what does.”


Ken Grout, Professor, Communication Studies and The Southwick Recital

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Megan Marr-O’Neil ’25, Communication Sciences & Disorders:  Student Perspectives on Social Cohesion at Emerson: A Photovoice Study

Averie Morren ’26, Communication Studies: Averie’s Asking

Briana Primavera ’26, Health & Social Change / Communication Disorders: Accents and Trust: Exploring Patient Perceptions of Healthcare Providers

Clara Faulkner ’25, Journalism / Business of Creative Enterprises: Entertainment through Emerson

Priscilla Beltran ’24, Political Communication: Presidential Candidate Likability Affecting Registered Hispanic Voting Patterns

Carter Castaneda  ’26, Communication Disorders, and Oliver Katz  ’26, Political Communication: A Look at Access to Early Intervention for Children with Developmental Language Disabilities

Molly Dougherty ’24, Journalism/Political Communication; Callie Krosin ’24, Journalism; Sofia Mendes ’24, Political Communication: WEBN Political Pulse presents “Road to the White House”

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