Awards, Honors and News Blog
The Mass Communications department at Piedmont College is full of bright and talented students.
This blog is intended to showcase some of the awards and honors that our students
recieve for all their hardwork as well as some news from the department.

Mass Comm Experience Day
November 13, 2012


The Mass Communications department and Piedmont Admissions held Mass Comm Experience Day on November 13.

Over 80 high school students attended the event. High school students had the chance to experience each part of the department through in-depth sessions with professors and members of the Student Leadership Council. Students built their own website, participated in a debate, produced a television newscast, voiced a radio script and developed news story ideas.

The students were also led on a tour of the campus and mass communications department. At the event’s conclusion, a video slideshow of the day was shown. Over 80 students participated in the event. High schools attending included: Toccoa Falls School, Grayson High School, Lumpkin County High School and White County High School.

Debate Team Excels at Berry
November 1, 2012

The debate and forensics team competed in Berry College’s tournament Autumn in the Mountains XXI this past weekend, October 26-27, 2012.

In debate, Sam Thomas and Bethany Murley entered varsity division for the first time, winning two of four preliminary rounds. They did not advance to elimination rounds. Brandon Callahan and Sarah Smagur, also known as team Honey Badger, won three of four preliminary rounds and advanced to the finals round, bringing home second place in novice division.

Ethan McGowan and Rusty Crumley, known to the team as the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, won two out of four rounds in novice division but did not advance to elimination rounds. Overall, Piedmont took home the third place debate sweepstakes trophy.

In forensics, Kathryn Knarr and Sarah Smagur performed in interpretive duo, a speech event involving a pair of performers acting out a short literary piece or program under certain restraints, including not making eye contact with and touching your partner, and no props. Kathryn also entered in the poetry event, presenting and interpreting a selection of poetry, and impromptu speaking, for which competitors are given a prompt, limited preparation time, and a few minutes to speak.

Kathryn’s impromptu speaking brought praise from the judges, one of which said that Kathryn’s speech was “clearly number one.” She placed eighth in her division. In all, the tournament was a success and the team will be at home preparing for tournaments next semester and planning the Mayflower Classic tournament, which will be at Piedmont College in April.

Debate Team Sweeps Division with Three First Place Awards
October 7, 2012

The debate team sent four teams to compete in the Fall Forensics Fiesta tournament hosted jointly by Western Kentucky University and Miami University in Bowling Green, Kentucky on the weekend of October 28-29, 2012.

Sam Thomas and Bethany Murley broke to finals in first place after winning four out of five rounds.

Sarah Smagur and Brandon Callahan ("Team Honey Badger") broke to semi-finals after winning four out of five rounds. Their loss was later overturned on appeal, leaving them with an undefeated 5-0 record. However, because a bye was included as one of their wins, they broke to semi-finals against Miami University. On a 3-0 decision against Miami University, they advanced to the final round in second place.

Since the teams in the final round were both from Piedmont, the two teams shared first and second place.

Rusty Crumley and Ethan McGowan broke to semi-finals after winning four out of five rounds. With two of their wins being byes, they earned fourth place overall in the tournament. It was the first time either of them had attended a debate tournament, and this achievement is remarkable.

Eric Carl Davis and Frank Vetrano won two out of five rounds.

In speaker awards, Sarah Smagur was ranked in first place, Sam Thomas as third place, and Rusty Crumley as fourth place.

Sarah Smagur and Brandon Callahan also competed in Impromptu and Extemporaneous speaking, respectively.

Preparation for this tournament started at the beginning of the semester, when John Mikolajcik of Metropolitan Community College at Longview in Kansas City, Missouri came to Piedmont College to lead a debate mini-camp over Labor Day weekend. During this time he helped the team lay the foundations for success and encouraging the team members to succeed. "Trophies are good," he said. "Big trophies are better... but your goal should be the biggest [trophy], the one at the end of the table." Having set the bar high, the team put hours of practice every week into working toward this goal. In the end, the hard work paid off. At the awards ceremony, the Piedmont debate team was awarded all of their division's tropies on the table: the first place speaker award to Sarah Smagur and the first place team trophies to the two Piedmont teams that broke to finals.

The team will be travelling three teams to debate at Berry College in Rome, Georgia at the end of October. Sam Thomas and Bethany Murley are already busy preparing to debate in the more advanced open division. This division is usually reserved for those already having four years of debate in high school and a year of debate in college.


Welcome Freshmen!
August 16th, 2012

A new school year has officially started today. Even though the freshmen moved in this past weekend and have been through lots of fun and activities, classes haven't officially started until today. We are pleased to have 14 new incoming Mass Communications freshmen joining us this year for the 2012-2013 school year. We think this year will be a great one!

We want to welcome all the incoming freshmen:
Sarah Brown
Parker Daigle
Manyi Eno
Samantha Gibson
Carly Haraka
Dustin Hull
Delvin Jordan
Summer Lewis
Alex Smith
Taylor Smith
Michelle Thompson
Xandy Green
Ashley Banks
Danny Jazrawi

We hope you guys had a great first day and wish you the best of luck with your college career! Welcome to the Mass Comm family!


Alumni Blog
May 18, 2012

Are you an Piedmont College Department of Mass Communications alum? Keep up to date with our blog! Find out where your classmates are, make connections and tell the PC Mass Communications community what you are up to these days.

ALumni Blog Link


Congrats Daniela Guevara!
May 2012

Piedmont College alum, Daniela Guevara just took a new job in Charlotte, North Carolina at Red F PBC, Inc. At the advertising agency, Red F, she will be the Senior Account Executive, where she will work directly with ROJO, the multi-cultural branch.

From June through October she will be traveling to different U.S. cities to execute seminars for one of her company's clients: United Health Care.

The Department of Mass Communications wishes Daniela the best of luck with her new job!


Welcome our newest alumni!
May 5, 2012

Welcome our newest Mass Communications alumni: Elizabeth Farmer, Rebecca Johnson, Katie Justice, Victoria McDonald, Cody Nimmo, Zach Petersen, Michelle Rockey and Michelle Sosia!

2012 grads

After a hard semester working on their capstones, these eight seniors walked across the stage May 5th to receive their diplomas. All eight of these Mass Communication majors worked on their capstone during the spring 2012 semester and covered topics ranging from a revamp of WRFP, the student run radio station, to a look into the life of Lillian E. Smith, a famous author from Clayton, Georgia.

After preparing all semester, capstone presentations were held on April 25th and 26th in the Swanson Screening room. These eight seniors ranged from students who had started college at Piedmont, a few transfer students and a student who was graduating a year early.

We wish all the students the best of luck in all their future endeavors and can't wait to see where their future careers might take them!


Annual Mass Communication Awards
April 26, 2012 6:00pm

After day two of the Mass Communications Capstone presenation, an awards ceremony was held to honor those who did outstanding work this year. The awards and their recipients were:

James M. Cox Jr. Award
This award goes to the student who demonstrates excellence in the area of community journalism in print, broadcast or both.
This year's recipient: Megan Studdard

Mass Communications Rookie Award
This award goes to the student who, in his or her first year as a mass communications major, demonstrates enthusiasm and hard work and makes a meaningful contribution to the department.
This year's recipient: Sarah Smagur

Mass Communications Achievement Award
This award goes to the student who made the greatest overall contribution to the department.
This year's recipient: Katie Justice

Mass Communications Honors Award
Awarded to the mass communications major who has the highest overall G.P.A.
This year's recipient: Katie Justice

Mass Communications Leadership Award
Awarded to the student who has demonstrated excellence in leadership for 2011-12.
This year's recipient: Nic Sridej

J. Thomas Russell Capstone Award
This award goes to the student who demonstrates excellence in the preparation and presentation of his/her capstone project.
This year's recipient: Katie Justice

The Alumni Award
Awarded to the graduate of the Department of Mass Communications who exemplifies the ideals of the department’s mission through his or her professional work.
This year's recipient: Mrs. Lane Gresham

The Chair's Award
This year's recipient: Elizabeth Farmer & Rebecca Johnson


The Navigator
February 2012

The Navigator staff took home 8 awards from the Geogia College Press Association for their work in 2011.

Awards included:

  • First place in Best Campus Community Service- Features Section
  • First place in Best Campus Community Service- Features Section
  • First place in Improvement
  • Thrid Place in Best Campus Community Service

Four Individual staff members also won awards:

  • Nic Sridej - Best Column
  • Tara Keliholtz - Best Investigative Reporting
  • Katie Justice - Best Photo Essay
  • Megan Studdard - Best Feature Story


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Mass Communications Department - Piedmont College
165 Central Ave Demorest, GA 30535
Main Telephone: (706) 778-3000