Posted November 7, 2016
The School of Journalism and Mass Communications presented awards to seven recipients at the annual Alumni Awards on Thursday, November 3, 2016. The awards recognized exceptional graduates whose careers represent significant professional achievement and one faculty member for excellence in teaching.
Watch videos of each award presentation and view photos from the event at the links below.
Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients
The Distinguished Alumni Award honors graduates of the school who have demonstrated a history of exemplary work in their professional careers and who have been out of school for at least 10 years.
Chris Davis, '94
Chris Davis is vice president of Investigative Reporting at USA Today Network, where he oversees investigative work at USA Today and more than 100 Gannett newspapers around the country. Over the past eight years, he led reporting teams that won four Pulitzer Prizes as well as three additional finalists. He is the son of the late Dr. William D. Davis, a former USC sociology professor.
Ashley M. Dusenbury, '94
Ashley Manuel Dusenbury is a public relations strategist with more than 22 years of experience in television, agency and non-profit settings. At Palmetto Health Foundation, Ashley directs strategic communications and the digital presence of the Foundation and its signature fundraising events and initiatives. She is APR accredited, and her work has been recognized numerous times with awards over the years.
Eva Pilgrim, '04
Eva Pilgrim is a correspondent for ABC News. After USC, she began a cross-country journey as an anchor/reporter that took her to Bluefield, W. Va., Charlotte, Indianapolis and Philadelphia before moving to New York in January to work for ABC News. She’s covered everything from the Super Bowl and NCAA Final Four to flooding in West Virginia, to police protests in Milwaukee, Baton Rouge and Charlotte.
Outstanding Young Alumni Award
The Outstanding Young Alumni Award honors graduates who have been out of school for 10 years or less but have already demonstrated great professional accomplishments early in their careers.
Meghan Hickman, '07
Meghan Hickman serves in dual leadership roles, both as partner and COO of Sagacious Partners, a South Carolina-based consulting firm, and as the executive director for their longest-serving client, EngenuitySC. She is responsible for building, leading and managing the organization’s efforts to make Columbia and the Midlands more economically competitive. Prior to this, she spent nearly six years working for U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, including two years as his press secretary on Capitol Hill.
Kim Jamieson, '06
Kim Jamieson has worked within the public relations, marketing and communications fields in Columbia for the last 10 years, serving as a public relations specialist for three years with Chernoff Newman, before venturing into travel and tourism. This year, she successfully landed coverage on South Carolina in publications including The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, Better Homes & Gardens, Vogue, USA Today, and The Huffington Post. She was also named to PRSSA's Travel & Tourism board of directors.
Sarah Messer, '06
Sarah Messer is a Producer for ABC News / Good Morning America in New York City, where she works on investigative and consumer stories for the most watched morning news show in America. Prior to joining ABC, she spent seven years at NBC News, where her work for Dateline NBC earned her an Emmy nomination and was recognized with the Alfred I. DuPont and Peabody awards. Before moving to New York, she spent four years working as an Assignment Editor and Judi Gatson’s producer at WIS-TV while attending USC.
Mary Caldwell Excellence in Teaching Award
The Mary Caldwell Excellence in Teaching Award is awarded annually to a School of Journalism and Mass Communications faculty member for outstanding teaching.
Lisa Sisk joined the School of Journalism and Mass Communications full time in 2005, following a public relations career that included investor relations and not-for-profit organizations and everything in between. She teaches crisis communications, nonprofit communications and service-learning classes, as well as upper-level and graduate classes in public relations and integrated communications. One of her favorite classes is the Atlanta Maymester, now in its 12th year. The connections she has made for our students affirms that she has finally found her calling.
Personal Photo Gallery
View photos from their work and the personal lives of all the 2016 Alumni Award award recipients.
Flickr Photo Gallery
View and download photos from the awards ceremony from our Flickr site.