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SJMC honors outstanding graduate students

Posted May 1, 2020
Top video: Watch a virtual presentation of the graduate student awards

Faculty in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications honored three graduate students for exceptional achievement in academics, leadership, teaching and research at end-of-the-year ceremonies. Bob Wertz, Chang Won Choi  and Minhee Choi were honored in virtual presentations due to cancellation of classes at the university.

Award Recipients

Bob Wertz

Bob Wertz - Outstanding Master's Student Award

Dr. Holly Overton presented Bob Wertz with the Outstanding Master's Student Award.  Wertz, who works full-time at the university as associate director of visual branding, is working on his Master of Arts degree.  He has taught classes in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications and in the School of Visual Arts and Design.  Wertz has presented research at AEJMC in Toronto and at the AEJMC Southeast Colloquium.

Bob’s application stood out to the award committee. Everyone was thoroughly impressed with the quality of his research and his impressive and extensive portfolio. Bob’s positive attitude is contagious, and his achievements both in and out of the classroom are remarkable. I am elated that we are able to recognize Bob’s exceptional work with this award. 

Chang Won Choi

Chang Won Choi -  Bryce Rucker Excellence in Graduate Student Research Award

Dr. Sei-Hill Kim presented the Bryce Rucker Excellence in Graduate Student Research Award to Chang Won Choi.  A second-year doctoral student, Choi devoted himself to research and submitted a number of papers to journals and conferences. As a result, three papers were accepted in journals and three in conferences during the 16 months since he entered the school, adding to an already extensive list of published journal articles and conference presentations. He also has a co-authored book chapter in press. Choi was also awarded a travel grant from the 2020 AAA conference. He is a member of the School’s Public Relations/Strategic Communications Research Group.

Changwon has a strong combination of academic training and professional experience in advertising.  As a doctoral student, he has carried out a large number of research projects, which examined strategic communications in a variety of contexts. Changwon has a solid grounding in research design and statistical analysis. He is an excellent collaborator and will make a good advertising scholar. We are so proud of him and his prolific research.

Minhee Choi

Minhee Choi -  Graduate Student Excellence in Teaching Award

Dr. Sei-Hill Kim presented doctoral candidate Minhee Choi the Graduate Student Excellence in Teaching Award. Using her practical experience as a public relations practitioner in nonprofit organizations and in-depth research knowledge in strategic communication, she taught several sections of two different undergraduate public relations courses  that led to her receiving the Promising Professor Award from the Mass Communication and Society Division of AEJMC. Students have praised her leadership in the classroom, noting her enthusiastic and supportive approach to teaching and her exceptional ability to engage students.

Minhee is a conscientious and meticulous instructor in her classroom. She is both liked and respected by students, which is of course a difficult combination for many to achieve. She knows what students expect from the faculty and how to instruct them effectively. Minhee’s interest in teaching is unusual — and refreshing. Congratulations, Minhee.


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