Top photo: (l to r) Amanda Loveday, Eliza Lynch, Alex Luchsinger and Kelly Davis
The School of Journalism and Mass Communications presented awards to five alumni at
the annual awards ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023. The awards recognize exceptional
graduates whose careers represent significant professional achievement. The ceremony
also honored a faculty member for excellence in teaching.
Dean Tom Reichert welcomed honorees and guests on behalf of the college. “I’m very
humbled and honored to be the dean of the College of Information and Communications.
I'll say that nothing is more meaningful to a professor than seeing a former student
leave these hallowed halls of the university and achieve success as have our winners
The SJMC Alumni Awards provide a moment to reflect on the substantial ties that are
created between students and professors in the school — ties that help students develop
as professionals long after they leave USC.
“This is a very special night. And I want all of the honorees to just take a moment
and enjoy being recognized for what you've done, what you've meant to people, the
lives that you've touched, the impact that you've had in your professions. That's
not to be taken lightly,” said SJMC Director Damion Waymer.
Based on the hugs, the smiles and the tears of gratitude, the impact of these award
winners has been great indeed.
The Distinguished Alumni Award honors graduates who completed school more than 10
years ago and whose careers represent significant professional achievement.
Alex Luchsinger, ‘09, broadcast journalism & ‘17, mass communication, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Journalism
Alex Luchsinger attended USC after serving in the Marines, where he received a Purple
Heart for his service. Luchsinger obtained his undergraduate degree and Ph.D. from
the J-school, which allows him to mentor the next generation of journalists at Elon
University as an assistant professor. He’s worked in all spheres of TV news, including
working as an embedded producer/videographer with CBS News in Afghanistan.
Luchsinger is also a notable scholar, producing an award-winning documentary, and
publishing research in academic journals.
Amanda Loveday, ‘07, broadcast journalism
Chief Operating Officer
Amanda Loveday stayed in Columbia after graduating from USC and grew her career and
family in the city that gave her many opportunities. As a reporter, Loveday covered
the 2008 primary cycle in South Carolina and interviewed all 20 candidates and served
as the emcee for the then-Senator Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey event at Williams
After finishing her journalism career, she ran numerous campaigns and served as the
executive director of the South Carolina Democratic Party and communications director
for Congressman Jim Clyburn. Now, she enjoys the challenge of being COO for NP Strategy,
a Columbia-based agency with 25 employees across three states.
Outstanding Young Alumni
The Outstanding Young Alumni Award honors graduates who have completed school within
the past 10 years and who have demonstrated significant professional accomplishments
early in their careers.
Eliza Lynch, ‘18, public relations
Director of Public Relations & External Communications
Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Based in Atlanta, Eliza Lynch began her career supporting various Fortune 500 companies
and is now the Director of Public Relations at Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Lynch
is viewed as a “rising star” among her peers, working closely with key stakeholders,
celebrity alumni and outstanding Club youth.
In addition, Lynch leads the organization’s marketing internship program and is an
active participant of a mental health subcommittee with a mission to raise awareness
and foster dialogue around emotional well-being, creating a stigma-free environment
and building a mentally healthy culture.
Kerry Moore, ‘17, visual communications
Digital Graphic Designer
Disney Parks, Experiences and Products
Kerry Moore dreamed of working at Disney since she was two years old. Today, she works
as a digital designer for Disney Parks, Experiences and Products.
Moore says, “My experience with the College of Information and Communications at USC
truly shaped me into a job candidate with all the right technical software and soft
employability skills. Some people go to New York or L.A. to pursue their dreams. I
came to Orlando four years ago to pursue mine.”
Tori Richman, ‘19, visual communications
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
As a student, Tori Richman was a photography intern for the NFL and her sports coverage
helped her become editor-in-chief at The Daily Gamecock. She was later named the South
Carolina Student Journalist of the Year by the S.C. Press Association.
Upon graduation, she received an internship as a photographer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
This led to a full- time photographer position with the team. Richman has been with
them for three and a half years.
Mary Caldwell Excellence in Teaching
The Mary Caldwell Excellence in Teaching Award is awarded annually to a School of
Journalism and Mass Communications faculty member for outstanding teaching.
Kelly Davis, ‘98, master of mass communication
2015 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient
Public relations sequence head and senior instructor Kelly Davis, APR, Fellow PRSA
brings nearly three decades of professional experience in public relations to the
classroom. She engages students in understanding the wide variety of career opportunities
available to them in public relations while preparing them to enter a rapidly changing
profession. Her classes involve collaborative, team-based, hands-on learning with
a focus on strategy and creative problem-solving in the context of real-world application.
One of her students says, “Kelly has gone above and beyond at helping us identify
what we want to do in our future and has made herself a great support system and approachable