Twenty-two JMC students and Director Thor Wasbotten were inducted into Kappa Tau Alpha (KTA), the national honor society for journalism and mass communication on Wednesday, and a senior electronic media major and senior journalism major tied for JMC’s top scholar award – the first time in more than a decade that this honor has been shared. Both events were part of JMC’s Student Success Week celebration.KTA recognizes academic excellence and promotes scholarship in journalism and mass communication. KTA is the seventh oldest honor society in America, and Kent State’s chapter will celebrate its 25th anniversary next year. Only the top 10 percent of students in the junior and senior classes are eligible for induction and become lifetime members.
JMC Professor Jeff Fruit, a KTA member and Kent State’s KTA advisor, presided at the induction ceremony and told students, “You are the cream of the cream of the crop.” With the privilege of membership comes significant responsibility, Fruit told them. “The letters KTA represent the English words knowledge, truth and accuracy. That is the purpose of our society.”
After inducting the JMC students, Fruit, assisted by JMC Professor Gary Hanson, inducted Wasbotten into the honor society.
Inductees recognize the importance of this honor – and of the academic success that led to it.
“It’s great to be surrounded by people who understand the value of learning. I like being engaged in the whole college experience. What you learn in the classroom is important, but what you learn about yourself is just as important,” said Jason Kostura, a graduating senior who will soon join ESPN’s Content Associates Program.
Junior PR major Endya Watson believes KTA offers connections and opportunities. “It’s good to be connected with other journalists. I look to see opportunities – ways to get involved.”
Senior electronic media production student Tyler Pina, who plans a career in film and TV, recognizes that induction into KTA is a “huge honor. I’ve worked really hard, but I wasn’t expecting it [KTA induction]. It’s great to be part of this amazing group of students.”
This year’s KTA inductees are: Alicia Balog; Chase Bonhotel; Kirsten Bowers; Meghan Caprez; Megan Corder; Ian Flickinger; Jeremy Herbert; Carley Hull; Emily Kaelin; Kayllee Koller; Jason Kostura; Angel Mack; Mariam Makatsaria; Lillian Martis; Matthew Merchant; Ashley Newton; Tyler Pina; Lyndsey Schley; Kelsey Smith; Sara Vulpio; Thor Wasbotten; Endya Watson; Liberty Wesley
Top Scholars During the KTA ceremony, graduating seniors and KTA members Katherine Boetger and Kelli Fitzpatrick were honored as JMC’s top scholars for 2013. Both had grade point averages of 3.97.
“It’s nice to be recognized for all the hard work and for our endeavors,” said Boetger, who hopes to work in TV production and program development.
Fitzpatrick agrees. “Four years of hard work paid off. I made the most of my time here, and I’m glad I pushed myself in the hardest journalism classes, like Print Beat Reporting.” She will begin work as a Disney communications intern after graduating. Last year, Fitzpatrick had an American Society of Magazine Editors internship at Reader’s Digest.
Photo: For the first time in more than a decade, two graduating seniors, Kelli Fitzpatrick (right) and Katherine Boetger, tied for the JMC top scholar award with GPAs of 3.97. (Photo by Dave Foster)