The Association for Women in Sports Media is pleased to announce Michigan State as the winner of the 2015-16 Student Chapter of the Year Award.
“AWSM is so proud to honor Michigan State as our Student Chapter of the Year,” AWSM president Jenn Overman said. “Across the board, the quality of the applications was very impressive, and really raised the bar on our expectations. We had a very spirited discussion among the top contenders, and the decision was not an easy one, which is an excellent problem to have and makes Michigan State’s win all the more impressive. This chapter truly embodied the spirit of the application and of AWSM’s mission.
“Looking at what these chapters have accomplished and their goals for the future makes us very excited to see what they do next.”
The Michigan State chapter, which is led by president Hanna Sprague, faculty advisors Lori Anne Dickerson and Joanne Gerstner and professional mentor Karen Wall Bush, will be honored at the awards luncheon at this summer’s Miami convention.
Michigan State launched during the 2011-12 school year as one of AWSM’s first chapters and showed tremendous growth this past year. The group tripled its roster size to close to 50 members and focused on a blend of programming that prepared students for professional careers in sports media — including putting a heavy emphasis on finding internships and volunteer opportunities — and built the camaraderie that mirrors AWSM’s overall support system.
Some highlights from Michigan State’s year include holding Q&As with the LPGA’s Kelly Thesier Schultz and ESPN’s Shelley Smith, participating in a media relations/marketing/communications networking panel with the Detroit Red Wings and making holiday cards for patients at a local children’s hospital. Members have worked, interned or volunteered with the Detroit Tigers, local television stations, ESPN, Michigan State’s athletic communications department and the Big Ten Network throughout the year.
“The outgoing and determined young women of AWSM@Michigan State plan to make a difference in the world of sports media and are working hard to achieve that goal,” said Dr. Lucinda Davenport, director of Michigan State’s School of Journalism. “They are poised to be successful as they step out of the classroom and into the world, because of the many extra activities they have taken on with guest speakers, internships, field trips, ESPN GameDay events and our annual Spartan Sports Journalism Classic.
“We very much appreciate that their efforts to help others be successful has been noticed with this recognition of AWSM Chapter of the Year.”
AWSM currently has active student chapters at 14 schools — Arizona State, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, James Madison, Maryland, Michigan State, Missouri, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Penn State and Quinnipiac — and began naming a Student Chapter of the Year in 2013. Past winners include Oklahoma State, Michigan and Missouri. Michigan State was selected as this year’s winner by a judging panel of Overman, chair of the board Lydia Craver, VP/student development Gina Mizell, internship/scholarship coordinator Laken Litman and former VP/student development Stacy Bauman.