The Association for Women in Sports Media is thrilled to announce Jenni Carlson is the recipient of the 2021 Ann Miller Service Award, presented annually to an individual who has made significant contributions to the organization.
Carlson, a former AWSM board chair and president, has been at the forefront of several of the organization’s initiatives since becoming a member in 1997.
“I am incredibly humbled by this honor, mainly because of the award's namesake,” said Carlson, an award-winning columnist at TheOklahoman. “Ann Miller is in a class all her own. I had the privilege of seeing how tirelessly she worked on behalf of AWSM and of women in sports media. To receive an award that has her name attached? What an honor.
“Thank you to the board and the selection committee for this. I am still in shock, but I am so very grateful.”
During her five years on the board, Carlson secured the primary grant for AWSM's mid-career training program, which helped numerous members receive continuing education. She also had an excellent track record for growing the organization’s membership during her tenure as president (2008-10)and board chair (2010-12), and was the primary fundraiser and co-planner for the 2011 convention in Charlotte.
Carlson was also involved in the launch of AWSM's student chapter program, approving the first two outposts at Oklahoma State and Michigan State. Additionally, she was a mentor in the AWSM Champions program in 2018-19, and has coordinated or assisted with a number of regional events.
"Jenni receiving the Ann Miller Service award is extra special for me because of the impact she had in helping launch the student chapter program," said Ashley Colley, AWSM's current president. "If she had not taken this initiative, I may not have joined AWSM as a student at the University of Missouri, or be following in her footsteps as AWSM's president today. Her continued dedication to our organization, even after serving on the board, is appreciated. I know if I or any of our members ever need anything, she will be there to help. Jenni continues to serve and represent AWSM in the best ways possible."
Since 1999, Carlson has been a sports columnist at TheOklahoman, where she has recruited and mentored several AWSM members who have worked at the publication.
Established in 2013, AWSM’s service award is named in honor of Ann Miller, a longtime Hawaii-based sports reporter who was the organization’s treasurer for its first 10 years, served as board chair and has attended nearly every convention despite the long travel distance.