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December graduation includes first DMC grads

December Graduates

The West Virginia University Reed College of Media celebrated its December graduates at the University’s ceremony on Friday, December 15, at the WVU Coliseum. Keynote speaker Wes Bush, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Northrop Grumman Corp., a leader in global security, offered advice and words of encouragement to graduates.

“Never stop learning, never stop striving and never stop dreaming,” Bush said. “When you see change on the horizon, don’t flinch. Rejoice that you can see it. Don’t hide from it – turn toward it, and charge, but do so with your feet firmly planted on the bedrock of your own moral and ethical code. I believe the result of doing so will be what I wish for each of you today – health, happiness, prosperity and lifelong innovation and creativity.”

Kathryn Jones and Nancy Gonzalez

More than 125 College of Media students graduated this month, earning bachelor’s degrees in journalism, strategic communications and multidisciplinary studies, and master’s degrees in Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) and Data Marketing Communications (DMC). The College also recognized Nancy Gonzalez and Kathryn Jones, two of the first six graduates of the new DMC online graduate degree program.

“I was looking for a graduate program that would use my base education and experience in marketing and take it to the next level. I have learned very valuable data-driven techniques to help accelerate the value of marketing within the industry and plan to use those skills to advance my career as a marketing executive,” Jones said.

Nicole Baron

Prior to commencement, the College of Media recognized its top graduates at an event at the Media Innovation Center. Nicole Baron was named the top overall graduate for earning the highest grade point average of the December graduating class. Baron earned a bachelor’s degree in strategic communications with an emphasis in advertising. During her college career, Baron held three internships – one as a marketing assistant for Morgantown Early Learning, the second as an event planner for PR Plus Events and the third with Spry, a technology platform company that will be launching a public relations phone app in January. Her internship with Spry led to fulltime employment.

“The College of Media truly prepared me for life after graduation. The professors and staff were always there to guide me and push me to my limits. It is because of the knowledge and experience they shared with me that I feel beyond capable of working in this field,” Baron said.

Baron was among the 11 College of Media graduates recognized with distinguished academic achievement at the December ceremony. Three students received summa cum laude including Baron, Jessica Foreman and Alex Jarvis. Magna cum laude recipients included Leah Blaney, Sydney Corbitt, Alexandria Dudlich, Joseph Gale and Hollie Greene. Students who received cum laude include Jacob Klettner, Sara Yeager and Julian Wyant. 

Watch the complete December graduation ceremony