Eight alumni and a faculty member among Bellisario College honorees

May 19, 2021

A three-time National Sportswriter of the Year, the executive director of Four Diamonds, and the former chief spokesperson for Verizon Communications headline a group of eight Penn State alumni and one faculty member from the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communicators who have earned recognition from the college's two alumni boards.

Tom Verducci was named the 2020-21 Outstanding Alumni by the Bellisario College's Alumni Society Board. Verducci, who earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1982, is the senior baseball writer for Sports Illustrated and does baseball commentary for Fox and the MLB Network. He was voted the nation's top sportswriter in 2014-16.

Suzanne Graney, the executive director of Four Diamonds who earned her degree in 1991, and Rob King, senior vice president and editor-at-large for ESPN and a graduate of the college's master’s degree program, were named recipients of the Douglas A. Anderson Communications Contributor Award, named in honor of the Bellisario College's former dean.

In conjunction with the ASB's annual awards for 2020-21, the Advertising/Public Relations Alumni Network Board of the Bellisario College is presenting alumni awards for the first time for 2020-21.

Eric Rabe, who earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1968, is the inaugural recipient of the Ad/PR Board's Lifetime Achievement Award. Rabe's early career included a stint as a news anchor for CBS affiliate WTAJ-TV in Altoona and culminated with a leadership role at Verizon, where he was the senior vice president of communications.

Award recipients will be honored in spring 2022.

Award-winners as selected by the Alumni Society Board:

Alumni Achievement — Jordan Hyman (1999, journalism), president, Collegian Alumni Interest Group and senior vice president, head of sales and marketing, Magnet Media Films. For significant contributions to the college and/or university, who in terms of time and talent has brought distinction to themselves, the college and the University.

Douglas A. Anderson Communications Contributor — Graney and King. Acknowledges the contributions and/or achievements of an individual(s) in the field of communications as they relate to the college, Penn State and/or the commonwealth.

Emerging Professional — Edgar Ramirez (2011, journalism), opinions social media editor, Washington Post. Presented to recent alumni (10 years or less since graduation) for professional achievements and/or distinguished community service.

Excellence in Teaching — Maura Shea, associate teaching professor of film production and associate department head, film production and media studies, Bellisario College. Recognizes faculty members who have demonstrated excellence in teaching, contributed significantly to the growth of students' learning, and gained an exemplary reputation among colleagues, students and alumni. Nominations are submitted by students.

Outstanding Alumni — Verducci. For excellence in the field of communications, contributing significantly to their profession and gaining an exemplary reputation among colleagues and students within their community.

Award-winners as selected by the Advertising/Public Relations Alumni Network Board:

Lifetime Achievement, Advertising/Public Relations — Rabe, who is currently principal, ERCS, Management and Organization Consulting. In recognition of a notable long-term career in the advertising and/or public relations fields and a reputation of excellence among colleagues in the industry.

Outstanding Alumni, Advertising — Marc Brownstein (1981, advertising), president and CEO of the Brownstein Group, which owns Brownstein Advertising and Public Relations, and Nucleus Digital. Presented to a graduate whose contributions to the field reflect excellent work and an ability to adapt and shift to new needs in advertising.

Outstanding Alumni, Public Relations — Kerry Ford (1989, journalism), president and chief storyteller, Kerry Ford Public Relations. Presented to a graduate whose contributions to the field reflect excellent work and an ability to adapt and shift to new needs in public relations.

Last Updated June 02, 2021