Tag Archives: Commencement

More Than 120 Students Recognized During Merrill College Commencement

COLLEGE PARK (5/22/18) — More than 120 students were recognized Monday during the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism commencement ceremony at Ritchie Coliseum.

Merrill College Dean Lucy A. Dalglish and Professor Carl Sessions Stepp — participating in his final college commencement before retiring after 35 years of teaching — made short speeches during the hourlong ceremony. New graduate Alexander Flum was voted student speaker by his peers.

Jemele Hill, a chief correspondent and senior columnist for ESPN’s The Undefeated, gave the commencement address. She was selected by a committee of graduating seniors.

The full video, which was streamed live online, is below and archived on the college’s YouTube channel.

For more information, contact:
Alexander A. Pyles

Alexander Flum Named Student Speaker for Merrill College Commencement

Alexander Flum.

Alexander Flum.

COLLEGE PARK (5/9/18)Alexander Flum will be the student speaker at the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism commencement ceremony this month.

Flum, a broadcast journalism major, was selected after a vote by other graduating seniors.

“I am humbled to be chosen as this year’s student commencement speaker. My experience at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism has been one that I’ll remember forever and miss dearly,” Flum said. “I am excited to highlight the tons of amazing accomplishments that my classmates have had in the past four years and discuss what our role will be in the important and constantly changing field of journalism.”

Flum has anchored and reported on news and sports for Capital News Service, was executive producer and co-creator of The Left Bench TV and broadcast games for the Big Ten Network and WMUC Sports.

He worked as a field producer and intern with the NBC Washington sports department, and also interned for ABC-7 in Arlington, Virginia, and WBOC-16 in Salisbury, Maryland.

This past fall, Flum won The Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism‘s All-Star Student Award. Also in the fall, the Newseum selected a 360-degree video by Flum for display in its Top 10 VR Videos exhibit. And he’s on the Jim Nantz Award watch list this year.

Merrill College’s commencement ceremony will be held at Ritchie Coliseum on May 21 at 10 a.m.

For more information, contact:
Alexander A. Pyles

ESPN’s Jemele Hill Named Merrill College Commencement Speaker

Jemele Hill. (Photo: The Crawford Austin Agency)

Jemele Hill. (Photo: The Crawford Austin Agency)

COLLEGE PARK (5/1/18) — ESPN journalist Jemele Hill will be the spring commencement speaker at the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

A committee of graduating seniors voted this semester to invite Hill.

“I’m thrilled to give the commencement address to the next generation of brilliant journalists,” Hill said. “I hope in some tiny way I can inspire them to take the lead in being the thought leaders that can protect and challenge our industry. My message is pretty simple: We need them.”

Merrill College commencement exercises will be held at Ritchie Coliseum on Monday, May 21 at 10 a.m. More than 100 students — including bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. candidates — are expected to receive degrees from the college this spring.

One of the most influential voices in sports media and an Emmy Award-winning journalist, Hill is a chief correspondent and senior columnist for The Undefeated, ESPN’s content initiative exploring the intersections of sports, race and culture.

Hill, who joined The Undefeated in January 2018, is a multiplatform journalist. Hill writes, conducts newsmaker interviews, offers commentary and creates a variety of content for The Undefeated’s digital, television and audio platforms. She also hosts events and other important initiatives, including The Undefeated town halls and television specials.

A gifted storyteller and critical thinker, Hill regularly appears on various ESPN platforms and programs to offer her perspective and commentary. The variety of shows she contributes to includes E:60, ESPN’s award-winning newsmagazine, SportsCenter, Outside the Lines, Around the Horn and Highly Questionable, as well as various radio and podcasts produced by ESPN Audio.

Prior to joining The Undefeated, Hill co- anchored “SportsCenter” for a year with her longtime friend and colleague Michael Smith. “SC6 with Michael & Jemele” debuted in February 2017 as a more personality driven approach to the traditional 6 p.m. “SportsCenter.” Focusing on sports, music, movies and more, SC6 was born from Hill and Smith’s popular “His & Hers” podcast and weekday television show, which debuted on ESPN2 in 2014.

In July 2016, Hill participated in “The President and the People: A National Conversation” – a one-hour town hall with President Barack Obama on race relations, justice, policing and equality — simulcast on ABC and ESPN.

Hill originally joined ESPN in 2006 as a national columnist for ESPN.com. Her profile gradually rose as she began to make appearances on television, including “SportsCenter,” “First Take,” “Around the Horn,” “The Sports Reporters” and “Outside the Lines.” She also spent a season as a sideline reporter for ESPN college football games.

Before joining ESPN, Hill was a sports columnist for the Orlando Sentinel from 2005–06 — the lone African-America female sports columnist in the country. From 1999-2005, she served as a sports writer with the Detroit Free Press covering Michigan State football and basketball. Hill began her career in 1997 as a general assignment sports writer for the Raleigh News & Observer.

In 2007, Hill won the first annual McKenzie Cup, which is presented at the annual Poynter Media Summit in tribute to groundbreaking sports editor Van McKenzie, whom she worked with at the Orlando Sentinel. She also received an honorable mention in the 2007 edition of “Best American Sports Writing.”

A member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) — which is headquartered in John S. and James L. Knight Hall, home of the Merrill College — Hill also won first place in sports feature writing at the North Carolina Press Association in 1998.

A native of Detroit, Hill graduated from Michigan State University in 1997 with a degree in journalism and a minor in Spanish.

Sports journalism is a key piece of the curriculum at Merrill College, which is home to The Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism. Through panels, workshops and support of the college’s academic offerings, the center is a resource for students and professional journalists, as well as the university and greater community.

For more information, contact:
Alexander A. Pyles

Merrill College Graduates Told to Seek Truth, Follow Passion at Commencement

Winter 2017 commencement program

Philip Merrill College of Journalism students were urged to relentlessly seek truth and follow their passion during the college’s commencement ceremony Wednesday morning at the University of Maryland.

Full video of the hour-long ceremony at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center in College Park, Maryland, is available on the Merrill College YouTube page.

Merrill College Dean Lucy Dalglish told the audience she always thinks commencement is “inspiring and up-lifting.” She said that while college faculty and staff were sad to see students go, they were also pleased to see students’ “excitement to get on with the next stage in their lives.”

Students were celebrated for completing bachelor’s, master’s and graduate certifications in journalism. Several students received special recognition during the ceremony:

  • Alexandra Simon was named Outstanding Broadcast News Senior
  • Katishi Maake was named Outstanding Multimedia News Senior
  • Julie Depenbrock was named Outstanding Master’s Student

Summer Breeze Bedard, a founding member of the college’s first satirical news class, Laughing Matters, was selected by her peers as the commencement’s student speaker.

Bedard told classmates to embrace outside-the-box ways to tell stories and to stand up for the truth.

“We’ve reached a point in a politically polarized, post-truth America where facts seem biased,” Bedard said. “Facts are said to have a liberal political angle, and you need to be willing to stand up and say that is wrong. … The core of journalism is just honesty and authenticity.”

The college also recognized members of the faculty and staff who plan to retire.

Associate Dean Olive Reid, who started full-time work as an adviser at the college in 1992, plans to retire this month. She said during the ceremony she was struck by the way so many college students she advised grew into successful professionals. Many have now become her advisers, Reid said.

She noted that around 90 percent of Merrill College students find jobs within six months of graduation.

“But I can tell you 99.9999 percent of you will go on to use your hard-won skills in wonderful and lucrative ways,” Reid said. “I can say confidently that if you follow your passion, you’ll stay on the right path.”

Professor Carl Sessions Stepp, who joined the Merrill College faculty in 1983, gave the commencement address. Stepp plans to retire after the spring semester.

Stepp urged the graduates to find motivation not just from their thoughts, but their feelings and all the places they’ve been.

“Journalism faces serious challenges, our country faces serious challenges, our world faces serious challenges,” Stepp said. “And we’re counting on you, and people like you, to help us fix things — to seek and tell the truth when it’s not always easy, and it’s not always appreciated.”

Storify Tells the Tale for Commencement 2017 at Merrill College