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Communication scholarships honor student achievement
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Communication scholarships honor student achievement
By Samantha Skovran, media relations intern

The Oakland University Communication and Journalism Department is proud to present the 2012 Donald C. Hildum and Macomb University Center (MUC) scholarships to nine outstanding Oakland communications majors. 

This spring, 11 scholarships totaling $10,500 were awarded. Two students, Ioana Buzgar and Christina Venditti, earned both the Donald C. Hildum Scholarship and the Macomb University Scholarship. 

“All of these students are role models,” said Valerie Palmer-Mehta, associate professor of communication. “These students go above and beyond intellectually, as well as in the community.”

Both scholarships are given out annually and are determined by a panel of individuals from the communication program. 

“Oakland University's staff was really helpful, and instructors like Valerie Palmer-Mehta are treasures to the school,” said Buzgar. “Because classes are very small, I was able to get closer to my classmates and professors, who I learned a lot from.”

MUC Award winner Kathleen Madek added, “The professors at OU have been very supportive and I especially appreciate those who help us apply what we study to real-world scenarios.” 

The department’s faculty is equally proud of these of these nine students. “The communication program congratulates these deserving students,” Palmer-Mehta continued. “They have distinguished themselves by their deep commitment to their studies and by their sincere efforts to make a meaningful contribution to the campus and surrounding communities. We hope that these awards motivate other students to make a similar commitment to their studies, and to make a positive difference in their communities.”

Donald C. Hildum Scholarship

The winners of the 2012 Donald C. Hildum scholarship are Tiffany LeDonne, Catherine Twigg, Emily Cutlip, Danielle Hine, Ioana Buzgar, Andrea Smith, and Christina Venditti. These students are recognized for high academic achievement and community awareness throughout OU and the broader community.

The scholarship was created to honor the memory of Donald C. Hildum, a founding professor of Oakland's communication program. It is awarded to students who exemplify his aim for academic excellence in combination with a meaningful contribution to society.

Buzgar believes receiving these scholarships will help her earn her diploma and achieve her aspiration to apply as a reporter for Fox 2 News.

“I took a picture of the paper where I was offered the scholarship and put it on Facebook, within minutes everybody was congratulating me,” said Buzgar. “It is a pretty big deal to get this kind of scholarship.”

LeDonne agreed. “This scholarship will help alleviate some of the financial stress of paying for school on my own.”

LeDonne is currently the president of Phi Sigma Sigma where she volunteers in the local community. She elaborated, “I also was a part of alternate spring break last year where I traveled to Alabama to volunteer with the national relief network.” 

After receiving her diploma, LeDonne plans to earn her master’s degree in student affairs, and would one day like to work for a university. 

All of these students are recognized for the extensive efforts they have put in to the local and school’s community, as well as their academic achievement. 

Macomb University Center Scholarship

The Macomb University Center Scholarship is awarded to communication majors who have made contributions to the OU community and overall community, all while maintaining academic excellence. This year, four Oakland students were honored with this award: Kathleen Madek, Christina Venditti, Ioana Buzgar, and Edward Seavey.

Originally attending Oakland at 19 years old, Madek returns almost 30 years later to further her education. 

“As I wrote in my application letter, it was really my children who inspired me to complete my degree and apply for the scholarship,” said Madek. “They have watched me work all day and attend classes and study at night, seeing first-hand how difficult it can be to go back to school as an older student. My hope is they will appreciate their education a little more, and to not only finish college, but to become lifelong learners.”

Madek finds this acknowledgement of her academic achievement motivating, and believes this opportunity will help her achieve her degree. One day, Madek hopes to write a children’s book.

To learn more about the Donald C. Hildum and Macomb University Center scholarships, visit the website. For more information about OU’s communication programs visit oakland.edu/com.



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