Three seniors from the UNC School of Media and Journalism were honored on Tuesday, April 18, at the Chancellor’s Awards ceremony. The awards honor outstanding students for their achievements in academics, student activities and leadership.
Among the 78 awards, three were given to MJ-school seniors Danny Nett, Miller Winston and Catherine Blair.
The ceremony was presided over by Chancellor Carol Folt and three MJ-school representatives served on the selection committee, including Associate Professor Deb Aikat, junior Caroline Bass '18 and sophomore Rachel Brittain '19.
Danny Nett '17
Ernest H. Abernethy Prize in Student Publication Work recipient
Danny Nett, a MyPlan major with a focus in reporting and digital media, is a columnist and online managing editor of The Daily Tar Heel. Nett received the Ernest H. Abernethy Prize in Student Publication Work which honors the "undergraduate to have done the most distinctive work during the current year in the field of student publications.” He received a plaque and monetary award from the Chancellor.
Recognizing a need among LGBTQ news peers at UNC for a supportive community, Nett founded a campus chapter of the Association of LGBTQ Journalists and serves as its founding president. While working in the student newsroom at the Online News Association last semester, he covered topics on marginalized communities, including the impact of online trolling on women of color and how to avoid stereotyping underrepresented populations in news stories.
"Danny is no ordinary journalist," said Associate Professor Lois Boynton, who nominated him for the Abernethy award. "He has made it his mission to build communities through his writing and to make the news media more accessible to and representative of people with underrepresented identities. His writing is about inclusion, opening doors and encouraging meaningful conversation, particularly covering previously 'taboo' topics such as LGBTQ rights, same-sex marriage and gender expression. For example, in the fall, he interviewed Jim Obergefell who had become the face of same-sex marriage, and that story has been nominated for a Hearst Award in enterprise reporting."
A journalistic innovator, Nett created the DTH's At a Glance daily e-newsletter, which now reaches 3,200 subscribers since it was launched three semesters ago. Its sponsored content section has also been one of the most popular options for DTH advertisers this year.
Last summer, Nett interned with the Richmond Times Dispatch through the Dow Jones News Fund and recently received a scholarship from the American Copy Editors Society for 2017. He will work at NPR after graduating in May 2017.
Miller Winston '17
Panhellenic Council Woman of the Year Award recipient
Miller Winston, a public relations and Chinese Mandarin double major, received the Panhellenic Council Woman of the Year Award. The award is established by the UNC Panhellenic Council and honors a student who “made the most significant contributions in the areas of leadership, scholarship, service to their individual chapters and Greek and University Communities.” Miller is a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority and has served in several leadership positions with the UNC Panhellenic Association. Most recently, she served as vice president of standards, where she improved risk management and created training for new judicial board members. She also helped create the Association’s Delta Advocate Program to provide peer education and resources about sexual violence prevention as well as survivor support.
She interned with 3 Birds Marketing as head digital marketing intern, supporting the account management’s social media campaigns for more than 10 clients and mentoring new interns. Winston’s marketing intern position with Delta Five Systems gave her an opportunity to develop sales and marketing strategies for the technology startup’s bedbug alert system.
Catherine Blair '17
Chi Omega Award for Scholarship and Leadership recipient
Catherine Blair, a business journalism major, received the Chi Omega Award for Scholarship and Leadership. The award honors an outstanding student on criteria of scholastic achievement and exemplary leadership. She is a member of the Epsilon Beta chapter of Chi Omega at UNC.
Blair has interned with the Siena Hotel assisting with prospect research and event management. She also completed an internship with Hot Sox in New York, where she analyzed sales trends for the company’s in-house and the Ralph Lauren Men’s brands. After graduation, Blair looks forward to working at Red Ventures as a strategic analyst.