12 Journalism Seniors Inducted into Elite Mizzou ’39

Only 39 of the More Than 3,000 Graduating Seniors Earn This Distinction

By Lauren Walsh
Master’s Student

2010 Mizzou '39 Honorees
Mizzou ’39 honorees gather in Jesse Hall.

Columbia, Mo. (March 2, 2010) — The Mizzou Alumni Association Student Board (AASB) named 12 Missouri School of Journalism seniors to the 2010 class of Mizzou ’39.

Mizzou ’39 honors outstanding seniors for their academic achievements, leadership and service. Created by the AASB in 2005, the name pays tribute to the spirit of service modeled by the families that supported the founding of the University in 1839. Each year, only 39 of the more than 3,000 graduating seniors at the University of Missouri earn this distinction.

Mizzou ’39 honorees must be seniors with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. A committee of alumni, faculty and staff review the applications and select the winners.

“It’s great to have so many journalism students honored,” said Brian Brooks, associate dean for undergraduate studies at the School. “This honor emphasizes what we already know, that our students are among the best and brightest in the country.”

Whitney Bodenstab Amy Brachmann Liz Braun Courtney Cebula Shane Hoffman Max Hyman
Stefanie Kienstra Bradley Minkow Dolores Obregon Brian Pellot Taylor Rausch Bonnie Thomas

Top row, from left: Whitney Bodenstab, Amy Brachmann, Liz Braun, Courtney Cebula, Shane Hoffman, Max Hyman. Second row: Stefanie Kienstra, Bradley Minkow, Dolores Obregon, Brian Pellot, Taylor Rausch, Bonnie Thomas.

The recipients were recognized at recent events including a special Mizzou ’39 award banquet and reception at the Reynolds Alumni Center, a ceremony in Jesse Hall and recognition during halftime at the MU vs. Colorado men’s basketball game.

The 12 Missouri Journalism seniors honored this year were:

  • Whitney Bodenstab is a strategic communication and business marketing dual major from Blue Springs. She is the marketing manager for the Robert J. Trulaske College of Business‘s study abroad programs, the chairman of the Organization Resource Group, a member of the Student Leadership Advisory Council and an active member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. Mentor: Chuck Franz, associate professor and director of the Trulaske College of Business study abroad programs.
  • Amy Brachmann, from Crystal Lake, Ill., is pursuing a major in magazine journalism and minors in English and political science. She is a Journalism Peer Adviser in Mark Twain Hall, a Journalism Ambassador, president of the Magazine Club, a TigerX instructor at the Student Recreation Center and a member of University Singers. Mentor: Tom Warhover, associate professor, print and digital news, Missouri School of Journalism.
  • Liz Braun is a strategic communication and history major from Saginaw, Mich. She was the 2009 Homecoming Tri-Director and is the vice president of Omicron Delta Kappa. Braun is also a Journalism Ambassador, a member of the Relay for Life steering committee and a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. Mentor: Suzette Heiman, professor, Missouri School of Journalism.
  • Courtney Cebula is a convergence journalism major and information technology minor from Naperville, Ill. She serves as a freshman mentor in the Journalism Students Association and is a member of Gamma Phi Beta sorority and Tau Sigma National Honor Society. Cebula participated in the Europe Tour study abroad program. Mentor: Elizabeth Brixey, associate professor, Missouri School of Journalism.
  • Shane Hoffman is a radio-television journalism major with sociology minor from Ruidoso, N.M. He serves as journalism and communications peer advisor, A Way With Words and Numbers tutor, Student Staff Training leader coordinator, Student Staff Conference assistant intern. He is also an anchor and reporter for KBIA Radio. Mentor: Shawn Wallace, academic adviser, Missouri School of Journalism.
  • Max Hyman is a radio-television journalism major from Yonkers, N.Y. He is a tour guide for the MU Office of Visitor Relations. Hyman serves as a teaching assistant with the School’s state government reporting program in Jefferson City and as a state capitol correspondent for KMOX-AM. Some of his work has aired nationally on ABC News Radio. Hyman was selected as royalty for Homecoming 2008, is a former member of the Homecoming Steering Committee and a former president of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. Mentor: Todd McCubbin, executive director, Mizzou Alumni Association.
  • Stefanie Kienstra is a magazine journalism and psychology major with an art minor from St. Louis. She serves as an executive council member of Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership honor society and was Zeta Tau Alpha sorority vice president. Kienstra is a member and mentor in Journalism Scholars Association, served as a Pi Chi recruitment counselor for Panhellenic Recruitment, and is active in Big Brothers Big Sisters and Relay for Life. Mentor: Jacqui Banaszynski, professor, Missouri School of Journalism.
  • Bradley Minkow is a strategic communication major from Northbrook, Ill. He is involved with the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity and Omicron Delta Kappa national leadership honor society. Minkow is also a member of the Homecoming, Greeks Advocating the Mature Management of Alcohol (GAMMA) and RAMS steering committees. Mentor: Etti Naveh-Benjamin, assistant visiting professor, Psychological Services.
  • Dolores Obregon is a magazine journalism major from San Antonio, Texas. She serves as a Journalism Ambassador and is a member of both the Vagina Monologues and Mortar Board National Honor Society. After graduation, Obregon hopes to return to her native state as a staff member for Teach for America. Mentor: Jacqui Banaszynski, professor, Missouri School of Journalism.
  • Brian Pellot is a convergence journalism and international studies dual major from Wausau, Wis. He has represented MU on press trips in Egypt, Qatar, Jordan and, most recently, Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Pellot participates in AIESEC, Adopt-A-Spot, Intensive English Program, Peer Advisor and the Mark Twain Green Team. Mentor: Vicky Riback-Wilson, fellowships coordinator, MU Fellowships Office.
  • Taylor Rausch is a magazine journalism major and history major from Zionsville, Ind. She has served as the past president and National Student Representative for the Society of Professional Journalists, as well as a past co-director for GAMMA. She is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, where she served as the vice president of public relations, and a member of the Griffiths Leadership Society for Women. Currently, Rausch is working for the Midwest Innocence Project and plans to attend law school in the fall. Mentor: Charles Davis, associate professor, Missouri School of Journalism.
  • Bonnie Thomas is a broadcast journalism and sociology major from Phoenix, Ariz. She is an active member of Chi Omega sorority and also works as an anchor, reporter and Web editor at KOMU-TV. Thomas was selected for 2009 Top Ten for Homecoming Royalty. Mentor: Greeley Kyle, assistant professor, Missouri School of Journalism.

Updated: May 7, 2020

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