12 Journalism Students Selected for Mizzou ’39 Honors

2019 Mizzou '39 Seniors

Seniors Recognized for Their Leadership, Service and Academic Achievements

Columbia, Mo. (Feb. 27, 2019) — Twelve Missouri School of Journalism students are among the 39 selected for Mizzou ’39. The award, given by the Mizzou Alumni Association Student Board, recognizes 39 outstanding seniors across all majors for their leadership, service and academic achievement throughout their time at the University of Missouri.

The award is given in spirit of the service cornerstone on which MU was founded in 1839. Mizzou ’39 recipients name a MU faculty or staff mentor to recognize at the awards ceremony.

The Missouri School of Journalism recipients and their mentors are:

Troy D’Souza
Major: Convergence Journalism
Hometown: Skokie, Illinois
Activities/Honors: Mizzou Catholic Student Association; Mizzou Spirit Squad; Homecoming Top 10 Royalty Candidate
Mentor: Suzy Thompson

2019 Mizzou '39 Seniors
Twelve J-School students were selected for Mizzou ’39, an annual award recognizing 39 outstanding seniors across all majors for their leadership, service and academic achievement throughout their time at the University of Missouri. From top-left, first row: Troy D’Souza, Nnamdi Egwuonwu, Beckie Jaeckels, Mercedes Mackay; second row: Gabri Mays, Matthew Oxendale; third row: Abas Pauti, Denajha Phillips; fourth row: Ayesha Vishnani, Alicia White, Kelsie Wilkins, Ashley Yong.

Nnamdi Egwuonwu
Major: Convergence Journalsim
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
Activities/Honors: President of the National Association of Black Journalists; Ambassador for the Missouri School of Journalism; Mentor for TRiO Cats; Senior Peer Advisor for the Office of Financial Aid; Gates Millennium Scholar
Mentor: Mark Hinojosa, Associate Professor, Missouri School of Journalism

Beckie Jaeckels
Major: Journalism
Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Activities/Honors: Residential Life; Cherng Summer Scholar; Discovery Fellow
Mentor: Berkley Hudson, Associate Professor, Missouri School of Journalism

Mercedes Mackay
Major: Broadcast Journalism
Hometown: Sugar Land, Texas
Activities/Honors: Tour Team Training and Professional Development Coordinator; KOMU Anchor and Reporter; Chi Omega; Homecoming Royalty Top 10; ODK; Greek Jamaica Mission Trip
Mentor: Jim Riek, News Anchor/Reporter, KOMU-TV 8

Gabri Mays
Major: Strategic Communication
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
Activities/Honors: Tour Team; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Delta Tau Chapter; National Association of Black Journalists, PR Chair; Diversity Award Recipient; Missouri School of Journalism Peer Advisor
Mentor: LeAnn Stroupe, Director of Visitor Relations

Matthew Oxendale
Major: Strategic Communication
Hometown: Milan, Missouri
Activities/Honors: 2017 President of Alpha Gamma Sigma; 2018 Vice President of Public Relations for Mizzou IFC; 2017 Marketing Intern – Mizzou Athletics Marketing
Mentor: Pete Ozias, Director of Undergraduate Advising, Missouri School of Journalism

Abas Pauti
Major: Journalism
Hometown: Memphis, Tennessee
Activities/Honors: Former Residential Advisor; Tour Team; Mystical 7 Honor Tap; Kinder Scholar
Mentor: LeAnn Stroupe, Director of Visitor Relations

Denajha Phillips
Major: Journalism
Hometown: Sterling, Missouri
Activities/Honors: Legion of Black Collegians; Griffiths Leadership Society for Women; National Association of Black Journalists; Mizzou Alternative Breaks
Mentor: Vicki Boyd-Kennedy, TRiO Academic Advisor, MU Learning Center

Ayesha Vishnani
Major: Journalism
Hometown: Overland Park, Kansas
Activities/Honors: Four Front Marginalized Student Council Co-Chair; South Asian Students Association; Diversity Peer Educator; Womxn of Color Retreat Facilitator; Feminist Student Union
Mentor: Chelsea Drake, Coordinator-Multicultural Center

Alicia White
Major: Strategic Communication
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Activities/Honors: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Delta Tau Chapter Spring 17 Initiate; Journalism Ambassadors; Mizzou Black Women’s Initiative – Teaching Assistant; 4A’s Multicultural Advertising Internship Program 2018 Alumni; American Advertising Federation Most Promising Multicultural Students Program 2019 Class; 2018 Legion of Black Collegians Homecoming Queen
Mentor: Velma Buckner, Coordinator-Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center

Kelsie Wilkins
Major: Journalism
Hometown: Flossmoor, Illinois
Activities/Honors: Legion of Black Collegians; National Association of Black Journalists; Mortar Board Honor Society; MU Residential Life
Mentor: Velma Buckner, Coordinator-Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center

Ashley Yong
Major: Journalism
Hometown: Darien, Illinois
Activities/Honors: Resident Adviser; Asian American Association; Summer Welcome Leader; Outreach Student Recruitment Team; Mortar Board Honor Society
Mentor: Shane Stinson, Residential Life

Updated: August 26, 2020

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