Scholarships and Awards

The Robert Risse Prize honors a graduating senior for superior performance in the Communication Studies Minor in the College of Liberal Arts. The award commemorates Professor Robert Risse, one of the founders of UMass Boston's Communication Studies Program. Professor Risse conceived and designed courses; developed and taught curricula in television fundamentals and production; and, early on, employed computer technology to enhance the study of imagery and sound.  Ali Hopey, the 2011 award winner, has shown outstanding academic performance in course work related to both Communication production and the scholarly study of Communication processes and effects. Her chosen academic path merged the study of issues related to both Psychology and Media Studies into a cohesive scholarly focus. Ali intends to spend the next year travelling, and then pursue her studies further by enrolling in graduate school in either Psychology or Communication.

The David Nyhan Student Journalism Award was established in 2005 by the Communication Studies Program and the Center on Media and Society to honor political columnist David Nyhan. It recognizes a student or students each year who display the skills, tenacity, ethics and temperament to use their Communication training to serve the public. The 2011 winner was Chris Bang, a double major in Psychology and Sociology, with a minor in Communication Studies. Chris graduated with the highest cumulative grade point average in the Communication Studies minor, having displayed extraordinary aptitude in courses dealing with Media Psychology, Journalism, and the role of mass media in society. Chris plans on using his Psychology and Communication training to pursue a career in a career in human services and mental health after graduation.

For more information about Communication Studies awards, feel free to contact Jennifer Gregg at