UMass Boston

The Risse Award

The Robert Risse Prize honors a graduating senior for superior performance in Communication in the College of Liberal Arts. The award commemorates Professor Robert Risse, one of the founders of UMass Boston’s original 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. He directed the program for most of its first fifteen years, prior to establishment of the Communication Department in 2013. He personally advised hundreds of students about their options in the field of communication.

2023 Risse Award Winner-Dominick Stephen Ferreira

Dominick joined the Communication Department in the Spring 2020 and completed his coursework by May 2023 with a nearly perfect GPA. Dom’s analytical writing skills, honed through his coursework in the Communication Department, are noteworthy and have been recognized by faculty members as exemplary.

Dom's passion for communication extends beyond his academic responsibilities. His involvement in various extracurricular activities, such as the First-Year Leadership Institute, Alpha Lambda Delta, and Alpha Alpha Alpha honor societies, showcases his commitment to leadership and community engagement. Furthermore, Dom has selflessly contributed his time and skills through volunteer work at City Hall in Boston, exemplifying his dedication to serving his community.

Dom has clear career aspirations and plans to pursue a career in communication, potentially in graduate school. His drive and dedication to his field of study are also evident through his involvement with The Mass Media, where he has consistently produced high-quality work as a photography editor.  

Dom's remarkable achievements and contributions make him a worthy nominee for the Risse award. His dedication to academic excellence, leadership involvement, volunteer work, and passion for communication make him a deserving candidate who embodies the values of the award.  

The David Nyhan Award in Communication Studies-Georgina Campbell Miles

Georgina joined the Communication Department in Fall 2022 after transferring from the Harvard Extension School, earning a perfect 4.0 GPA in both institutions, demonstrating her outstanding academic performance. Throughout her time in our department, Georgina has consistently displayed exemplary participation in class discussions. She actively engages in thoughtful and insightful discussions, contributing to the learning environment and enriching classroom discussions with her perspectives and ideas.  

In addition to her outstanding academic achievements, Georgina has also demonstrated exceptional leadership and service qualities. She has taken on the role of social media coordinator for the Communication Department, providing invaluable support in managing our social media presence. Her dedication and commitment to this role have been commendable, showcasing her proactive approach and willingness to contribute beyond her academic obligations.

Georgina's outstanding academic performance, consistent excellence, active participation, leadership and service, and positive feedback from professors all highlight her exceptional qualities as a student and a person.   

Commencement Departmental Distinction Awards

  • Cedrick Julien Gustave
  • Victoria Elizabeth Jones
  • Jack Nguyen