A public relations veteran, a former newspaper editor, a magazine publishing rising star and a high-level health communications executive were all recently honored by the West Virginia University Reed College of Media at its annual Alumni and Donor Recognition Ceremony. Originated by the College’s local alumni chapter, the outstanding alumni awards acknowledge exceptional professional achievements as well as commitment and service to the College of Media.
Dean Maryanne Reed welcomed alumni, donors and guests to the ceremony, which was held at the Media Innovation Center on October 27, before presenting the awards.
“The alumni and donor awards program recognizes both our successful graduates and our friends and supporters whose dedication to the College has made a significant impact on the quality of our academic programs and the student experience,” said Dean Reed. “This year’s awards recipients are no exception. They are top professionals who make our College proud.”
The 2017 Outstanding Alumni Awards include the following:
Joe W. Gollehon (BSJ, 1973) received the P.I. Reed Achievement Award. Created in 1966, it is the most prestigious award bestowed upon alumni. The award recognizes outstanding achievements in journalism or strategic communications. Gollehon has been involved in public relations, internal and external communications, government affairs and crisis communications since 1973. In 2016, he retired as the senior vice president and director of governmental affairs for TSG Consulting, LLC. Currently, he works for the firm in a part-time “Of Counsel” position. Before joining TSG, Gollehon spent 27 years in various ownership and management roles with Charles Ryan Associates, a regional integrated marketing communications firm. From 1984-85, he served as president of the West Virginia Chapter- PRSA and was honored by that chapter as “Practitioner of the Year” in 2002 and received its “Life Achievement Award” in 2016. Also in 2016, Gollehon was presented the “Distinguished West Virginian Award” for outstanding achievement and meritorious service by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin.
Karen Snyder Duke (BS, 2009) won the College’s Young Alumna Award, which recognizes an alumna (or alumnus) who has graduated in the last 10 years and who has shown the ability to succeed in his or her field. Duke is the health editor at REDBOOK, where she manages a team of writers and celebrity contributors to produce a 10-page section each month. During her time at REDBOOK, the publication has earned top honors in the Clarion, Min, and National Health Information awards; in 2015, she was named one of Min’s Rising Stars, which recognizes media leaders under 30. After graduating from WVU in 2009, Duke landed at Parents, where she assisted three top editors and edited five columns, before being promoted to associate editor of American Baby. At AB, she worked as one of only two full-time editors, handling up to half of the magazine’s news pages and features per issue, and made regular appearances on CBS News.
Louise Crumrine Seals (BS, 1966) was presented with the Friend of the College Award. This award recognizes individuals for their exemplary support and commitment to the Reed College of Media. The award was established in honor of Professor Emeritus Paul A. Atkins. From 1995 to 2006, Seals was the managing editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch , a period in which the newspaper won the Virginia Press Association’s top award for public service four times. Seals helped plan and lead numerous major changes at the paper, from the first use of computers to content and design innovations. During her career, Seals was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi honorary society, Kappa Tau Alpha journalism honorary, and the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. She served on the advisory boards for both WVU and Virginia Communications University. Now in retirement, Seals has gravitated to a new “family,” Richmond Tree Stewards, and their volunteer work helping care for the urban forest and educating the public about the value of trees.
Chuck Harman (BSJ, 1981, MSJ, 1984) received the Commitment to Service Award. The College established this award in honor of Dr. Ivan Pinnell, long-time College of Media faculty member and administrator who retired in May 2013 after more than two decades of service to the College. The Commitment to Service Award recognizes those who have shown great dedication and service to the College. Harman has been an adjunct faculty member at the College of Media since 1999. For the past 12 years, he has taught the public relations and strategic communications capstone course, incorporating and leading study abroad trips to Ireland, Italy, Brazil and the United Kingdom. He also serves as chief development officer and acts as a member of the executive management team for NAMI, the nation’s largest consumer organization focused on mental illness in the United States. Earlier in his career he worked for Time Warner Cable and Ramsay Health Care.