A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, the designer of USA TODAY’s first prototypes, the public address announcer for WVU football and basketball and a social justice activist were among the alumni recognized at the WVU Reed College of Media’s annual Spring Honors Ceremony.
Each year, the College seeks nominations and presents alumni awards for lifetime achievement; service; support; and success within the first 10 years post-graduation. The 2021–22 awardees include Margie Mason (BSJ, 1997), J. Ford Huffman (BSJ, 1972), Bill Nevin (M.S. IMC, 2006) and Chelsea Fuller (BSJ, 2011).
“Margie, J. Ford, Bill and Chelsea are a testament to the power of skilled journalists, communicators and media professionals to enact real change in our communities,” said Dean Diana Martinelli. “They are advocates for our College and for our industry, and they are an inspiration to future media professionals. We are so fortunate to have them in our alumni family.”
Mason was awarded the P.I. Reed Achievement Award for outstanding accomplishments in journalism. An award-winning global investigative reporter for the Associated Press, Mason spent nearly two decades in Southeast Asia as a foreign correspondent. Her stories often focus on women, children, poverty and human rights abuses. In 2016, she and a team of AP journalists won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service and the prestigious Selden Ring Award for a series about slavery in Southeast Asia’s fishing industry. This series resulted in more than 2,000 men being freed. More recently, in 2021?, she and reporting partner Robin McDowell again received the Selden Ring for their investigation into labor abuses in the palm oil industry. She hails from Daybrook, West Virginia, and received an honorary doctorate from WVU in 2017.
Huffman received the Friend of the College Award, which was established in honor of the late Professor Emeritus Paul A. Atkins to recognize individuals for their exemplary support and commitment to the school. A storyteller and strategist, Huffman advises and consults for a variety of media organizations. He spent much of his career at USA TODAY, where he directed the design of the paper’s first prototypes and ultimately worked as deputy managing editor. He began his career at the News-Register in Wheeling, West Virginia, before joining Gannett in 1977. He has taught courses and workshops for the American Press, Maynard and Poynter institutes; the Defense Information School; in nearly 50 Gannett newsrooms; and at universities from Florida to South Dakota.
Nevin was the recipient of the Commitment to Service Award, established in honor of Dr. R. Ivan Pinnell for his more than two decades of service to the College. As WVU Foundation associate vice president for communications, Nevin leads internal and external communications and marketing. He has been an adjunct instructor in the Reed College of Media for the past 16 years, teaching graduate courses in Integrated Marketing Communications and undergraduate courses he designed in voice performance. He serves as public address announcer for WVU football, WVU men’s basketball, the WVU Marching Band, WVU commencement ceremonies and the West Virginia Black Bears. In 2019, he was named Public Address Announcer of the Year by the National Association of Sports Public Address Announcers.
Fuller received the Young Alumna Award, which recognizes media and communications professionals who have demonstrated an ability to excel in their field within 10 years of graduating. A seasoned communications and media strategist, Fuller served as vice president of communications at TIME’S UP and as the deputy director of communications at Blackbird, a leading social movement capacity-building firm, where she worked for nearly six years. Fuller is a former journalist who is highly regarded for her work in advising media professionals on their reporting of systemic issues, leading to more accurate, nuanced and authentic coverage of topics that affect society’s most vulnerable.
For a full list of alumni awardees or to make nominations, which are accepted year-round, visit mediacollege.wvu.edu/alumni-awards.