Annual Communication Alumni and Friends Reception
Network with classmates, reconnect with professors and meet other alumni at the Annual Communication Alumni and Friends Reception. Information about upcoming receptions will be added as it becomes available.
2018 Communication Awards and Reception
In honor of its 10th anniversary, the college hosted the inaugural Communication Alumni and Friends Awards in March 2018. The special reception was held at the Union League Club of Chicago, and included remarks from Dean Salma Ghanem and Lourdes Duarte (CMN ’99), anchor and investigative reporter at WGN-TV Chicago and Dean’s Advisory Council member. Below is a complete list of honorees.
Distinguished Alumna Award
Sarah Kustok (CMN ’04, MA ’10)
Sarah Kustok is a leader in her industry as the only woman to work as the primary solo NBA game analyst at a regional sports network. Sarah is a former DePaul basketball captain and assistant coach who launched her career in Chicago working with CSN Chicago, NBC-5, and Fox-32, before moving to New York’s YES network. Sarah continues to stay engaged with DePaul University as a proud and spirited ambassador of the Journalism program and the College of Communication.
Outstanding Service to the Community Award
Rashanah Baldwin (CMN ’11, MA)
Rashanah Baldwin is a journalist, community leader, and housing advocate. Rashanah has worked to change the perception and news coverage of her neighborhood, through her “Good in Englewood” campaign. She also serves her community by founding and leading a Girl Scout troop in her church, and overseeing a young ladies mentoring program named “Tea with a Queen.”
Laurence Holmes (LAS ’97)
Laurence has a successful career in sports broadcasting and is an adjunct professor for the College of Communication. Laurence holds true to the Vincentian mission by dedicating time and resources to the community. Laurence serves as a mentor for students, an inspirational speaker through the National Association of Black Journalists, he recycles unused sports equipment and brings them to lesser funded schools, and raises funds for local causes like iGrow Chicago. iGrow’s mission is to bring peace and rebuild the Englewood community through yoga, mindfulness, gardening and the arts.
Evangeline Semark (CMN ’14, MA)
Evangeline Semark is the director of communications and engagement for Evanston Township High School District 202. In her current role, Evangeline has worked to create institutional changes toward gender and racial inclusion. Her work has received national recognition and has inspired other high school communities to make similar changes. Evangeline also serves as president of the Howard Community Center.
Outstanding Service to DePaul Award
DJ Hurula (CMN ’96)
DJ Hurula is the principal and creative director at ONE Brand Studio, Inc. DJ is an expert in branding, and his studio has been recognized with multiple Telly and Davey Awards honoring creative excellence. DJ is a member of AIGA (the professional association for design), and believes strongly in mentoring the next generation of communication professionals.
Jay Porter, president of Edelman Chicago, is a nationally recognized leader in his field. Jay has helped further the professional development of DePaul alumni and students through hiring and internship opportunities, and serving as a guest lecturer and an advisor for the PRAD program. Jay is committed to helping develop the industry’s next generation of leaders.
Rising Star Award
Krysten Gibson (CMN ’08)
Krysten Gibson is a nationally recognized expert in social media data and analytics, and is currently an associate director of data and insights at VML. Krysten was instrumental in bringing the Innovation Lab to campus. She has continued to stay engaged with the University as a guest lecturer for faculty and a mentor for students.
Tara Giuliano (CMN ’14, MA)
Tara Giuliano is the head of client and product marketing for Nuveen. Tara is a corporate leader having moved quickly through the ranks at UBS at a young age. Tara served as president of the American Marketing Association in 2013, and continues to serve as an advisor for the organization. Tara also serves on the programming committee for the Professional Women’s Club of Chicago, and has mentored many young women over the years.
Leah Hendrickson (CMN ’12)
Leah Hendrickson is the first social media manager for the Chicago Blackhawks. Under her direction the Blackhawks recorded over 32 million engagements and 2.9 billion impressions for the 2016-2017 season. Leah has moved up the ranks quickly in the competitive sports industry.
Jenn Kloc (CMN ’10)
Jenn Kloc is a senior marketing manager at Jellyvision. As an expert in account-based marketing programs, Jenn was invited to speak at the Content2Conversion Conference last February. Jenn holds true to the Vincentian mission of service, by leading Jellyvision’s holiday giving program, including fundraising drives, volunteer recruitment and coordination with local non-profits.