Volume 9, Issue 1
honors distinguished alumna, outstanding graduates, and faculty
Communication faculty and students gave two standing ovations for this year's distinguished Communication alumna, Leslie C. Mouton (USL Broadcasting, 1988), after recognizing scholarship winners and outstanding Communication students and faculty May 2, 2008 at the Petroleum Club in Lafayette.
Mouton is the noon and 6 p.m. television news anchor at KSAT-12 (ABC) in San Antonio, Texas. She is also a breast cancer survivor who shared her story with 115 attendees at the annual banquet, relating the story of how she confronted her struggle with breast cancer by going public and inviting news cameras into her home and hospital to document the ordeal.
From surgery through chemotherapy including hair loss and radiation, the graduate of St. Thomas More High School in Lafayette went so far as to anchor a newscast bald one night — removing her wig — a decision she said changed her life as well as the lives of others. Shortly after the newscast, Mouton received an e-mail from a fellow cancer patient, a woman afraid to remove her wig except when alone in her house. After seeing the news anchor remove her wig on television, she did the same that night and was proud for the first time of the way she looked.
Mouton's fight against breast cancer gained national attention and feature coverage on Good Morning America, Weekend Today, and the Opra Winfrey Show. The television journalist said her personal fight also gave her a public platform to educate women about the importance of self-examination and early detection. In addition to serving on the National Cancer Association's board, she has been voted one of the 10 outstanding young Texans by the Jaycees and garnered numerous other awards for her courage.
Also receiving awards during
the banquet were:
Departmental student organizations also honored outstanding members of the year:
Melissa Tyler, National Association
of Black Journalists (NABJ);
The outstanding graduate student award was given to Sidharth Muralidharan. Elliott Ewing received the outstanding research assistant award and Bonnie White was honored for writing the best thesis of the year concerning newspaper coverage of female athletes.
Scholarship award winners for
2008 include Lauren Ducote and Ruth Toce (Ron Rich Scholarship); Megan
Broussard (Calvin Lear Scholarship); Claudia Mendez (Robert E. Simmons
Scholarship); Shih-Fang Huang (Jung-Sook Lee Scholarship); Karen James
(Roy Murphy Scholarship); and Laura Hebert (Jacob Hirsch Scholarship).
Photos by Megan Barnett