ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y., March 22, 2006 — St. Bonaventure University’s Russell J. Jandoli School of Journalism and Mass Communication has named Lois Bennett as the recipient of its 2006 Dr. Mary A. Hamilton Woman of Promise Award.
Bennett was presented the award Tuesday, March 21, in Dresser Auditorium of The John J. Murphy Professional Building. Barbara Pinson, anchor and reporter for WIVB-TV Channel 4 News in Buffalo, served as the keynote speaker. Pinson has taught in the journalism school as an adjunct professor.
The Woman of Promise Award is named after Dr. Mary A. Hamilton, a retired associate professor of journalism and mass communication at St. Bonaventure. A 1959 graduate, Hamilton returned in 1982 as a faculty member; she also served as chair of the journalism department. An expert in media law and women’s contributions to the media, Hamilton worked as a reporter and editor in New York City, Washington D.C., and York, Pa., and helped develop a public relations program for the Center for Constitutional Rights. She holds a Ph.D. from Michigan State University.
The award is presented to a senior who excels in and out of the classroom and sets a good example for her peers. The recipient is a student who, in the faculty’s opinion, possesses all the skills necessary to not only succeed, but also thrive in her postgraduate career.
Bennett was born in Wimbledon, England, and currently hails from Calgary. She visited SBU originally as a recruit for the soccer team but chose to enroll because of the journalism program.
“Throughout my four years at St. Bonaventure, I’ve tried to expand my experiences beyond the athletic realm,” Bennett said.
During her freshman year, she became involved in the Student Athlete Advisory Council. She is president of the council. Through the SAAC, she has done volunteer work at the YMCA and around the Bonaventure campus. Also during her (more) freshman year, Bennett went on a service trip through University Ministries to Belize and has since completed two more service endeavors to New York City and Guyana.
During the summer between her sophomore and junior years, Bennett interned at CNN in Miami. “I experienced a complete change of culture and my first real newsroom simultaneously in a three-month period,” she says. “I was able to shadow national correspondent Susan Candiotti during an interview with O.J. Simpson and his attorney and also attend press conferences for Shaquille O’Neal and John Ashcroft.”
Upon her return, she became involved in both SBU-TV and the American Advertising Federation, and she was a member of AAF’s presentation team for both 2005 and 2006. During her senior year, she was named captain of the women’s soccer team and was recognized by the Atlantic 10 commissioner for her academic success. She has earned dean’s list status for five semesters and has been named to the A-10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll all four years at Bonaventure. After soccer finished, Bennett joined the a capella singing group on campus, Vocalusion.
Next year, Bennett plans to either attend law school in California or travel to Africa for a one-year service placement with Right to Play.