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          The Association for Women in Communications

News / Articles

November 2019

Published on 11/26/2019

Barbara S. Cochran Is Given AWC's Highest Honor

By Sheryl Liddle


The International Matrix Award is the highest honor given by the Association for Women in Communications (AWC). This award celebrates communications professionals who, through their professional excellence, have left an indelible stamp on the field.

On Monday, September 20, in a celebration at the 2019 AWC National Professional Development Conference, Barbara S. Cochran accepted the recognition and gratitude of the AWC Board of Directors and her peers. Dean of the Missouri School of Journalism, Dr. David Kurpius, introduced Barbara to the crowd at the Clarion Dinner in St. Charles, Mo. She delighted attendees with “war stories” of journalism – from Watergate to the present day. Not only has Barbara held the "integrity banner" high for journalism, she has continually championed the role of women in the journalism field by holding positions of leadership herself.

Barbara spent her entire career as a news executive in Washington, D.C., in the broadcast, print and non-profit worlds. She recently retired as the Curtis B. Hurley Chair in Public Journalism for the Missouri School of Journalism. During her career, Barbara served as managing editor of the Washington Star; vice president for news for National Public Radio; executive producer of the National Broadcasting Company's (NBC) Meet the Press; and vice president and Washington bureau chief for CBS News. She supervised coverage of major national stories, such as Watergate and the Persian Gulf War. Barbara played a leading role in the coverage of every election and political convention spanning a 24-year time period. Additionally, she served as president of the Radio Television Digital News Association for 12 years.

AWC is proud to have bestowed this honor on Barbara S. Cochran.


Starshine Roshell Is the 2019 Headliner Award Winner

By Mitzie Zerr


Award-winning journalist, writing coach and messaging expert Starshine Roshell received the AWC Headliner Award at the 2019 AWC National Professional Development Conference in St. Charles, Mo.

Readers of the American Riviera have voted her Best Columnist for 10 straight years for her frank and funny lifestyle column in the Santa Barbara Independent, which reveals the honest and absurd truths about sex, family, politics and culture. Her columns are collected in the books Keep Your Skirt OnWife on the Edge, and Broad Assumptions.
Starshine spent a decade as a news reporter, theater and music critic, Sunday columnist and deputy features editor at the daily Santa Barbara News-Press. She became an outspoken advocate for journalistic ethics during the 2006 clash between the paper’s reporters and publisher, which was a well-publicized battle covered by Vanity Fairthe New York Times and the documentary film, Citizen McCaw.

Starshine has received California Newspaper Publishers Association awards for both column- writing and business and financial reporting. Her work has been published in the New York Postthe Weekthe Roanoke Timesthe Ventura County Star, as well as more than a dozen magazines. She taught journalism at the University of California, Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara City College. Currently, Starshine works as both a writing instructor on LinkedIn Learning and as media and communications director at Fielding Graduate University.

The AWC Headliner Award recognizes an AWC member who consistently excels in the communication field and has national accomplishments. Starshine is a member of the AWC Santa Barbara Profession Chapter.


About Starshine

Starshine Roshell is a journalism professor, magazine writer, award-winning columnist and overwhelmed mother of two. Named for a song in the 1960s musical "Hair," in which her father starred, Starshine grew up in Los Angeles on the soap opera sets and in the Sunset Strip nightclubs where her parents worked. She graduated UCLA cum laude and wrote for The Hollywood Reporter before joining the Santa Barbara News-Press as a news reporter, theater and rock music critic, Sunday columnist and deputy features editor. She resigned with dozens of colleagues in 2006 over the publisher's breaches of journalistic ethics. Her syndicated column won a first-place award from the California Newspaper Publishers Association, and she has a second-place CNPA award for Business/Financial reporting. Starshine lives in Santa Barbara with her husband John, a graphic artist, and their two sons.

From the Chair

By Anita Parran


National Board Member, Yvonne Limon – who is also a member of the AWC Lubbock Chapter – will be honored as one of Lubbock’s Top 20 Professionals on November 13, 2019. The Lubbock Chamber of Commerce recognizes “outstanding individuals under the age of 40, who exemplify leadership in their careers, while actively participating in making Lubbock a better place to live, work, play, learn and raise a family.”

Limon is the marketing director for Lee Lewis Construction, Inc. and was nominated by the company’s Executive Vice President, Liz Lonngren. In part, Lonngren wrote, “Yvonne has excelled at all levels and beyond the role, she was hired for…Yvonne’s writing skills, creative solutions and unique perspective in responding to prospective clients set her apart from others in her field. She has led multiple initiatives and is an extremely valued member of the Lew Lewis Construction team.”

Limon was touted for her efforts in developing additional visibility for the company in the Lubbock community through the company's philanthropy. She is currently spearheading efforts to create opportunities for employees to help make Lubbock a better place to live and work. Her community activities include:

  • Board Member, Volunteer Center of Lubbock
  • Vice President-Communications – AWC Lubbock Professional Chapter
  • Chair, 35th Annual Celebrity Luncheon for the AWC Professional Chapter
  • Chair, Restoration Luncheon for Lubbock Habitat for Humanity
  • Graduate, Leadership Lubbock
  • Committee Member, The Children’s Home of Lubbock
  • Texas Tech Leadership Class Mentorship
  • Committee Member, Komen North & West Texas

“From an early age, the idea of giving back to the community and being a ‘law-abiding, tax-paying citizen’ was instilled in me through my parents and teachers,” Limon explained. She added that her participation with the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, since age 16, was also extremely meaningful, as were the individuals she encountered through that organization. “The example they have all set is that you can truly have it all when you give it your all,” Limon concluded.

AWC offers up a hearty, "way to go, Yvonne!"

Trending Blog: Education to Graduation

By Anna Gorski

As I wrap up my college career, I find I am enrolled in only major classes, with no general education classes – thank God! Public Relations Campaigns and Magazine Publication & Design are senior elective courses that showcase content relatable to the communication industry. All of which motivates my passion for attending the School of Communication at Illinois State University.

People often instruct students to “get involved on campus” or “obtain an internship to prepare yourself for the future.” However, few people highlight the importance of engagement and communication in the classroom at the college level. Most students seem to only want to graduate and leave school. But there is still so much learning to accomplish! Some people say, “Education is important." But why is it important? And how can a student get the most use out of their short, one hour class periods? Asking questions, connecting with classmates, listening to the professor, putting effort into assignments and looking at any feedback your teacher provides, can help young professionals prepare for the career ahead of them...

Continue Reading Education to Graduation on Trending.

Chapter Leader Call: Two New Things

By AWC Staff

Thank you to all who participated in the October Chapter Leader Call! Because of the lively collaboration that came out of this meeting, two new options are in place: Office Hours and Take the Lead.

Office Hours
AWC's National Board Chair, Anita K. Parran, will be available for conversation with any AWC member every fourth Friday of the month. The timeframe to connect with Anita is from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (CST). Our new "National Board Chair Conference Call Hour" begins November 22. Members will have an opportunity to ask questions, make suggestions, and share information, as well as get information, by calling Anita's personal conference call number. She may be reached at 1.515.604.9723, Access Code: 757422#. The line will remain open for one hour. "The sky is the limit on topics," said Anita. "All queries will be respected and responded to within one or two business days."

Take the Lead
Chapter leaders will take the lead on topics of importance through Chapter Leader Conference Calls. These calls will be facilitated by chapter leaders beginning January of 2020. AWC's Detroit Chapter Leaders, Deniella Ortiz-Lalain and Laura Olivetto, have volunteered to spearhead the January call. The first topic will be insightful and, perhaps, even provocative for chapters.

While the AWC Detroit Chapter is taking the lead on the first conference call, other chapter leaders will facilitate future calls and select appropriate topics for these monthly meetings. Put your thinking caps on and think about how you can "Take the Lead" on a discussion that benefits all of our chapters and helps make them shine. Topic suggestions might be best practices, programming ideas or selecting speakers. The December Communique will have additional information on this new initiative.

Link with Like-Minded Professionals on the New LinkedIn Page

By Peggy Fleming

Technology is constantly evolving and social media channels are changing, too. When AWC first established a presence on LinkedIn, there was only one kind of page – pages for people, not organizations. Later, LinkedIn rolled out company pages, which was actually what we needed. The Marketing & Communications Committee has been looking at this carefully and we now have a new AWC LinkedIn company page!

The old page presented AWC as an individual and it will be phased out. The AWC Group is now associated with the company page, so we will retain that, as well as our more than 11,000 followers. We need to work on gaining followers on our company page and this is where you come in – help AWC by visiting the new company page and following it today!

Luminous Points in Communications: AWC Chapter Star Award Winners

By LaDonna Greiner

The AWC Chapter Star Award is given to honor a member who has excelled in activities that shine a light on their Chapter, as well as by their actions in advancing the communications field.

As you read through the accomplishments of the 2019 winners, I hope our readers keep the dedicated professionals they know in mind for 2020 nominations. It was an honor to recognize the 2019 Star Award Winners at the Conference in September! We congratulate these outstanding women and recognizing their many contributors to their chapter, the communications field, and their community. Only one person may be nominated by a chapter and members may not receive the Star Award more than once. Chances are, several women in your chapter have received the Star Award!

Let's get to know the 2019 winners.

Tulsa Chapter Winner
The Tulsa, Oka. Chapter honors Jillian Schillaci as their Star Award Winner. As the 2019-2020 Tulsa Chapter President, Jillian set a forward-thinking agenda to bring more diversity to the Tulsa AWC Board. She initiated the idea to have members invite a professional – different than themselves – to each meeting or event. Immediate Past-President, Nicoli Burgin states, ''This is where we want to be as a local Chapter, with a more diverse group of members and Board members."

Jillian had a strong impact as the education co-chair before she stepped in as the current president, answering the call to lead when the president-elect needed to step down. She quickly recruited her board and identified priorities. Additionally, the Tulsa Chapter had the highest number of scholarship applicants vying for two $2,00 scholarships, presented at the annual lunch honoring outstanding Tulsa women. Jillian attended the 2019 Conference, is an active participant in the monthly webinars, and strongly believes in helping women become the best versions of themselves. Rounding out Jillian's star qualities is her career, where she creatively contributes to the communications profession.

Springfield Missouri Chapter Winner
Carlye Wannenmacher was chosen by the Springfield, Mo. Chapter as their Star Award Winner. Since 2012, Carlye has been an active member of the local Springfield Chapter. She continuously sparkles with enthusiasm for AWC and stepped up to lead the Chapter by holding multiple terms as secretary, president, co-president and treasurer.

Carlye shares, "My membership in AWC, and the information I gain from the programs, has given me the confidence to excel in my workplace and in service on various boards in my area." She attends AWC conferences, participates in webinars, and encourages professionals to utilize online learning to further their careers. Carlye graciously provides a meeting location for the Board and other social events that are open to new and prospective members.

As Vice President of Marketing at Guaranty Bank, Carlye is a member of the executive management team, driving strategic direction and tactical initiatives, serves as marketing and public relations department director and manages the marketing team. This year, she was recognized for her skills and professionalism by 417 Biz Magazine and Springfield Business Journal.

Springfield AWC Chapter President, Jessie Hughey states, "We are truly blessed that Carlye Wannenmacher is an active member of the Chapter. We are able to count on her professionalism, enthusiasm, and faithful participation, wherever she is needed."

Lubbock Chapter Winner
Lubbock, Texas selected Valerie Moreno as their Star Award Winner. In her role as Vice President of Programs, Valerie brings exceptional programs to the Chapter while serving as Treasurer-in-Training. She led planning efforts for many events including the Fall Professional Development Workshop and Business of the Future, which strengthened the Lubbock AWC's reputation and helped to grow membership.

Valerie is present at every meeting. She greets members, engages with new members and invites prospective members to join the fun! Graciously accepting each challenge the Chapter requests of her, Valerie completes these challenges with dependability and professionalism.

Attending the AWC National Professional Development Conference is important to her. "Participating in the Conference strengthens my communication skills, making me a stronger asset to my community, and my employer, as well as bolstering my local Chapter," said Valerie. She is now the Treasurer of the Lubbock Chapter and in addition to supporting her local Chapter, she manages to prioritize time with her family, church, grow her professional development, and volunteer for additional organizations.

Des Moines Chapter Winner
Nominated by the Greater Des Moines, Iowa Chapter as their Star Award Winner, Cecelia Munzenmaeier plays a vital role in the Des Moines area. She held every position on the Executive Board and strives to help every member and officer be their best. She continuously makes suggestions, provides advice and pushes members to produce positive results. In the words of Chapter President, Kriste Anderson, "She simply makes our Chapter great!"

Cecelia immerses herself in every role she takes on, works diligently to give it "her all." While chapter membership has tapered off in the past few years, it hasn't deterred Cecelia. When needed, she steps up to serve as an officer or working to recruit friends, colleagues, and clients to attend AWC meetings. She even pushes through challenging health events to fulfill her duties on the Board and be an active member at meetings. We are grateful to have Cecelia Munzenmaeier as a member of the Greater Des Moines AWC Chapter!

The AWC National Board of Directors is delighted to recognize the contributions of these women. Additionally, there are many independent members who deserve to be recognized and honored for their contributions to the communications field and our community. Discussions are underway on the best way to acknowledge these professionals. AWC wants to hear your thoughts about this by emailing us at

AWC Welcomes 54 New Student Members

By Julie Navickas

The Student Chapter Recruitment Drive was held this past August. More benefits and a lower membership rate resulted in a record-breaking 54 new student members! One incentive for student chapters to recruit was an offer of a cash donation to the top groups who recruited the most new students.

The winners are:
• Texas Tech University – 1st place ($100)
• Washington State University – Everett – 2nd place ($75)
• Washington State University – Pullman – 3rd place ($50)

Do you know a student (or a scholar who is one year post-graduation) looking for a professional membership to build their portfolio and network? AWC's student rate is only $20! Encourage a friend, intern or mentee to join AWC for only $20.

AWC's New App is Ready for Download

By Anita Parran

The AWC App is ready to download! You may find it in the iTunes Apple Store by searching “AWC Women.” The app works on Google Android phones, too. You will know you have the correct app when you see the AWC logo. Important Notice: Have your AWC website login and password available. You will only need to enter your AWC website login and password to get into the app once. Have AWC at your fingertips everywhere you go! 

Invitation for AWC Members

By AWC Staff

Melissa Clark is founder of The She Shift. Melissa offers products and services to promote and empower women-owned and women-focused businesses as well as women seeking to advance leadership roles. Services and products include business consulting, public relations, speaking opportunities, empowering books, a podcast and featured products.

Melissa is partnering with AWC to provide a 10% discount to members for consulting services. Use the code AWC20 to receive your discount. To learn more email

Follow Melissa on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

Reflections on Women Supporting Each Other

By Jacqueline Post

In September, I joined 60 talented professionals at the 2019 National Professional Development Conference. It was the first AWC Conference that I had the opportunity to attend, as well as to help plan. Amid the busy planning process, I forgot I would have my own experience attending the event.

We had wonderful speakers and programming, as you read about in other articles. What I did not anticipate was the instant camaraderie between myself and my fellow AWC-ers. It was like the awkward small talk part of networking completely disappeared. I felt as if I knew every attendee and I was connected to them in some way. More descriptively, sitting at the Conference felt like "home."

Each of us already had something – if not multiple things – in common with one another. It felt like each attendee found value in AWC, just like I did. Within my industry I have attended many conference.

However, I have never experienced the fellowship as I felt at this conference. I had the opportunity to make new connections and deepen current ones and my experience solidified two things for me:
1. AWC members are always the loudest group. If you don't see us, follow the laughter and you'll find us.
2. There are few things more powerful than women supporting other women.

I strongly encourage all of our members, and those that support our mission, to attend the National Professional Development Conference. You may not have the opportunity to experience anything else quite like it. Most of all, to the attendees who welcomed me to my first conference, "thank you." I am already looking forward to spending more time with my new friends at the next conference!

Chair Chat

By Anita Parran

Greetings! What a whirlwind it has been since being elected National Board Chair during our bi-annual conference in September! I remain humbled and I am looking forward to the challenge of taking on this important role. Additionally, I am grateful to the AWC Board for their assistance within my new role. Just as I accepted the challenge to lead, our association needs forward-thinking and self-starting women – who want to expand their professional resume – to lead, too. Consider applying as a candidate for a national board position or join one of our national committees. These include Marketing & Communications, Membership, Professional Development, and Student Outreach. I encourage all members to expand their horizons, to give back to our association, and find those personal benefits from volunteering, too. I invite you to welcome a new challenge in your life!

If you are not able to donate your time annually, consider donating some time right now to provide feedback on a potential new member benefit. AWC is open to expanding the benefits of membership. One idea is creating a Speakers Bureau to promote our experts (you!) to address internal and external audiences. We ask that our members “incubate” this idea and provide feedback. If you think this is a feasible new member benefit and if you are willing to participate, let us know your comments and suggestions – all feedback is welcome! We will post updates about the Speakers Bureau as they develop.
If feedback isn't enough and you want to provide on-going advice, potentially joining my “Kitchen Cabinet,” may be the fit you are looking for. This Cabinet will include members who are willing to provide counsel, insights, and ideas during the upcoming year. I have identified initial members, but if other AWC members want to be considered “of counsel,” contact me at 816.822.0588 or Great leaders surround themselves with diverse individuals that are smarter than themselves – a lesson I learned many years ago in corporate America.

Finally, since assuming the role of Chair, numerous emails from friends and organizations have arrived in my Inbox! I want to share a couple with our readers. In the spirit of transparency, these are not endorsed by AWC. However, I think it is constructive to pass along a couple that are worth noting. These are for "information purposes only." Approved, AWC affinity relationships will be posted in our members-only area.
• Webster University Doctoral Candidate, William Smith, is conducting research on the characteristics of what makes good policy. His research involves "creating a framework to perform a gap analysis on existing policies to determine whether or not they adhere to the characteristics designed in the framework” as it pertains to the Department of Homeland Security. William is asking members of AWC to respond, anonymously to his survey. This survey is voluntary and will take about 10 minutes to complete. Contact William Smith with questions at

• The deadline for the Social Shake-up and PRNews Social Media Awards is December 6. Categories include Best PR Campaign, Best Facebook Live Campaign, Crisis Management Campaign, Best Influencer, and Best Use of a Filter, as well as many others. This is an opportunity to tout your social media successes as a team – or individual – and recognize organizations of all types. Contact Laura Snitkovskiy for more information.

Every "Chair Chat" I will try to include interesting emails that are sent to me. In the meantime, I look forward to communicating with all of you – don’t hesitate to reach out to me and remember, the new National Board Chair Conference Call Hour begins November 22!

From the Editor

By Jazzy Mac

Some of you may notice a different feel to the Communique. Stepping in as editor feels natural to me. As Mary Cullen was ready to step-down, life tapped me to step-up. My capstone project (on century courtship - or those dating in their 70s, 80s, 90s, and beyond) was complete and I had applied to graduate. The galloping pace from the past two years had finally become an easy trot. I must have subconsciously heard Anita's call to lead – before I even read about it!

An article in a fashion magazine caught my eye this month. It mentioned openness and energy. This gave me pause to think about my own life and what I express with my energy. At this moment, I want to express my gratitude to Mary for lending her talents to champion the advancement of all of us, across all communications disciplines.

Looking ahead, I am settling into a temporary home along the Midwest Riveria, otherwise known as Des Moines, Iowa, for the next six months or so. Here I will perch and disperse news to our members, sharing my openness and energy for our shared passion – communication.

1717 E Republic Rd. Suite A, Springfield, MO 65804
Editor: Jazzy Mac
Content Writer: Anita K. Parran
Graphic Designer: Allison Buehner
Technical Designer: Kandice Matteson
Contributors Peggy Fleming, Anna Gorski, LaDonna Greiner, Sheryl Liddle, Jacqueline Post, Julie Navickas, Mitzie Zerr

Share your chapter news, member achievements, and other stories that align with our mission for consideration in the Communique! Email with submissions. The subject line should include "AWC." For example, "AWC November issue submission for consideration," will differentiate your email from spam. The Communique is published the first Thursday of every month.

Publishing Schedule


Deadline (5:00 p.m. Eastern time EST/EDT)


December 19

Tuesday, Nov. 26

Dec. 5

January 20

Tuesday, Dec. 17*

Jan. 2

February 20

Tuesday, Jan. 28

Feb. 6

March 20

Tuesday, Feb. 25

Mar. 5

April 20

Tuesday, Mar. 24

Apr. 2

May 20

Tuesday, Apr. 21

May 7

* Early deadline to work around the holidays.