Three distinguished alumni of the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication were honored at the annual Gutenberg Dinner Thursday.
Derek Sciba, marketing manager for World Concern in Seattle, Dr. Teresa Lamsam, scholar in Native American studies and Native American journalism, and Pat Batts, CEO of Washington Farm Bureau, received a handmade, miniature version of the Gutenberg printing press for their work in the professional journalism field.
JMC faculty members chose this year’s award recipients. Dr. Cheryl Mann Bacon, professor of journalism and mass communication and chair of the department, said the three award winners work in different areas but fit into a single unintentional theme.
“We didn’t set out to have a theme of diverse influence this year, but that’s kind of what happened,” Bacon said.
Sciba graduated ACU with a degree in broadcast journalism. He continued his broadcast career as a TV reporter and then began working for World Concern. He said a holistic approach to communication has become more important than ever – especially in his career.
“I’m glad that I’m able to use my journalism to look out for the interest of those who Jesus would be looking out for,” Sciba said. “Now, in my role at World Concern, I can do that all the time.”
Sciba has traveled all over the world, using skills he developed at ACU and during his career in broadcasting to tell the stories of people living in Third World countries.
“I think what has been true with my career is that I’ve tried to listen to God’s direction in where I went with my profession, and when you do that you need to hang on because sometimes you go to places and do things that are more challenging to your faith and possibly better than you could have ever imagined,” Sciba said.
Bacon said Lamsam’s work in the Native American community is unique and has had a major impact on journalism among Native American tribes. Lamsam is also an associate professor in the school of communication at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the university’s incoming director of the Native American Studies Program. This year she is a visiting associate professor of journalism and mass communication at the University of Kansas.
Bacon said Batts has had a broad range of influence in his work in the agricultural industry. He is an advocate for farm families and the agricultural industry through media and two legislative bodies.