Four seniors from around Mississippi and one from North Alabama make up the second group selected in as many years at Mississippi State for Lora J. DeFore Memorial Endowed Scholarships.
The awards honor a popular instructor known for encouraging communication majors at the university to seek demanding internships that would enhance their educational experience and employment opportunities.
The 2013 DeFore Scholars include Kaitlyn I. Byrne of Senatobia, Alicia C. Dalee of Huntsville, Ala., Gwendolyn L. "Gwen" May of Hattiesburg, Joanna M. Sudduth of Olive Branch, and Rayner P. Sullivan of Brandon. They are sharing a $5,000 award distribution.
Open to all communication majors, the scholarships are designed to assist with relocation costs associated with summer internships that must be secured through individual initiatives. Participants must have completed at least 45 hours of academic coursework, with an overall 3.0 (based on a 4.0 scale) grade-point average.
A former Kentucky resident who taught at MSU for nearly 20 years, DeFore died in 2009 following a long battle with cancer. In addition to full-time teaching duties, she had coordinated the department's public relations concentration and internship programs.
Byrne, the homeschooled daughter of Donald and Renee Byrne, is the 2013-14 executive editor of the Reflector, MSU's campus newspaper. A President's List Scholar and double major in communication/journalism and political science, she will be interning with the Starkville Daily News. In addition to previously holding Reflector managing and news editor positions, she has been a student writer in the campus Office of Agricultural Communication.
Dalee, the daughter of Bob and Sandy Dalee and Emily Dalee, is a Huntsville High School graduate. Concentrating in public relations and journalism and minoring in English, she will be in Nashville, Tenn., with the Mocha Club, a nonprofit working to help address clean water, education, health care, and orphan care in Africa, among other issues. She is this year's Reflector opinion editor and previously was a student ministry intern with Trinity United Methodist Church. [Ed. note: Her residential ZIP code is 35763.]
May, the daughter of Michael and Marcia May, is an Oak Grove High School graduate. A President's List Scholar concentrating in public relations, she will be joining Fletcher Rowley, a Nashville-based advertising, public relations, media buying, and electronic media production company. Minoring in Spanish, she spent last summer in Madrid, Spain, as part of MSU's Study Abroad program. She is a member of the MSU Roadrunners student recruiting team, and also has been active on various committees of the Student Association.
Sudduth, the daughter of the Rev. John and Dr. Karen Sudduth, is an Olive Branch High School graduate. Concentrating in public relations, she also will be in Nashville with the Dualtone Music Group, an independent entertainment company. A Dean's List Scholar long involved in musical activities, she toured Europe during high school as part of a chorale, and is planning a career with a public relations department of a music label or production company. Her Dualtone internship is one of only three the company awards each summer.
Sullivan, the daughter of Charles and Jayme Sullivan, is a Jackson Academy graduate. Concentrating in public relations, she will be working in the Washington, D.C., office of Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker. A student worker this year in the MSU Registrar's Office, she previously was a media intern with the Starkville mayor's office and a proofreader with Starkville-based Town and Gown magazine.