Watt Alumni Award

The Communication Studies Department presents an award annually to honor the memory of its late chairperson and colleague, Dr. Marilyn G. S. Watt.  The award, which goes to a Communication Studies alumnus, is given at the department's annual spring senior recognition event.

The department believes that Dr. Watt exemplified positive values in her career, family and community activities and demonstrated them through a strong commitment to understanding and sharing a sense of community through communication.  The application of this philosophy of service is seen as the basis for the Marilyn G. S. Watt Alumni Award.

Criteria used to judge nominees include career achievement, communication-related community involvement, professional commitment (e.g., membership in professional organizations or work-related groups), and any additional honors or awards nominees have received.

The department is currently seeking nominees for this award.  We’re hoping you can help us by identifying graduates of the Communication Studies Department that you believe are worthy. Self- nominations are welcome.  

Please download the form here and provide us with the nominee’s name, any of the following information, if available, and a letter of nomination. You may send these to: 
Dr. Charles Wigley
Marilyn G.S. Watt Alumni Award Committee
Communication Studies Department
Canisius College
2001 Main Street
Buffalo, NY 14208-1098.

If more convenient, you may fill out the online nomination form by clicking the button below or e-mail the form and letter to Dr. Wigley at wigley@canisius.edu.  Deadline for submissions is March 1, 2015. 

Online Nomination Form


Past Award Winners

2011 Watt Award

2011 Watt Award recipient Elizabeth A. Donovan '89The Communication Studies Department presented Elizabeth A. Donovan '89 with the 2011 Marilyn G.S. Watt Alumni Award at the spring honors day ceremony on April 26. Donovan is currently director of public relations and special events for Baker Victory Services Inc.  She is former board president of the Public Relations Society of America Buffalo/Niagara Chapter and the 2010 recipient of its Public Relations Practitioner of the Year Award. 


2010 Watt Award

2010 Watt award recipient Michael P. Hughes '94The Communication Studies Department presented Michael P. Hughes '94 (right) of Kaleida Health with the 2010 Marilyn G.S. Watt Alumni Award at the spring honors day ceremony. Hughes is currently the Vice President for Marketing, Public Relations and Government Affairs for Western New York’s largest health care service provider.  With him is Trevor L. Watt, PhD, husband of the late Marilyn G.S. Watt.

 


2009 Watt Award


2009 Watt Award recipient Brendan Cannon '92The Communication Studies Department presented Brendan Cannon '92 (left) of Cannon Styling with the 2009 Marilyn G.S. Watt Alumni Award at the spring honors day ceremony. Cannon is a successful celebrity stylist; his work appears on runways, magazines, and popular television shows like CSI. With him is Trevor L. Watt, PhD (right), husband of the late Marilyn G.S. Watt.

 


2008 Watt Award 

Watt Award recipient Steve Brown '83

Steve Brown, left, class of '83, a Fox tv correspondent, receives the 2008 Marilyn G.S. Watt Award from Nancy Prescott, former secretary in the Communication Studies Department, and Dr. John Dahlberg, a Watt Award selection committee member and a professor in the department.




2007 Watt Award

Watt Award recipient Mary Lynn Ryan '84The Communication Studies Department presented Mary Lynn Ryan '84 of CNN with the 2007 Marilyn G.S. Watt Alumni Award at the spring honors day ceremony. Mary Lynn Ryan won an Emmy as well as a Women in Communication Award for a program called Three on 3 at WKYC. She is currently living in Atlanta and is the Southeast Regional Bureau Chief.



 

 


2006 Watt Award

Bill Paterson '93The Communication Studies Department honored William Paterson '93 as the 2006 recipient of the Marilyn G.S. Watt Alumni Award at our spring honors day ceremony.  Paterson is Assistant Creative Director at Travers Collins and Company and has been a friend and mentor to many Communication Studies majors interested in advertising and writing.  He is working towards his Master's degree in Communication and Leadership at Canisius.



 

 


2005 Watt Award

Watt Award recipient Shannon DiPietro '83Shannon DiPietro '85, right, General Motors Corporation Global Director, Human Resources Information Technology and HR Operations Center received the Watt Award from Dr. Barbara Irwin, Chair, Communication Studies.



 

 


2004 Watt Award

Watt Award recipient Gregory W. Mott '81Dr. Barry Berlin, former chair of the Communications Studies presenting Watt Award to Gregory W. Mott '81, Senior Copy Editor for the Washington Post.



 

 


2003 Watt Award

Watt Award recipient Richard Spears, '81A FAMILY AFFAIR. Richard Spears, '81, and his family during Senior Reception Day April 2003. Spears (center) is shown holding the 2003 Marilyn G.S. Watt Alumni Award. He is senior vice president for client services, at Crowley Webb and Associates, an advertising agency in Buffalo.

 


2002 Watt Awards


Watt Award recipient  Lisa August, '84Dr. Barbara Irwin (left) presents the 2002 Watt Award to Lisa August, '84, Associate Director of the Career Development Center at Buffalo State College.

 

 

 

Watt Award recipient Don Goralski, '80Dr. Barbara Irwin (left) presents the 2002 Watt to co-recipient Don Goralski, '80, of the multidisciplinary Center for Earthquake Engineering, State University of New York at Buffalo.



 


2001 Watt Award


Watt Award recipient Jamie E. DePeau '81The Marilyn G.S. Watt Alumni Award was presented this year to Ms. Jamie E. DePeau '81, on April 19, at the annual Communication Studies Awards event. DePeau is vice president for marketing communications at Merck-Medco in Franklin Lakes, N.J.

DePeau was nominated by Thomas E. Greenwald '82, senior vice president at Morgan Stanley, who attended the event and accepted the award on DePeau's behalf. In his letter of nomination, Greenwald stated, in part, "The manner in which Jamie conducts herself is reminiscent of Dr. Watt. Like Dr. Watt, Jamie is very professional, very confident, and very engaging."


2000 Watt Award

Watt Award recipient Dawn Elisa Smith '93Dr. Trevor L. Watt, professor of religious studies and widower of Dr. Marilyn Watt, presents the Marilyn G. S. Watt Alumni Award to Dawn Elisa Smith '93, then display sales manager for The Buffalo News. The award given at the  Spring 2000 Communication Studies majors' event. Smith is a retail advertising sales manager for The Star-Ledger, New Jersey.



 


No Award was given in 1999.


1998 Watt Awards

Watt Award recipient Charles A. Clement, Jr. '80Charles A. Clement, Jr. '80, District Court Judge for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, accepts the Dr. Marilyn G.S. Watt Award in the fall of 1998.

 

 

 

 

Watt Award recipient Jodi Johnston '95Dr. Trevor Watt awards Jodi L. Johnston, '95, MS '99, with the Dr. Marilyn G.S. Watt Award in the fall of 1998. Then co-host / reporter / associate producer for Adelphia International, Johnston is now an anchor for WGRZ-TV.





 


1997 Watt Award

Watt Award recipient Elizabeth MacDonald '84The second annual MGSW award was presented to Elizabeth MacDonald '84, center, then a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, and now a senior editor at Forbes Magazine. Others pictured, from left, are: Dr. Barry Berlin, then Chair of the Communication Studies Department; Dr. Trevor L. Watt, Professor of Religious Studies and widower of Marilyn Watt; Dr. Herbert Nelson, Vice President for Academic Affairs; and Dr. Ellen Conley, then Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and currently Vice President of Student Affairs.

 


1996 Watt Award

Watt Award recipient William T. Wittrock '86The first annual Marilyn Watt Award was presented to William T. Wittrock '86, then public relations specialist for the National Center for Earthquake Engineering Research at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Given to recognize an outstanding Communication Studies graduate, the award is named for the late Dr. Marilyn Watt, who served as Chair of Communication Studies at Canisius, and whose husband, Dr. Trevor Watt, Professor of Religious Studies made the presentation with Dr. Barry Berlin, then Chairman of the Communication Studies Department and Dr. Ellen Conley, then Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and currently Vice President of Student Affairs.