EKU student named Communication Professional of the Year by the Kentucky Communication Association
Jennifer Kaylyn Perkins, a junior journalism and history major at Eastern Kentucky University, was named Communication Professional of the Year by the Kentucky Communication Association during its 87th annual conference Sept. 15 at Jenny Wiley State Park.
Perkins was recognized for her reporting during 2017-18, especially coverage of the EKU Board of Regents, and filing of a successful appeal with the Attorney General challenging a meeting closed to the public by the Board.
KCA President Siobhan Smith-Jones of the University of Louisville presented the award and read a statement: “Jennifer’s work covering the Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents and challenging that public agency’s interpretation and application of Kentucky Open Meetings Laws during deliberations to cut budgets and dismissal of faculty sets the bar for professional communicators/journalists across the state.”
According to the KCA awards list, “This award is given for a communicator in Kentucky or KCA region that has an exemplary record of engagement, integration and application of communication in her or his field or work.” Smith-Jones noted that while Perkins is still a student, her work during the past year qualified for the professional award.
“Kaylyn is wise beyond her years. When she felt something was amiss at the Board’s closed session, she trusted her instincts and jumped into action,” said Tricia Fulks Kelley, adviser to The Eastern Progress and a visiting professor in the EKU Department of Communication. “Students and professionals alike can learn from Kaylyn’s tenacity in covering this story. In a time when media professionals and student journalists are questioned for doing their jobs, Kaylyn used the skills she was taught to hold an agency accountable – the mark of a true journalist.”
Perkins has worked at The Eastern Progress, the student-operated weekly newspaper of EKU, as a reporter, opinions editor and news editor. She has also worked at The News Journal in Corbin as a Kentucky Press Association intern and is a member of the EKU Honors Program and Mock Trial.
Perkins was unable to attend the meeting and accept the award as she is currently participating in an Education Abroad semester at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. She did address the conference through a video speech and her award was accepted by Dr. Deborah T. Givens, chair of the EKU Department of Communication.
Even while she is in Scotland, Perkins is still contributing to The Eastern Progress, now serving as its first international correspondent and planning to cover the experiences of EKU Education Abroad students.
-Perkins’ acceptance video:
-To read coverage of the Board of Regents meeting and the appeal along with a link to the AG Opinion, go to https://www.easternprogress.com/news/attorney-general-finds-eku-board-in-violation-of-ky-open/article_90b09f4a-9be5-11e8-b4df-4f130b6318a3.html
Published on October 02, 2018