CMCI is proud to celebrate our December 2020 and May 2021 William W. White Outstanding Graduates––students with the highest GPA in the college––as well as our May 2021 William W. White Outstanding Seniors from each department, awarded based on a combination of academic merit, professional achievement and service to the college.

This group has had an unforgettable college journey and we've captured a few of their stories below. From overcoming shyness and a fear of public speaking to returning to college as a transfer student after a few years off, they've persevered through a range of challenges. Now, they'll embark on their next chapters beginning graduate school at CMCI, using their creative skills at local and national companies and coaching athletes on communication and mindset techniques.

Read their stories below to learn more about these future leaders in the fields of media, communication and information.


Photo of Zoe

Class of 2021: Zoe Fleming

Dec. 15, 2021

With a dual-degree in communication and sociology, Zoe Fleming is adept at analyzing and explaining why complex issues exist, in an effort to solve them. Fleming is CMCI's December 2021 William W. White Outstanding Graduate, awarded to the student with the highest GPA in the college.

Tayler Shaw

Class of 2021: Tayler Shaw

May 4, 2021

When she first arrived at CU Boulder from her nearby hometown of Littleton, Tayler Shaw was deeply shy. She overcame that fear by taking journalism classes, which forced her to talk to strangers and showed her the beauty in sharing their stories. Now a senior, Shaw is well known as a student leader in the college. With majors in both Journalism and Spanish for the Professions, along with minors in Leadership Studies and Anthropology, Shaw is the Department of Journalism’s William W. White Outstanding Senior.

Cera Kocher

Class of 2021: Cera Kocher

May 3, 2021

After leaving her hometown of Glenwood Springs to pursue her education in Boulder, senior Cera Kocher quickly realized that, while it takes courage to try something new, there’s power in the ability to feel comfortable as a beginner. After college, she’ll continue to fuel her entrepreneurial spirit by joining Boulder Media House, a production company launched by fellow CMCI and CU Boulder alumni. With majors in Media Production and Strategic Communication, as well as a minor in Creative Technology and Design, Kocher is the Department of Critical Media Practices’ William W. White Outstanding Senior.

Megan Cunninghame

Class of 2021: Megan Cunninghame

May 3, 2021

Senior Megan Cunninghame spent her time at CU Boulder exploring the ways media shape culture, politics and social structures. Highlights included working as a political marketing intern while studying abroad in the Czech Republic and overcoming her longtime fear of public speaking. Her experiences have taught her to collaborate more effectively, overcome cultural barriers and think critically about the way she interacts with information and people online. With a major in Media Studies, a minor in Political Science and a certificate in International Media, Cunninghame is the Department of Media Studies’ William W. White Outstanding Senior.

Nina Williams

Class of 2021: Nina Williams

May 3, 2021

During her first year of college at the University of Rhode Island, professional rock climber Nina Williams hit a wall and decided it was time to let go––so she dropped out of school to focus full-time on her sport. A few years later, she found herself compelled to traverse a new path through the world of communication, so she transferred to her hometown campus of CU Boulder and began taking courses in CMCI. With a major in Communication and a minor in Leadership Studies, Williams is the Department of Communication’s William W. White Outstanding Senior.

Clark Mousaw

Class of 2021: Clark Mousaw

May 3, 2021

After beginning college with an interest in studying data science, senior Clark Mousaw found that there was so much more to explore. Originally from Long Beach, California, Mousaw’s time in Boulder has allowed him to learn more about the human side of data, which relates to everything from design to politics. Soon, he’ll dive even deeper into the interdisciplinary field of Information Science by continuing his studies through CMCI’s master’s program in the fall. With a major in Information Science and a minor in Space, Mousaw is the Department of Information Science’s William W. White Outstanding Senior.

Emily Reno

Class of 2021: Emily Reno

April 29, 2021

Senior Emily Reno came to CMCI from Lake Oswego, Oregon, and found herself on her own for the first time. Luckily, during her years at CU Boulder and CMCI, she found a support system of great friends, roommates and professors who helped her make the most of her college years and encouraged her to finish strong. With a major in Strategic Communication focused on public relations and a minor in Business, Reno is the Department of Advertising, Public Relations and Media Design’s William W. White Outstanding Senior.

Julia Merten

Class of 2021: Julia Merten

April 29, 2021

Senior Julia Merten, known by friends as Juju, lives and works by the motto, “Express your unapologetic self.” As a self-described emotional person, in tune with her past and current feelings and mental well-being, she tries to convey universal human emotion in her playful scrapbook-type aesthetic. As she rounded the corner to commencement, Merten accepted a full-time position with a Detroit-based chocolate company, Bon Bon Bon. With a major in Media Production and a minor in Technology, Arts and Media, Merten is CMCI’s 2021 William W. White Outstanding Graduate––an award given to the student with the highest GPA in the college.

Grad Hats

Class of 2021: Department of Communication Student Awards

April 29, 2021

Congratulations to CMCI's Department of Communication spring 2021 award recipients, who earned honors for outstanding achievement, leadership, engagement, teaching and more!

Madeleine Bendalin

Class of 2020: Madeleine Bendalin

Dec. 14, 2020

As a CMCI Student Ambassador, senior Madeleine Bendalin loved showing prospective Buffs around campus and serving as a resource for them. She also enjoyed giving joint tours with the friends, who she made recite facts about campus. In the future, Bendalin would love to recite more facts in her dream job as a White House Press Secretary. With a major in Strategic Communication and minors in Media Studies and Jewish Studies, Bendalin is CMCI's December 2020 William W. White Outstanding Graduate, awarded to the student with the highest GPA in the college.