Ahmad Named School Faculty Award Winner For Broadcast Journalism
Jan 12, 2018
Posted in: News
Hiba Ahmad (B.S. ‘17/MC) was named winner of the Fall 2017 Faculty Award for broadcast journalism by the VCU Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture journalism faculty at the commencement ceremony Dec. 8 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.
Faculty vote on the awards for graduating students in each of the School’s five undergraduate and two graduate academic programs. The award is for those who “best exemplify the standards” of the School, such as academic achievement, personal determination and helping others.
“It's always a great feeling to be recognized for your work especially after three-and-a-half-years of persistent work, but this is also a win for all of my teachers and professors who have helped me get to this point,” Ahmad said.
Ahmad graduated with a bachelor of science in mass communication, concentrating in broadcast journalism, and a minor in religious studies. She was on the Dean’s List for her last three semesters at VCU and completed her studies in 3.5 years.
Ahmad was a reporter and anchor for VCU InSight, the School’s award-winning student-produced newscast for Richmond PBS, as part of her capstone experience in the broadcast journalism concentration in Spring 2017. She so impressed her instructor, Sean Collins-Smith, that he asked her to come back for fall semester as one of the show’s student executive producers to help lead the news team.
“She’s the single most ambitious student I’ve ever had. She made it absolutely clear that she wanted to be the best she could be in every aspect of journalism there was,” Collins-Smith said.
Ahmad said Collins-Smith and Jeff South, another School journalism faculty member and the School’s Director of Undergraduate Studies, “were pivotal in my professional and personal development throughout my college career. I've had the privilege of working alongside them on various projects and have gained an insight into this industry that I wouldn't have had otherwise. I am eternally grateful to them for their guidance, commitment and overall support. Without them, I wouldn't be the journalist I am today.”
Ahmad started working with VCU’s award-winning student newspaper, The Commonwealth Times, when she began at VCU in fall 2014. She rose from an opinions columnist to be the paper’s news editor.
About her work with the newspaper, Ahmad said, “It was the cornerstone to my college experience and the memories I've made and stories I've told have defined me as not only a journalist, but also a person.”
While at VCU she was the campus chapter president of United Muslim Relief, a Virginia-based non-profit providing international humanitarian aid. She said she enjoys doing community service with Richmond youth and distributing supplies for the homeless.
Ahmad was born in Boston and her family moved to Northern Virginia when she was a child. She’ll return to the area after graduation as an intern for Weekend Edition with National Public Radio in Washington, D.C.
“Hiba’s number one desire was to be the consummate 21st-century multimedia journalist, and that’s why she’ll be in NPR’s newsroom come January. She absolutely earned it,” Collins-Smith said.