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Four Robertson School students win VCU Black History in the Making Awards

Mar 1, 2019

Posted in: News

Black History in the Making: Frances Lynch, George Copeland, Jr., Malcolm Richardson, Dr. Clarence Thomas, Tonecia Brothers-Sutton, Taylor Pattie, Professor Judith Crenshaw, and Robertson School Director Dr. Hong Cheng (from left).

Robertson School students George Copeland, Jr., Malcolm Richardson, Tonecia Brothers-Sutton and Taylor Pattie were honored with VCU Black History in the Making Awards on Thursday. The four awardees were selected by the sequence faculty and the nominations were coordinated by Dr. Clarence Thomas, chair of the Robertson School Diversity Committee. "This is a very important event that has been part of VCU tradition since the 1980s," said Thomas.

“We're very pound of these four students for their accomplishments," said Dr. Hong Cheng, director of the Robertson School. "Their dedication represents our School's deep commitment to diversity and inclusion; their contributions have helped keep diversity alive in the Robertson School." 

Tonecia Brothers-Sutton is a senior broadcast journalism student in the Robertson School. She is double-majoring in journalism and political science, with a concentration on civil rights. She was selected for the Dean’s List from 2015-2018 and has a GPA of 3.76. Brothers-Sutton was selected for the prestigious Governor’s Fellowship Program in Summer 2018 and has also served as a legislative intern. She volunteers for a literacy program in Hampton Roads and provides voice talent training at the Studio Center in Richmond. She currently serves as president of the Black Student Union and as a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She will attend law school in Fall 2019, where she plans to specialize in civil rights law.

George Copeland, Jr. was a prolific reporter in VCU’s Capital News Service program in Spring 2018, in which students produce content for more than 90 news outlets across Virginia, with select stories distributed by the Associated Press. Throughout the semester, Copeland was consistently the first person to volunteer to take on a story – frequently working nights and weekends to produce a steady stream of sharply focused, highly engaging articles. He has demonstrated remarkable versatility as a young multimedia journalist. He has produced breaking news and features, state and local government coverage, and text stories, photos, videos and social media content. He has covered rallies, protests, government meetings, funerals, press conferences and other events.

Taylor Pattie is the president of VCU's PRSSA chapter and has taken on the role of social media coordinator for the Robertson School. She leads teams in the classroom and has an interest in public relations for pro-social. She has stepped up to be an enthusiastic and diligent PRSSA president and helped reenergize membership, elevate classroom projects to include professional elements. Pattie takes responsibility for her work as an on-going initiator of opportunities for students to interact with PR professionals. She has great work ethics and a positive energy.

Malcolm Richardson was described by a professor as "a strong writer and passionate about creative problem solving and advertising. He always finds an interesting way to approach his work. He is down to earth and actively participates in class. Always positive." Another professor said, "He is on a tear, and has super-positive trajectory. He is a double major (in Creative Advertising and Strategy Advertising), so he is a man on a mission.” Along with his double major, Richardson minors in Creative Writing and has earned a certificate in Leadership Studies. He is a frequent contributor to communication work for VCU’s Wellness Resource Center (The Well). His informative and entertaining videos for The Well include "Self Care Song," "Wrap It Up” (promoting condom use), and the newest one “The Cup Song” about responsible drinking.