Versaw Named Journalism Faculty Award Winner
Jan 12, 2018
Posted in: News
Nicholas Versaw (B.S. ‘17/MC) was named winner of the Faculty Award for Fall 2017 by the 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.
“I'm honored to be recognized by the faculty here at the Robertson School. I believe the staff here is the school's biggest asset and I have a great deal of respect for just about every professor I have had the pleasure of learning from, so to be selected by them as the most promising December graduate is a massive honor,” Versaw said.
Versaw graduated with a bachelor of science in mass communication, concentrating in print-online journalism, and a minor in general business. He was on the Dean’s List his last five semesters at VCU.
Versaw was a student reporter and staff member for VCU Capital News Service in Spring 2017, providing coverage of Virginia’s General Assembly session to more than 90 print and online publications throughout the commonwealth and Maryland. The capstone course for the School’s print-online journalism concentration is taught by Jeff South, an associate professor of journalism and the School’s Director of Undergraduate Studies.
“Nick consistently produced accurate and engaging news stories on a range of issues, from domestic violence and gun permits to refugees and homeschooling. His work was published widely, including in The Washington Post and by news organizations across Virginia,” South said.
Versaw pointed out three School faculty who he said particularly influenced him: South, Mary Ann Owens and Bryan DeVasher. Owens and DeVasher are long-time adjunct faculty members in the School.
“All three of those professors are invaluable assets to the the program here at the Robertson School and I have no doubt in my mind that they played key roles in the success I have had to this point early on in my career. I cannot put into words how thankful I am for everything they have done for me over the past two years,” Versaw said.
Versaw spent 2017 as a staff member for the sports section of The Commonwealth Times, VCU’s award-winning student newspaper. He wrote about 40 stories, game recaps, feature, profiles and editorials while covering men's and women's basketball, soccer, baseball, field hockey and golf.
“I’ve loved every minute of it,” Versaw said.
Versaw grew up in Northeast Ohio, but has lived in the Richmond area for the last 15 years. He earned his associates degree from John Tyler Community College in 2015.
He accepted a job in December 2017 as account coordinator for Commonwealth Public Relations in Richmond after being an intern there during Fall 2017.
“Although I am pursuing a career in public relations, the experience I have had through the journalism program here at the Robertson School has been absolutely invaluable. The firm I work for has been blown away by the strength of my writing and the skills I have been able to bring to the table, so much so that they have decided to pursue journalism majors and graduates.”