DTH co-editor and Academic All-American golfer named 2020 outstanding UNC Hussman graduates

Two UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media students are graduating with the honor of being selected by the faculty as the outstanding graduating students in their specialization at the school. Marco Quiroz-Gutierrez and Brynn Walker are honored as the 2020 outstanding graduating students in journalism and advertising/public relations, respectively, and are given a $1,250 award.

Marco Quiroz-Gutierrez

Marco Quiroz-Gutierrez is the John Robert Bittner Outstanding Graduating Senior in Journalism.

“It means so much for the journalism school to recognize the hard work,” Quiroz-Gutierrez said. “Hussman has given me the skills I need to be a great journalist.”

Quiroz-Gutierrez has been active with the University’s student-run newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel, most recently serving as its co-editor-in-chief.

“After graduation I will be interning at The Wall Street Journal,” Quiroz-Gutierrez said. “As part of the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media, I was able to learn under some of the best professors in the field. UNC Hussman has really opened doors for my career, and I am beyond grateful to have learned here.”

“Marco is highly deserving of this award,” said Associate Professor Deb Aikat, who nominated Quiroz-Gutierrez for the award. “I have followed his career since fall 2017 when Marco was a brilliant student in “MEJO 101: The Media Revolution: From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg and Beyond” that Dean Susan King and I taught.”

Brynn Walker

Brynn Walker is the Lois & H.C. Cranford Outstanding Graduating Senior in Advertising and PR.

“Brynn excelled in our courses, was captain of the varsity women’s golf team, earned All-ACC Academic honors, and the Women’s Golf Coaches Association named her an All-American Scholar,” said Professor John Sweeney, who leads the school’s advertising and public relations program. “It’s an exceptional combination of athletics and scholarship deserving of recognition.”

“It means a lot that Professor Sweeney nominated me,” said Walker, who enjoys the strategy and creativity of advertising and public relations work. Things Walker’s learned as an athlete — strategy, control and perseverance — she brought into the classroom and her studies.

Walker will actually return to UNC in the fall thanks to a recent decision by the N.C.A.A. Division I Council, which voted to open the door to another year of eligibility for all spring-sport athletes, whose seasons were cut short by the coronavirus outbreak. She’ll get to take Hussman classes she has always wanted to experience — and play golf for UNC with hopes of turning pro next spring.

“Winning this award means so much,” Walker said. “I owe a great deal to a lot of UNC Hussman professors.”