CoJMC alumni and student receive Alumni Awards

Friday, May 6, 2016 - 12:00pm

The Nebraska Alumni Association is honoring two University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Journalism & Mass Communications alumni and one student at the annual Alumni Awards Banquet on Thursday, May 5 at 6 p.m. at the Nebraska Innovation Campus Conference Center.

Ken Fouts, 1964, is receiving the Alumni Achievement Award. Brandi Kruse, 2010, is receiving the Early Achievers Award, and Linsey Armstrong, senior, is receiving the Shane Osborn Leadership Award.

“I know I speak for all of us at the College of Journalism & Mass Communications when I say we are incredibly proud of Ken, Brandi and Linsey for being awarded this honor,” Dean Maria Marron said. “Congratulations to all of them.”

Fouts was a talented and successful sports broadcaster. He covered more than 3,000 events in 17 countries throughout his career. He began his career as a producer and director at local stations in three states before becoming the staff director of NBC Sports in New York City in 1974. From there he went on to be the staff director of ABC Sports and a producer and director for Turner Sports. He was a director for “American Gladiators,” ESPN, the Baseball Network and Fox Sports before retiring in 2002.

He won Emmys for his coverage of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, 1986 Goodwill Games, Cincinnati’s Riverfest Fireworks (1995-1998) and Detroit Tigers baseball in 2001.

Nowadays he speaks for AARP on senior citizen issues and enjoys riding his Harley motorcycle, golfing and spending time with his four children and eight grandchildren. He and his wife, Meta, live in Cincinnati.

Established in 1974, the Alumni Achievement Award honors alumni who have an outstanding record of achievements in their career and civic involvement.

Kruse is a special projects correspondent for Q13 Fox News in Seattle, where she produces in-depth reports and perspective on major issues. Before that, she was an investigative reporter for a CBS radio affiliate in Seattle for four years.

She is a nine-time winner of the Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in journalism, and Seattle Weekly has named her Seattle’s Best Reporter twice for her coverage of anti-government riots and scandals in Seattle City Hall.

In 2011, Kruse was the only American reporter to travel to Central America to interview Jason Puracel, who was a U.S. citizen imprisoned in Nicaragua. Puracel credits Kruse with his eventual release.

The Early Achievers Award recognizes young alumni, 35 years old and younger, who are up-and-comers in their careers.

Armstrong of Scribner is an advertising and public relations major and an active member of not only the CoJMC community, but the university as a whole. She’s a member of 3 percent at University of Nebraska–Lincoln, the first collegiate affiliate of The 3 Percent Conference. The club aims to fill the gender gap between male and female creative leaders in advertising. She also on University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s team for the National Student Advertising Competition and studied abroad last summer in Cuba on a CoJMC faculty-led trip.

Armstrong is also a member of the Big Ten Champion Cornhusker Speech & Debate team, Teammates mentor and involved with the Nebraska Women’s Leadership Network. Additionally, she serves as the venues and student programs intern for the Nebraska Alumni Association and will be a New Student Enrollment orientation leader this summer.

The Shane Osborn Award was established in 2002 and recognizes students who share the characteristics of Lieutenant Shane J. Olsen, a 1996 graduate. He piloted a United States reconnaissance plane to a safe crash landing after Chinese fighters had hit it. He then endured aggressive interrogation by the Chinese government. Students who receive this award demonstrate courage, integrity, honesty, humility and faith in their daily lives. The winner of the award receives a $500 scholarship.

Chancellor Harvey Perlman and Nebraska Alumni Association Executive Director Shelley Zaborowski will host the event.

For more information about the awards and a full list of winners: