Mass Comm./Journalism honors 6 alumni for career achievements

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Mass Comm./Journalism honors 6 alumni for career achievements

Six individuals who took their Fresno State training into broadcast and print journalism, advertising or public relations are being honored at the university’s Mass Communication and Journalism (MCJ) Alumni and Friends Hall of Fame Induction and Fellows Tribute.

The event is scheduled at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27, in the Leon S. Peters Ellipse Gallery of the Henry Madden Library at Fresno State.

The Hall of Fame Inductees are Desa Belyea, a longtime Fresno Bee features editor and the first woman assistant managing editor at a McClatchy Co. newspaper, and Lanny Larson, a Fresno Bee reporter and editor most of his career before becoming the editor in Fresno State’s Office of University Communications.

The chapter’s inaugural fellows are Bruce Batti, president of Jeffrey-Scott Agency in Fresno; Stefani Booroojian, KSEE-24 news anchor; Jim Boren, editorial pages editor at The Bee; and Sidney Cox, owner of Cox Communications, a public relations consultancy, and a former Fresno Bee reporter.

The Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have completed their major careers, while the fellows are currently engaged in their careers.

The MCJ Alumni & Friends Chapter of the Fresno State Alumni Association participates in community service projects, provides networking opportunities and leisure activities. The chapter also funds scholarships and provides assistance to many programs in the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism.

The local media Hall of Fame was established in 2008 with retired Fresno Bee president and publisher Ray Steele Jr. the first inductee. Dr. Roberta Asahina, an advertising professor, and Roger Tatarian, a UPI editor who became a journalism professor, were inducted into the MCJ Hall of Fame in 2009 and 2010, respectively

Tickets for the reception are $30 per person in advance or $40 at the door.

For more information, contact Paul McDougal, MCJ Alumni Chapter president, at paul@pmmarcom.com, or Carlos Perez, chapter treasurer, at cperez@jsaweb.com.

2012 honorees:

   Desa Belyea (1951): Fresno native Belyea was 16 when she became a reporter for the Sanger Herald during summer vacation. After graduating from Fresno State, she practiced public relations for CARE (Cooperative for American Remittances to Everywhere) in San Francisco. She returned home to oversee what became a transition from a traditional Women’s section in The Fresno Bee to a Features section that better reflected the diverse population and changing demographics of the region. As an assistant managing editor, Belyea  was responsible for the newsroom’s strategic planning. In retirement, Belyea and her husband, the late George Belyea, established the George and Desa Belyea Charitable Trust administered through the Fresno Regional Foundation. Belyea splits ? her time between Fresno and San Francisco. She will be honored Friday, Sept. 28, as the College of Arts and Humanities’ Top Dog Outstanding Alumnus for her career accomplishments.
   Lanny Larson (Alumnus): Larson moved to Fresno in 1962 and wrote for and proof read Fresno State’s student newspaper the Collegian He was a reporter for United Press International, KYNO radio and the Associated Press in Fresno, worked in sports information at Fresno State and as the Fresno correspondent before assignments in AP’s Los Angeles and Denver bureaus. He was the Channel 24 news assignment editor before being hired as a general assignment reporter for The Fresno Bee, where he also was a Metro desk editor, broadcast columnist and associate Features editor for food, faith and values and home and garden sections. He retired in 2005 and joined Fresno State, where he edits FresnoState Magazine and co-authored the university’s centennial book. He is president-elect of the Central California chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and received the chapter’s 2012 Professional of the Year Award.
   Bruce Batti (1977): After graduation, Batti was hired by Gottschalks as broadcast director where he won the first of many creative awards (Golden Oaks and Addys) for developing the Bobbie West brand. In 1984, Batti began a career with Jeffrey-Scott Advertising (now JSA- Jeffrey Scott Agency) as media buyer and production director. After 15 years as the agency’s creative director, Batti is now its president. He earned national recognition for advertising and community service with the Advertising Federation Silver Medal Award and has been inducted into the Advertising Federation Hall of Fame. Batti has served as president of Valley Crime Stoppers, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central California and the Greater Fresno Area Chamber of Commerce.
   Stefani Booroojian (1981): A 30-year veteran of broadcasting the news to central San Joaquin Valley viewers, Booroojian joined KSEE-24 in 1982. She took her seat at the anchor desk in 1984 and currently anchors the 4, 5, 6 and 6:30 p.m. newscasts. She was instrumental in introducing KSEE-24’s Buddy Check Program to the Central Valley, which reminds women to help prevent or detect breast cancer through monthly self-examination. Booroojian has been awarded three Emmys, numerous Associated Press awards and a Distinguished Media Service Award from Fresno State. She graduated from Fresno State with a degree in broadcast journalism.
  Jim Boren (1972): He began his career with The Fresno Bee in 1972 and now is the newspaper’s editorial page editor and vice president, overseeing the opinion pages. Boren covered politics for The Bee for 15 years prior to moving to the editorial pages in 1995. He became the principal politics reporter for The Bee for many years, covered every level of politics from municipal through presidential campaigns. For many years, Boren wrote a column about politics and government policy, one of which led to the creation of the Rose Ann Vuich Award for Ethical Leadership, which recognizes local elected officials who have met high ethical standards. He has won numerous awards for his reporting. A native of Fresno, Boren graduated from Fresno State with a degree in journalism.
   Sidney B. Cox (1952): After graduating from Fresno State, Cox began a two-year stint in the Army Signal Corps during the Korean War. He joined KMJ radio as a reporter, and later was a reporter at The Fresno Bee. In the late 1960s, he became vice president of Producers Cotton Oil, leaving in 1988 to start his own company, Cox Communications, a public relations consultancy. Cox is a past president of the Rotary Club of Fresno, a charter board member of Central Valley Community Bank, and has chaired the President’s Advisory Council at Fresno State. in 2009, he was the Arthur Safstrom Service Award recipient at the Fresno State Top Dog Gala for his volunteer efforts in the community and his work on behalf of his alma mater.

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