Northern Illinois University

Department of Communication

Journalism Banquet

62nd Annual

April 24, 2009 Nearly 130 NIU students, alumni, faculty, staff, and honored guests attended the 62nd Annual Journalism Banquet held at the Holmes Student Center Regency Room in April.  Ging Palma Smith received the Donald R. Grubb 2009 Distinguished Alumni of the Year award. The NIU Journalism Program named Bob Frisk of the Daily Herald this year’s Illinois Journalist of the Year. Nearly fifty journalism majors and minors received scholarships or awards in recognition of their 2008/2009 academic achievements.

Donald R. Grubb Distinguished Alumni Award

Ging Palma SmithGing Palma Smith, M.A. '73, was recognized during the April banquet for her many years of  service and dedication to Kishwaukee College, NIU, and the DeKalb area community.  Smith holds two bachelor's degrees in English and Education from the University of San Jose Recoletos in the Philippines and a master's degree in English from the University of San Carlos.  Coming to NIU in 1972 as a Fulbright Scholar, Ging chose the NIU Journalism graduate program over Syracuse and Ohio State for the deciding factor that one of the instructors at NIU had once taught Walter Cronkite in Texas.  Upon graduation, Smith was hired by Kishwaukee College where she taught English and journalism courses for 20 years and was advisor to the student newspaper. She was appointed as Dean of Development and College Relations in 1994, serving in that capacity until her retirement in 2002. She also completed a Management Development Program (MDP) at Harvard University in 1998.  Her many professional achievements include recipient of the 1995 ATHENA  Award, involvement with the Society of Professional Journalists, Friends of the NIU Library, the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce, and the DeKalb County Housing Authority. Ging has served two terms as a board member of the NIU Alumni Association, chaired the Scholarship Selection Committee, served as Executive Director of the College Foundation and co-chaired the Public Relations part of the new Kishwaukee Hospital campaign in 2005.  Ging Smith retired for the second time, as Senior Gift and Estate Planning Officer for the NIU University Libraries in 2006

2009 Illinois Journalist of the Year

2009 Illinois Journalist of the Year Bob FriskBob Frisk, Columnist, The Daily Herald, has recently retired after 50 years in the field of journalism and was honored with the award of Illinois Journalist of the Year by the Journalism Program at NIU. He began his writing career in the summer of 1952 for Paddock Publications Herald newspapers. Frisk graduated two years later from Arlington High School in 1954. In 1958, Frisk became the full-time sports editor at the Herald after receiving his degree from the University of Illinois and spending time in the Air Force Reserve. He began writing a sports column that same year.  Frisk covered mainly high school sports which he said was “always my passion. I love watching the kids compete.”  He was named the assistant managing editor for sports in 1988. In 1989, Frisk was named Sportsman of the Year by the Northwest Community Hospital for his support of youth sports in the Northwest suburban area of Chicago. He was inducted into the media wing of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame at Normal, Ill. in 1990. Frisk has received several other awards, including the Meritorious Service Award from the Illinois Girls Coaches Association, the Distinguished Service Award from Great Lakes Athletic Trainers Association, recognition award from Illinois Track and Cross Country Coaches Association. October 4, 2003 was designated Bob Frisk Day in Arlington Heights to honor his contributions to the boys and girls who compete in athletics. His columns initiated the “Pack The Place” promotions in the Illinois High School Association that encourage high schools to boost attendance. Frisk retired from the Herald in December 2008.

Ging Palma Smith
Ging Palma Smith

Bob Fisk
Bob Fisk