2023 J. William and Mary Diederich College of Communication Award Recipients

Diederich College of Communication Awards Breakfast

Friday, June 2, 2023

Reception: 8:00 a.m.

Breakfast: 8:30 a.m.

Alumni Memorial Union, Monaghan Ballroom (third floor)


Dicus JohnsonCommunicator of the Year Award
Coreen M. Dicus-Johnson, Comm ’93 u
Menomonee Falls, Wis.

As president and CEO for Network Health in Menasha, Wis., Coreen Dicus-Johnson is uniquely positioned to mitigate some of the rising costs of health care. She is currently collaborating with a group of health care leaders who are working to create access to personalized health care, including exploring methods to cost-share the expenses through private and public partnerships.

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GerrittByline Award
Jeffery J. Gerritt, Grad ’80
Pittsburgh, Pa.

Jeffery Gerritt says, “Journalism is an ongoing education; it’s a ticket to places and people most careers don’t offer.” He is living proof: Jeff’s journalism career has taken him from working nights as a security guard in Marquette’s residence halls to becoming a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and editor for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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FitzpatrickProfessional Achievement Award
Maureen A. FitzPatrick, Sp ’83 u 
Los Angeles, Calif.

Maureen FitzPatrick knows how to gets things done. As the senior executive producer of the nationally syndicated TV show Access Hollywood, Maureen works with her team to tell the biggest stories in the entertainment industry. Her journey started, however, as a broadcast communication major at Marquette.

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KnowlesYoung Alumna of the Year Award
Dr. Shirley J. Knowles, Comm ’07
Tampa, Fla.

As the chief inclusion and diversity officer for Progress, a software company, Dr. Shirley Knowles appreciates hearing from people who have perspectives and beliefs that are different from her own. Using the idea of cura personalis, caring for the whole person, Shirley spends time intentionally listening: “I appreciate someone taking a chance and trusting me with their vulnerability.”

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LazarskiJames T. Tiedge Memorial Award
Maryann Lazarski, Jour '78, Grad '82 u 
Wauwatosa, Wis.

Maryann Lazarski is a storyteller, producing impactful documentaries and long-form stories for Milwaukee PBS. Her own story shares an important motto with Marquette University. She says, “‘Be The Difference’ may not have been the tagline when I was a student at Marquette, but it’s always been something I strive for — as a producer and storyteller, as a teacher, and as a human being.”

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u Celebrating a Marquette Reunion