Western becomes newest member of Kappa Tau Alpha journalism honors society


Aria Nguyen, here with Journalism Department Chair Brian J. Bowe, was one of two WWU students chosen as Kappa Tau Alpha top scholars this year. In total, 26 graduates from the past four years were inducted into the journalism honors society.

WWU’s Department of Journalism is the newest member of Kappa Tau Alpha, the national honor society that promotes scholarship in mass communication. The organization, founded at the University of Missouri’s journalism school in 1910, is the seventh oldest national college honor society in the country.  

Western joins a distinguished group of journalism programs that, along with Missouri, includes the likes of Northwestern University, the University of Maryland, and the University of Texas. While Kappa Tau Alpha chapters are located across the United States, Western is the first Kappa Tau Alpha member from the state of Washington. 

The Greek letters of Kappa, Tau, Alpha stand for “Knowledge, Truth, and Accuracy” and highlight the society’s dedication to excellence in journalism education, practice, and research. Induction into the society is earned through excellence in academic work. 

According to journalism department chair Brian J. Bowe, Western’s entry into Kappa Tau Alpha builds upon the department’s tradition of outstanding student work and alumni success, as well as the longstanding work of faculty and staff. “It’s an opportunity for us to celebrate the academic achievements of students who are forging new pathways in news reporting, public relations, visual journalism, and environmental media,” Bowe said. 

The department marked the occasion at this spring’s WWU journalism picnic on June 9, with related events planned for the 2024/25 academic year.

As a new chapter, Western is able to induct recent alumni from the past several years.

“We’re happy that we can honor these students, whose university experience was shaped in many ways by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Bowe said.

The list of student inductees is below. Associate Professor Peggy Watt is also being inducted as a faculty member, joining current KTA faculty members Bowe, Joe Gosen, and Derek Moscato. More information about Kappa Tau Alpha can be found at: https://www.kappataualpha.net/.

Also honored during the induction were the department’s two top scholar award winners, Aria Nguyen and Kumiko Juker. This award honors the student with the highest GPA, and there was a tie this year.



  • Kumiko Juker
  • Aria Nguyen
  • Mia Limmer-Lai
  • Jase Picanso
  • Alexander Johnson
  • Eli Voorhies
  • Riley Weeks



  • Olivia Palmer
  • Rowan Forsythe
  • R. Chauncey Gummere
  • Finn Wendt
  • Taras McCurdie
  • Katie McNabb
  • Olivia Hobson



  • Kaleigh Carroll
  • Sadie Fick
  • Sophia Struna
  • Olivia Hicks
  • Teya Heidenreich
  • Victoria Corkum



  • Emily Feek
  • Jaya Flanary
  • Jaxon Kiel
  • Henry Stewart-Wood
  • Riley Kankelberg
  • Olivia Klein