Three alumni to be honored at university The University of South Dakota Department of Mass Communications will honor three alumni during the department's annual banquet on Saturday, March 20, at Pro's in Vermillion.
USD students will also be honored during the event.
Honored alumni will include: Harry G. Burnham of Apache Junction, AZ, Undergraduate Achievement Award, Michelle Van Maanen of Vermillion, Graduate Achievement Award, and Michelle Russo of Kansas City, MO, Rising Star Award.
Burnham attended the University of Minnesota in the 1930s and transferred to USD in 1937. He left school the following year to work as an editor at two weekly newspapers in Michigan for several years and then was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1941.
After World War II, he returned to USD and completed a bachelor of arts degree in journalism in 1947. At USD he studied with Elmer Trotzig who taught journalism at USD from 1925 to 1967. Burnham wrote for the Volante while at USD.
He was a reporter for the Watertown Public Opinion and then moved to the Salt Lake Telegram in Salt Lake City, UT. Later he served as the news editor of the Salt Lake Tribune, the morning newspaper. Burnham returned to Minnesota and took a position with the Duluth News Tribune where he was a copyreader, news editor, and assistant managing editor. In 1959, he was named managing editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press and served in that role until 1977.
Van Maanen has been director of television for South Dakota Public Broadcasting since 1993. Van Maanen, who oversees the programming, production and operations departments of South Dakota Public Broadcasting, served as the producer, associate producer and host of a variety of programs at the network.
Van Maanen is the president of the Central Education Network (CEN) Programming Executive Committee and serves on the CEN Board of Directors. A member of the South Dakota Instructional Television Council and a past president of the South Dakota Associated Press, she has received a variety of reporting and programming awards from the Wyoming and South Dakota Associated Press associations.
Van Maanen has been a public relations editor for K-Products, Inc., in Orange City, IA, and a news reporter for Siouxland Press in Orange City. She was a news reporter for the Casper (WY) Star-Tribune, news director with KOLL-FM in Gillette, WY, and news director with KOWB/KCGY in Laramie, WY. Later she was director of development for Wyoming Public Radio before taking a position as news director with South Dakota Public Radio where she was program director.
Van Maanen earned a master of arts degree in mass communication theory in 1991 from USD and a bachelor of arts degree in broadcast management/journalism from the University of Northern Iowa in 1982.
Russo is a senior account executive with Barkely Evergreen & Partners, Inc., and handles their account with the Missouri Lottery. In 1992, she received a bachelor of arts degree in mass communications from USD where she was a member of the Dakota Days Committee and was the Alpha Phi sorority public relations chair, among other activities.
She served an internship at the Sioux Falls Argus Leader in 1991 and worked as a sales representative for the Sioux Falls Shopping News in 1992-93.
From 1993-95, she was a marketing specialist with KSFY Television in Sioux Falls. Russo was an account executive with Valentine Radford in Kansas City, MO from 1995-98. She was the account executive for the 1998 Omni Award-Wining Creative (Luckytown).