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News Media Initiative

Isaiah Thomas Award in Publishing


Isaiah ThomasABOUT: The Isaiah Thomas Award was established in 1979 by the School of Printing Management and Sciences (now School of Media Sciences) to honor leaders in the newspaper industry. The Award, named for one of America’s great patriot printers, recognizes outstanding contributions made to the news media publishing industry.  As part of the selection process, nominations are solicited from prominent individuals in the news media industry.  Some of the key criterion for the recipient of this award is an individual in the industry who has:

  • Distinguished him or herself through leadership, innovation, research, or other significant contributions.
  • Demonstrated career achievements that would qualify him or her as a role model for students pursuing careers in the fields of printing, publishing, and media.
  • Exhibited some element of risk-taking in communicating his or her message.

In addition to selecting an individual worthy of this honor the key objectives associated with the Isaiah Thomas Award are to:

  • Engage students in the event and to stimulate their interest in news media.
  • Create excitement on RIT’s campus.
  • Draw in the local community by sponsoring an event that is connected to the newspaper industry and the academic community.

The Isaiah Thomas Award in Publishing consists of two forms of recognition, first a handmade silver bowl, designed and created by RIT’s own master silversmith Professor Len Urso from the School for American Crafts in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, and, secondly, an ornate certificate designed by professional calligrapher, Kris Holmes of Bigelow & Holmes.