2021 Award-Winners and Inductee Bios
Ed Coughlin - Lifetime Achievement Award
Ed Coughlin is a CableACE and two-time Emmy Award-winning executive producer and owner the media production company, Cognitive Production & Development. Ed developed and produced "Caffeine & Octane" for Discovery Communication's Velocity Channel, which has been anchored in the primetime slot on NBC Sports Network now for five seasons. Currently in preproduction for season six of C&O, Ed is also working on a second project focused on luxury cards called “Caffeine & Exotics Live,” which will soon air on numerous streaming platforms.
Prior to starting his own production company in 2016, Ed had a 20-year career at Chet Burks Productions, where he produced over 500 magazine-style and non-scripted programs for ESPN, Discovery Communications/Velocity, SpeedChannel, and FOX. He also served as the executive producer for MavTV Motorsports TV from 2006-2015 and Vice President of Programming and Production at Seals Communication from 1992-1994. Ed’s list of commercial clientele includes Siemans, Coca-Cola and Capital One. His philanthropic projects have served organizations such as The Haven House, Wells for Hope and Youth Leadership Henry.
Ed graduated from SRU as a Communication major and Business minor in 1987. During his time at The Rock, Ed was the producer for a TV program titled “SRU Magazine.” He also received a scholarship for his work with The Rocket, where he served as a photographer, writer, advertising salesperson, and business manager.
Mara Kudrick - HOF Inductee
Mara Kudrick is the Director of Development for the College of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, where she coordinates the planning and execution of the department’s major gift program. Her responsibilities include development not only for the CMU Pittsburgh campus, but also for the CMU-Africa campus, located in the capital of Rwanda, for which she manages a focused portfolio of individuals, foundations and corporations. Before moving into her current position, Mara served as CMU’s Senior Associate Director of Development.
Mara has worked in higher education since 2004, when she was hired as the Associate Director of Membership at the University of Pittsburgh. She was promoted to Director of Membership in 2009, and in 2013 began working with Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering, where she held the positions of Director of Constituent Relations and, later, the Charitable Relationship Manager until 2017. She was accepted at position Carnegie Mellon in 2017 as a Senior Associate Director and was promoted to her current position as the director in 2018.
Mara graduated in 1998 with a major in Communication and a minor in Spanish. During her time at SRU, she served as the vice president of public relations for the University Program Board, a member of the Ski Club, an Admissions tour guide, and the vice president of membership for her sorority, Kappa Delta. Mara earned her master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Pittsburgh in 2009.
Kevin Scher - HOF Inductee
For 36 years, Kevin Scher has been with McCann Worldwide, the world’s leading advertising agency network, formally known as McCann-Erickson, where he now serves as Executive Vice president and Executive Business Director. In this role, Kevin creates and oversees the development of integrated marketing programs, including global and domestic brand communication and campaigns, for clients such as Coca-Cola, Nestle, The U.S. Army, USPS, Nikon, and ESPN. This involves building and directing teams of up to 200 individuals from various communication disciplines such as advertising, public relations, media planning and buying.
Kevin’s work has been recognized multiple times with the highest accolades in the industry, including the Effie Awards, Emmy Awards, and the Cannes Gold Lions. He was also named the McCann Worldgroup Integrated Partner of the Year. In short, Kevin says, “my job has been to help develop roles for brands in the world, while driving business results for clients. And importantly, having some fun along the way.” Kevin also holds coaching his son’s in-house hockey team as they won their championship as one his top accomplishments.
Kevin graduated from SRU in 1981 with a major in Communication and a minor in Psychology. While at SRU, Kevin was a reporter for The Rocket, a member of the lacrosse club team, and a member of White Lightening, saviors of Rock & Roll.
Ryan Muldowney - HOF Inductee
Ryan Muldowney is an Emmy-nominated producer and has been the senior producer, writer and editor on the Discovery reality series “Homestead Rescue” since 2019. He got his first entertainment job in Los Angeles right after graduation as a casting assistant on "Vas o No Vas," the Telemundo version of "Deal or No Deal." That led to a 15-year-long career as a reality television producer.
Ryan’s portfolio of work includes popular television programming such as “Masters of Disaster” on Discovery (editor); “Treehouse Masters” on Animal Planet (senior story producer and writer); and “Planet Primetime” on Travel Channel (story producer/writer). In 2015, Planet Primetime was nominated for a daytime Emmy award in the “Outstanding Travel and Adventure Program” category. He also had the honor of being a contestant on Wheel of Fortune, which aired on April 14, 2021.
Ryan graduated with a BS in Journalism in 2005. While at SRU, he was the host, executive producer and editor of “Gettin’ Later,” a late-night talk show on WSRU-TV, and a reporter for The Rocket. One of Ryan’s favorite memories at SRU is emceeing for the Dennis Haskins (Saved By The Bell’s “Mr. Belding”) 2004 homecoming event.
Aaron Marrie - Mike McHugh Undergraduate Excellence Award
Aaron Marrie is an award-winning SRU alumnus and a recipient of the 2021 Mike McHugh Undergraduate Excellence Award. Aaron majored in Strategic Communication and Media with a concentration in Converged Journalism and minored in Film Studies and Media. When he wasn’t in class, Aaron could be found in either The Rocket lab or with WSRU-TV in Maltby Studio, two organizations with which he has was highly involved during his four years at SRU.
Aaron joined WSRU-TV as a production assistant and camera operator during his freshman year. He quickly moved from behind to in front of the camera during his sophomore year as be began anchoring “Around the Rock Sports,” a biweekly sports program that aired on WSRU-TV’s social media. During his junior year, Aaron took on the role as a lead producer for the show, and also served as the organization’s treasurer. Aaron doubled as WSRU-TV’s in-house “travel agent” as he managed travel budgets of over $5,000 and organized all airfare, hotel, and transportation for the crew to travel to multiple conventions across the country. Aaron was promoted to the executive producer and station manager role his senior year and led the WSRU-TV crew as they continued coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic. Without Aaron’s leadership and enthusiasm, many of the opportunities the students experienced may not have happened, and WSRU-TV certainly would not be what it is today.
Aaron was also a crucial part of The Rocket staff and served as the Multimedia Editor for two consecutive years. In this role, he was responsible for working with the news, sports and campus life editors to plan and execute all multimedia content that appeared on The Rocket’s social media, website and in print. This included video, photos and infographics.
Aaron’s work and leadership has been recognized over and over by local, regional and national organizations. Most recently, he won First Place “Ongoing News Coverage” in the Pennsylvania News Association Keystone Student Press Awards, and second place in the “Infographic” category. He also helped The Rocket win First Place “Overall Newspaper Excellence” from the Society of Collegiate Journalists. In 2020, The Rocket was recognized at the SRU Rising Star Ceremony for “Outstanding Diversity Achievement” for their coverage of social justice issues. In 2019, Aaron was part of the team that took home “Chapter of the Year” at the 2019 National Broadcasting Society AERho annual convention.
Aaron also gained production experience outside of SRU as he interned at WFMJ in Youngstown, Ohio, in the sports department. Dana Balash, the sports director at WFMJ, said, "Aaron was eager to learn from day one. Although his first official day was delayed due to the pandemic, when he did start, he stepped right in. He was willing to go the extra mile and certainly was a welcome addition to our staff. Aaron was also dedicated and always contributed to our sportscast and certainly will do great wherever he lands. He is well deserving of the 2021 Mike McHugh Undergraduate Excellence Award and all of us in the WFMJ TV 21 Sports Department in Youngstown, Ohio, including reporters Corey McCrae & Josh Fitch and videographer Dan Pushcar and myself, congratulate him on this honor.”
Hannah Shumsky - Mike McHugh Undergraduate Excellence Award
Hannah Shumsky is an award-winning alumna and a recipient of the 2021 Mike McHugh Undergraduate Excellence Award. At SRU, Hannah majored in Secondary English Education and minored in Strategic Communication and Media. Hannah’s goal is to become a high school journalism teacher and newspaper adviser.
Hannah joined The Rocket her freshman year as a contributor to the news section. After quickly proving herself as a dedicated young journalist, she was promoted to assistant news editor her sophomore year and then editor-in-chief her junior year. As the editor in chief for The Rocket, Hannah not only led the staff in producing award-winning material, but helped to create an inviting and inclusive atmosphere in the newsroom. Under her leadership, The Rocket was recognized with the “Outstanding Diversity Achievement” award at the 2020 SRU Rising Star Ceremony. In addition to these honors, Hannah also was named an SRU “Rising Star” (2018-2019) and SRU’s “Student Leader of the Year” (2019-2020), further proving the impact she has made on campus.
Hannah’s list of production awards is astonishing. Just in the 2020-2021 academic year, Hannah led The Rocket as it took home over 30 awards with organizations such as the Pennsylvania News Association; Associated Collegiate Press; Columbia Scholastic Association; Society for Collegiate Journalists; and the Associated Scholastic Press Association. These awards include First Place “Overall Newspaper Excellence” from SCJ; First Place “On-Going News Coverage” from PNA; First Place “Best of Show” from ACP; and a Silver Crown from CSPA.
Hannah was also instrumental in assisting with the department’s media convergence initiatives. As a member of both The Rocket and WSRU-TV, Hannah served as a producer and writer for “The SGA Update,” a collaboration of coverage between both organizations of bi-weekly SGA meetings. As a member of WSRU-TV, Hannah also joined SRU’s chapter of the National Broadcasting Society AERho (NBS) and helped WSRU-TV take home the 2019 “Chapter of the Year” award at the national NBS convention in Philadelphia, PA.
In her future career, Hannah plans to implement what she’s learned at SRU and during her student teaching placement at Hampton School District to teach writing and journalism courses. Her student teaching supervisor, Savina Cupps, said, “Hannah impressed me from the start, especially when she agreed to Zoom with my journalism class weeks before her assignment even began. In her time with us, she has built meaningful rapport with our students, and her attention to their needs during the pandemic has been exceptional. Many of us seasoned teachers have struggled with the demands of hybrid teaching, but Hannah teaches those online and those in-person without missing a beat. Her meticulous lessons, creative assessments, and extracurricular commitments have been complimented by students and colleagues, and I can’t imagine anyone more worthy of this award.”
Carl Laughner - Jim Aronson Founders Award