Journalism Alumni to Receive Outstanding Young Alumni Award 2012

By: Heather Smith (@heathr_smith)

Journalism Department graduates Rebekah Peppler ’08, and Vanessa Virbitsky ’08, are two of four remarkable UW-Oshkosh alumni to be receiving the Outstanding Young Alumni Award of 2012. 

These distinguished alumni will be honored by the University’s Alumni Association during Homecoming 2012 for their professional and civic accomplishments and future promises.

While at Oshkosh, Peppler was a member of SPJ and Virbitsky a sports writer for the Advance-Titan. After the j-department congratulated them via Twitter two days ago, we got an unexpected response:


What are the odds?! Now that their paths have crossed years later, what exactly have these two accomplished after graduation that has earned them this honor?Image

With a bachelor’s degree in journalism from UWO in hand, Rebekah Peppler extended her education in New York City, where she completed the class pastry arts program at the French Culinary Institute. Independently, she is a freelance writer, recipe developer, photographer, and avid food stylist. In 2010 she began her NYC career as the culinary advisor/researcher for CBS news, and is currently the food editor at Tasting Table, where she provides New Yorkers with daily e-mail publications about the best food and drink culture the city has to offer. 

After grImageaduating from UW-Oshkosh with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science, Vanessa Virbitsky went on to receive her MA in public relations at Ball State. There, she was the graduate assistant gymnastics coach and media relations assistant for the University.  In 2009 she became the Media Relations Intern for the U.S. Olympic Committee in Colorado, and in July 2010 began her position as a Communications Manager. Today, she is playing a key role in the upcoming 2012 London Olympic Games.


It is safe to say that this year; Virbitsky and Peppler will be bringing home the gold at the 2012 Homecoming reception on October 12.


For more information on all of this year’s recipients, check out this article!


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