Friday, August 10, 2012
Contact: Tiffany Bajus, Communications Specialist, 304-696-6397

Marshall University public relations students and alumni honored

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Public relations students and alumni of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications (SOJMC) have earned awards from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) –West Virginia chapter.

The 2012 PRSA-West Virginia Chapter Crystal Awards Gala took place earlier this summer at the Edgewood Country Club in Charleston. The event honored exceptional public relations campaigns and tactics from 2011.

Marshall students and alumni took home 11 different awards in June including five Crystal Awards, three honorable mentions, the Best in West Virginia Award and individual honors.

Assistant Professor of Public Relations Dr. Terry Hapney Jr. said he is proud of his students and their accomplishments.

“They worked very hard to research, plan, communicate and evaluate successful public relations campaigns for River Valley Child Development Services and the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Marshall University,” Hapney said. “Not only did their clients and I believe they were successful in accomplishing their goals in an excellent fashion, public relations professionals statewide also believed that. That's what these awards signify.”

Marshall students in the spring 2011 public relations campaign management classes won Crystal Awards for both campaigns on which they worked.

Stacie Fonner, a member of a 2011 public relations campaign management class, said she was honored to be part of the public relations program.

“These awards are just a small symbol of the great achievements of our program,” Fonner said. “The school of journalism prepares students to enter the world of PR, or in my case, the world of law. I have been complimented for my interview, editing and writing skills and have been able to propel my career because of this great undergraduate program.”

The Trivia-4-Tots campaign benefitted River Valley Child Development Services and won awards in the External Communications Campaign and Media Release 500 Words or Less categories.

The Make Your Mark, Leave Your Legacy campaign benefitted the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Marshall University and won awards in the Logo and Direct Mail categories. 

The students also received honorable mentions for two posters and a special issue publication for the Trivia-4-Tots campaign.

Kaylin Adkins, Marshall public relations alumna and current marketing coordinator for the United Way of the River Cities, won a Crystal Award and the top honor, Best in West Virginia Award, for her work on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

“It was an immense honor to also receive the Best in West Virginia award for the campaign,” Adkins said. “I am involved with a multitude of great initiatives, collaboratives and programs in my position. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to create and implement the public relations plan that targeted an important issue in today’s society.”

Many Marshall public relations graduates also work at agencies throughout the state that were honored during the awards gala, Hapney said.

Marshall alumna Rachel Coffman took home the Outstanding Young Professional of the Year award. Coffman is currently an account executive at TSG Consulting and is known for her work with social media and public relations campaigns in general.

Kim Harbour, Marshall alumna and current director of marketing and communications for the West Virginia Department of Commerce, took home the Practitioner of the Year Award. Harbour has won numerous awards over the years, including the 2011 Best in West Virginia Award and Best in Show Award at the PRSA- East Central District Diamond Awards earlier in the year.

For further information, contact:  Office of University Communications
Marshall University | 213 Old Main | Huntington, WV 25755-1090
Fax: (304) 696-3197