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Public Relations Program Receive OCA Distinguished Program Award

Ohio Northern University's public relations program received the Distinguished Program Award at the 2009 Ohio Communication Association (OCA) Conference held in Columbus on Oct. 3, 2009. This prestigious award honors Ohio Northern as having one of the best public relations programs in the state.

The OCA bases this award on student success and the outstanding work of ONU's chapter of the national Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). The Ohio Northern PRSSA chapter has won nearly every major award and scholarship offered by the organization. Students have continually served as national committee members for the organization and, for two years (2006-08), as PRSSA national presidents. The OCA Distinguished Program Award is presented only when the executive committee feels a program truly serves as a model for the state.

Part of the criteria for the OCA award is the excellence of faculty who participate in the public relations program. Dr. Stephen Iseman, APR, Fellow PRSA, directs the public relations major at ONU. During Iseman's tenure as head of the program, ONU has received the Certified for Education in Public Relations (CEPR) designation and has become one of only 19 programs in the world to earn the certification from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). Iseman also advises of the student PRSSA chapter, which has won five national Teahan Awards, including the 2008 Award for University Service.

Alisa Agozzino, visiting instructor in communication arts, contributes to the broad scope and relevancy of the public relations program because of her specialization in social media tools. Agozzino's research examines how public relations practitioners use social media tools to effectively reach a younger demographic.

In a PRSA Certification review of ONU's program, reviewers noted, "Faculty members are intensely engaged in counseling students for both academic and career planning. The reputation of the ONU public relations program within the communication arts department and throughout the University would be the envy of any college PR program."