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PRSSA recognizes ONU at national conference

Ohio Northern University’s Public Relations Students Society of America (PRSSA) chapter received numerous individual and group awards at the annual national PRSSA conference in Orlando, Fla., Oct. 14-18, and at the Ohio Communication Association (OCA) annual convention earlier in the month.
“As a faculty member, I'm very excited to see our students be awarded for the time and effort they put forth in order to grow and gain a deeper understanding of public relations,” said Dr. Alisa Agozzino, assistant professor of communication arts and faculty advisor of the ONU PRSSA chapter. “We will strive to continue to maintain the success for which we have been recognized at the national level. With more than 10,000 members nationwide competing for these few awards, it is a real testament of how exceptional the PR students at Ohio Northern University truly are.”
Joseph Clarkson, a senior communication arts major from Huntingdon, Pa., received the first Ron Culp Scholarship for Mentorship, given to a student who has demonstrated potential to be a strong mentor to others in their professional life. Earlier in the month, Clarkson was awarded the Ohio Communication Association Distinguished Undergraduate Student award, which honors student merit, academic achievements and community service activities.
Six 2011 ONU graduates received the National Gold Key award, an accolade that acknowledges outstanding PRSSA members. It is the highest individual honor bestowed upon members of PRSSA and recognizes students who display outstanding academic excellence in public relations and leadership qualities. The honored ONU members were Kelsey Giesler of Elmore, Ohio, Ellen Keough of Howell, Mich., Renee LeGendre of Toledo, Ohio, Nathan Mirolo of West Jefferson, Ohio, Stephanie Rowe of Marion, Ohio, and Jamienne Scott of Columbus Grove, Ohio.
As a chapter, the ONU PRSSA chapter received three distinct honors this month: the PRSSA national Star Chapter Award, Ohio Communication Association (OCA) Distinguished Student Organization, and an honorable mention in the national case study Bateman competition.
The Star Chapter Award recognizes a chapter that meets eight of 10 requirements set by PRSSA, which are: initiate and complete at least one community service project; strengthen your relationship with your PRSA sponsor chapter; give attention to ethics in at least one chapter meeting; confirm that at least one chapter member applies for an individual national PRSSA scholarship or award; confirm that your chapter applied for at least one national PRSSA award; implement at least one national initiative; confirm attendance by at least one chapter member at National Conference, National Assembly, a regional activity or leadership rally; gain positive attention for your chapter in at least one campus or community publication or media; extend an invitation to students/faculty from other disciplines to attend at least one chapter meeting; and confirm that at least 10 percent of your graduating seniors applied for PRSA associate membership.
 For the OCA Distinguished Student Organization honor, ONU’s chapter provided examples of how the organization served as a model for others, as well as documentation of the group’s record of accomplishment.
The Bateman Case Study competition gives students an opportunity to apply their classroom education and internship experience to create and implement a full public relations campaign. Students on the team included Clarkson, LeGendre, Giesler, Keough and Scott.
Dr. Stephen Iseman, who retired in spring 2011 from ONU, won an award for most Outstanding Faculty Advisor.
In the student-run firm awards category, ONU PRSSA received the “Best Campaign” award for its work with the ReStore Community Center in Ada, Ohio.
At the awards banquet, Todd Bailey, an ONU alumnus from the class of 2001, received the PRSSA Hall of Fame Award, which honors alumni that have built distinguished careers in public relations and continue to contribute to public relations education through PRSSA involvement.