PRSA Oregon honors aspiring PR pre-professionals

For nearly two decades, the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communication has called upon our the PRSA Oregon chapter to jury the Jack Ewan Award for Outstanding Public Relations Senior. This year, we were also invited to judge the Liz Cawood Award for Service to UO PRSSA and the Community.

A member of the faculty from 1964 until his retirement in 1985, Ewan is credited with building the UO’s public relations courses into an accredited major. He was responsible for the founding of the first Public Relations Student Society of America Chapter (PRSSA) at the University of Oregon, the first in the Northwest District.

The Jack Ewan Award is presented each year to the outstanding senior member of the Public Relations Student Society of America, University of Oregon Chapter. The award recognizes both achievement and potential in a senior student and is named in honor of Jack Ewan, Professor Emeritus, and founder of the University of Oregon Chapter of PRSSA. The award is sponsored by the Oregon Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

The Liz Cawood Award is also presented each year to a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America, University of Oregon Chapter, for outstanding commitment to service to PRSSA and the community at large.  The award is named in honor of Liz Cawood, first UO PRSSA professional advisor and a founding member of the Greater Oregon Chapter of PRSA. The award is sponsored by Cawood.

Liz Cawood, president of Cawood, a communications and PR firm in Eugene and a longtime supporter of the SOJC, worked with Ewan to found the local PRSA chapter as well as the PRSSA chapter at the school. She says she remembers fondly “talking with Ewan about public relations strategies.”

This year’s jury for each award comprised Mary Ann Albright, Compliance Communications Manager at Kaiser Permanente; Kathy Hubbell, APR, Fellow PRSA, President of Adscripts; and Dianne Danowski Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA, President of Publix Northwest PR – PA.

In this academic year, two excellent candidates were chosen, each receiving a monetary award as part of the esteemed designations. Each displayed excellent academic performance as well as strong goals for their post-graduation lives. The winner was announced at the J-School’s commencement ceremony on June 16.

Lily Gordon was named the 2019 Ewan award winner. Lily was honored for making significant contributions to the UO PRSSA chapter as a member and officer.

She sought out development opportunities not only for herself, but also for her peers. She’s had demonstrable successes in social media PR (gaining national attention for the chapter’s “Ducks Love Dogs” fundraiser) and is keen to embrace emerging technologies. That adaptability will position her to be successful in an evolving profession.

Lily has a clear sense of her values and has been found to be an ambitious and gifted emerging professional. Equity, education, and the environment are important to her. She’s wise enough to understand that she needn’t, as a college senior, know exactly where her career path will ultimately take her. Lily has accomplished a great deal while at UO and has honed her leadership skills through PRSSA. With a great job already lined up for after graduation, Lily has a bright future ahead of her.

Jillian Niedermeyer was named winner of the Liz Cawood award. The judges note not only Jillian’s acceptance into honors programs but active involvement with the PR community on- and off-campus demonstrates an understanding of two key ingredients in a successful career launch: experience and relationships.

She has varied interests and found creative ways to link them professionally – identifying opportunities to combine her passion for events PR with her love of technological innovations. She already has a position secured after graduation at a PR firm that will allow her to explore this intersection more fully.

Jillian has been active on campus, helping to orient fellow transfer students and to plan and execute events for the UO PRSSA chapter. She also immersed herself in Allen Hall Public Relations, where she gained valuable real-world experience and networked with PRSA Oregon chapter members. Additionally, she broadened her horizons by participating in the Semester at Sea program.

Both Lily and Jillian served as Account Executives at Allen Hall Public Relations, the UO PR program’s in-house agency. Congratulations to Lily and Jillian, we can’t wait to see your stars arise!

 

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