By John Mitchell, APR, Fellow PRSA, and Dianne Danowski Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA
Two members of the University of Oregon Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) – students in the UO School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC) – were recognized for outstanding achievement in public relations at the SOJC annual awards event held online Wednesday, June 9.
Madilyne Nguyen-Acosta received the Jack Ewan Award, sponsored by PRSA Oregon and presented each year to the outstanding senior member of UO PRSSA. The award recognizes both achievement and potential and is named in honor of the late Jack Ewan, associate professor emeritus, in the SOJC. Ewan built the school’s public relations courses into an accredited major and founded the University of Oregon Chapter of PRSSA, the first in the Northwest.
Nguyen-Acosta, a senior from Santa Clara, California, was recognized by UO SOJC faculty and advisors for “a stellar effort by a student leader despite the most unusual and challenging circumstances caused by the COVID pandemic.” “Madi literally willed UO PRSSA to succeed while navigating unprecedented waters during the pandemic year,” said UO PRSSA Professional Advisor John Mitchell, APR, Fellow PRSA. “She more than deserves every acknowledgement coming her way for going above and beyond in all aspects.”
Jonah Boyd received the Liz Cawood Award, presented each year to a member of the UO Chapter of PRSSA for outstanding commitment of service to both PRSSA and the community. The award is named in the honor of Liz Cawood, owner of CAWOOD, a public relations firm located in Eugene. Cawood is a founding member of the Greater Oregon Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and was the first professional advisor of UO PRSSA.
Boyd, a senior from Carlsbad, California, was recognized by UO faculty and advisors for “outstanding efforts as the UO PRSSA Events Director.” “Jonah is so deserving of the Liz Cawood Award,” said UO SOJC Senior Instructor Courtney Munther. “I had the sincere pleasure of teaching her several times this past year, and she has impressed me at every turn with her professionalism and maturity. She is deeply thoughtful, wise beyond her years, and ready to go out and do great work in PR.”
Both Nguyen-Acosta and Boyd graduated Saturday, June 12, 2021, and each received $500 for their respective awards. PRSA Oregon underwrote the Ewan award.