Three PRSSA Students are Shining Stars

The University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communications have three new shining stars in local PRSSA leaders Megan Mortensen, Danielle Ng and Ellie Shalvarjian, all who graduated from the UO’s School of Journalism and Communications in mid-June.

Megan Mortensen

Megan Mortenson was named the 2022 honoree of the Liz Cawood Award. The award is presented each year to a member of the UO Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America for outstanding commitment of service to both PRSSA and the community at large. It’s named in honor of Liz Cawood, APR, founding member of the PRSA Greater Oregon Chapter and UO PRSSA’s first professional advisor. She’s a longtime Eugene-area PR agency owner/executive.

The judges were impressed with Meghan’s application on every level including her demonstration of scholastic excellence, as evidenced by her well-regarded senior thesis and excellent recommendation from her PR instructor. She’s played a leadership role within the UO’s PRSSA chapter as vice president and took full advantage of the professional development opportunities it provides.

The judges agreed Meghan has lived up to the ideals of this award, named after an Oregon public relation icon. She used her PRSSA involvement and experience to improve connections—the heart of what public relations professionals strive for every day. She demonstrated that she has learned to quickly adapt to change in a real-world environment. Meghan worked hard to place herself in a competitive position not only winning an internship with a prestigious national public relations firm serving the travel and tourism industry, but ultimately, a first job in the professional world. Finally, she
has demonstrated she realizes the importance of belonging to a professional support organization. As she put it herself, the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communications and PRSSA have “prepared her to thrive, learn, grow and lead.”

This year, both Danielle Ng and Ellie Shalvarjian are co-winners of Jack Ewan Award for Outstanding Public Relations Senior, presented annually to an outstanding member of the Public Relations Student Society of America at the UO to recognize both academic achievement and professional potential and is named in memory of Jack Ewan, Professor Emeritus, and founder of PRSSA University of Oregon Chapter. The Public Relations Society of America Oregon Chapter sponsors the award.

Danielle Ng

For Ng, the judges were impressed with her commitment to service to her pre-profession and her investment of time and initiatives in PRSSA. She is aiming high for an internship at the venerated PR firm, WE Communications, while maintaining strong academic scholarship. She has given of her time and effort to attend and support numerous PRSSA chapter events in a world where so much of what we can do to succeed is simply show up and be present. Her engaging spirit was also witnessed through her support of the Allen Hall Public Relations agency and account team. The judges concurred their belief she
has a strong future ahead of her.

Ellie Shalvarjian

For Shalvarjian, the judges gave her high marks for excelling in her academic studies, culminating in her Dean’s List award. And given her panhellenic engagement in serving as the PR chair for Sigma Kappa sorority, she has greatly demonstrated her investment in her future prospects in a budding career in public relations. She also demonstrated commitment and success at UO’s PRSSA chapter with leadership
and engagement with the Allen Hall Public Relations Society. Her future looks ultra bright given her completed internship at the Oregon Bach Festival and her securing a full-time job at Weber Shandwick in New York City. The judges are more than convinced Ellie will make a positive impact on our world, both professionally and personally.

Each award will receive a cash gift.

The judging panel included senior members of the Oregon chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. The four judges are all nationally accredited by PRSA and three have earned public relations fellowship and included Dianne Danowski Smith, APR, Fellow PRSA, Publix Northwest PR + PA (past PRSSA Vice President and past PRSA chapter president); David Thompson, APR, Fellow PRSA, C3 Collective (past PRSA chapter president); Tom Unger, APR, ABC, Fellow PRSA, News Writing Pro Co. (past PRSA chapter president) and Andrea Watson, APR, MPA, Tualatin Valley Water District (past PRSA
chapter board member)

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