Office of University Communications & Marketing

UNA Public Relations Students Recognized At State Conference

Apr. 19, 2011

FLORENCE, Ala. – Several students in the University of North Alabama chapter of the North Alabama Public Relations Council of Alabama were recently recognized for their public relations and marketing projects at a state conference in Birmingham, Ala.

Students in the UNA-NAPRCA student chapter rebranded the group to PRIDE, or Public Relations Individuals Dedicated to Excellence, last semester. Twenty UNA students and two faculty advisers, including Dr. Beth Garfrerick and Lisa Darnell, attended the annual conference, where media and PR professionals came together to network and share ideas.

Garfrerick, who was recently named 2011 NAPRCA Educator of the Year, said the students’ awards were based upon projects they had either worked on in class or in their internships or jobs. She said the awards reflect on the Department of Communications’ dedication to preparing students well for their future careers.

“We’ve really raised the bar in participation and in our commitment,” she said. “The students represented UNA well. [The chapter] has built a reputation of great participation with students who are well engaged with other professionals. The students have developed a real sense of community, and I am very proud of that.”

The student chapter traveled with 12 professionals from NPRCA in Huntsville to the Birmingham conference. Students were able to participate in networking opportunities and make contacts for future jobs and internships related to the field.

PRIDE was also notified April 4 that they had been approved as an official student chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, which is the national organization for public relations students and consists of more than 10,000 students and advisers in the U.S. and Argentina.

The group, which was started in 1993 by Darnell, will also host the North Alabama chapter of PRCA meeting April 20 for the first time at UNA. PRIDE will invite local PR professionals working with Shoals Chamber of Commerce to network with students and link up with the Huntsville NAPRCA chapter.

Students receiving PRCA Certificates of Merit at the recent conference were:

Jake Brasfield, of Huntsville, for UNA PRIDE Promotional Video

Matt Liles, of Florence, for UNA PRIDE Promotional Video

Craig Hurst, of Gardendale, for UNA PRIDE Promotional Video

Eli Harper, of Tuscumbia, for UNA PRIDE Promotional Video

Colleen Radford, of Madison, for Stop Smoking for a Healthier Future

Jacob Lovell, of Florence, for UNA PRIDE: Public Relations Individuals Dedicated to Excellence

Eli Harper, of Tuscumbia, for Tuscumbia Church of Christ Web site

Eli Harper, of Tuscumbia, for Communication Department Brochure

Eli Harper, of Tuscumbia, for Merchant Breakfast Promotional Items

Awards of Excellence were given to:

Whitney Dugger, of Hartselle, for TOMS Shoes Brochure

Heath Borden, of Killen, for PAWS Public Service Announcement

Matt Liles, of Florence, for NO’ALA Entertainment Issue

Stephanie Sims, of Madison, for The Dixie Swim Club Promotional Post Card

COM 442: Jake Brasfield, of Huntsville; Jamie Brooks, of Birmingham; Kelli Coffman, of Florence; Mary Cox, of Huntsville; Whitney Dugger, of Hartselle; John Robert Fulmer, of Florence; Amiracle Fuqua, of Decatur; Shani Hamilton, of Muscle Shoals; Eli Harper, of Tuscumbia, Craig Hurst, of Florence, Jenna Kelly, of Lawrenceburg, Tenn.; Mallory King, of Decatur; Matt Liles, of Florence; Jacob Lovell, of Florence; Colleen Radford, of Madison; April Rogers, of Killen; Cedri Walls, of Fulton, Miss.; Mareca Watson, of Decatur; Chelsea Yarbrough, of Saltillo, for UNA PRIDE Re-Branding Campaign

Medallions were awarded to:

Whitney Dugger, of Hartselle, for Alabama Higher Education Programs: Ban Smoking on College Campuses

Chase House, of Iuka, Miss., for Local’s Guide to Alabama’s Gulf Coast

Matt Liles, of Florence, for NO’ALA Entertainment CD

Eli Harper, of Tuscumbia, for UNA PRIDE Business Card