UT Public Relations Students Receive National Awards

KNOXVILLE — Seven University of Tennessee public relations students received national awards at the 2004 Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) conference in New York City Oct. 26.

LaShonda Louallen, a senior from Columbia, S.C., and Ashley Tharp, a senior from Powell, Tenn., received the PRSSA National Gold Key Award.

The award was created in 1983 to acknowledge outstanding PRSSA members. It is the highest individual honor bestowed upon members of the Public Relations Student Society of America.

It recognizes those students who display outstanding academic excellence in public relations and leadership qualities in PRSSA.

“LaShonda and I are proud to represent UT for this award,” said Tharp, who is president of UT’s PRSSA chapter.

“Through PRSSA and the PR program here at UT, I have learned so much and I am prepared to begin a career in public relations. Winning a Gold Key was like the icing on the cake for a great college experience.”

Louallen, who is vice-president of UT’s PRSSA chapter said, “This award is a great way to culminate the experiences that I have had with PRSSA and remind me of how PRSSA has prepared me to become a successful public relations practitioner.”

UT’s Bateman Competition Team received honorable mention for their credit education public relations plan for Ford Motor Credit Company.

The team prepared the campaign for the national Bateman competition last spring.

Team members include Lore Bailey, 2004 graduate from Mooresburg, Tenn.; Lindsey Foster, senior from Nashville; Angela Harris, graduate student from Knoxville; Bob Metelka, 2004 graduate from Maryville; and Adrienne Royer, 2004 graduate from Hixson.

“These national awards are well deserved by our outstanding students who are providing excellent leadership in UT’s Sammie Lynn Puett Chapter of PRSSA,” said Bonnie Riechert, chapter advisor.

“Our chapter remains one of the largest, most active, and most recognized in the country, thanks to the active participation by our students and incredible support from the professional public relations community here.”