Campus Life

Florida Public Relations Association honors UWF staff, students

UWF staff and students won multiple awards and earned scholarships for education at the Florida Public Relations Association Pensacola chapter Image Awards on Thursday, April 26.

The awards demonstrate the best examples of public relations planning, design and innovation and are judged on sound research and evaluation of results.

The redesigned UWF online newsroom earned an Image Award, a Judges’ Award and a Grand Image Award for Kelly Russ, Lauren Haggett and Josh Newby in University Communications and External Relations.

UWF Recreation & Sports Services earned several awards, including a Judges’ Award for the rebranding efforts for the department, a Judges’ Award and an Award of Distinction for the online newsletter Rec News, and a Judges’ Award for the Recreation Promo Video.

Assistant Director of Communication Kelly Russ was named FPRA Pensacola Communicator of the Year in the nonprofit/government sector for her work at the University. Communicator of the Year awards are given to public relations professionals who demonstrate outstanding skills in their field.

Further, three UWF students won $500 scholarships from FPRA Pensacola.

  • Cora Merritt won the Horace W. “Pete” Olcott scholarship;
  • Elena Purdy won the Lt. Col. John Dillon award;
  • Brandi Welk won the Scott Harrington award.

Students submitted applications with an essay outlining the future of public relations and the role they plan to play as PR professionals after graduation.

Merritt is a rising senior at UWF with a 3.89 GPA. She is the incoming Student Government Association president, the student liaison for FPRA, UWF Dance Marathon public relations chairwoman and scholarship chairwomen for Alpha Delta Pi.

Purdy is a full-time worker and newlywed with a 3.71 GPA. She volunteers with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Escambia County Public Information Office. She was also a member of the UWF PR Campaigns team that won an FPRA Award of Distinction in 2011 at the state conference.

Welk is a full-time student working her way through college with a 3.2 GPA. She is an intern with a local social media management company and a Big Sister with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program.