Student Life

Leadership translates out of the classroom for two University of West Florida graduate students

Two University of West Florida graduate students have recently taken on leadership roles for the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA). Tying directly to their Strategic Communication and Leadership coursework, Jeff Nall and Valeria Lento create and implement measurable goals for the statewide organization.

Jeff Nall, APR, CPRC, who recently took on the role as FPRA’s state president, is accredited in public relations and is a certified public relations counselor with more than 20

Jeff Nall headshot
Jeff Nall, FPRA State President

years of experience in the marketing and public relations field. Nall is a past president of the Pensacola Chapter of FPRA. Nall’s extensive experience has won him many

prestigious awards, such as Chapter President of the Year and Member of the Year by the Pensacola Chapter and the State Association. Currently, Nall is the vice president of communication and development at the Council on Aging of West Florida.

“I am both excited and humbled to be elected to this position by my peers throughout the state of Florida. I also feel fortunate that this is happening as I pursue a master’s degree in strategic communication and leadership at UWF,” Nall said. “More than a few people have asked me if I were crazy to be taking all this on at the same time, but to me, the timing could not have been better. I think the two dovetail nicely and that I will be more successful in each endeavor because of the unique opportunity to simultaneously approach communication and leadership from both an academic and real-world perspective.”

Named Communicator of the Year in 2011 by the Northwest Florida Coast Chapter of FPRA, Valeria Lento, vice president of planning and research for FPRA, is the director of communications for Visit Pensacola, the Greater Pensacola Chamber’s tourism arm, where she is responsible for promoting the Pensacola Bay Area through media

Valeria Lento headshot
Valeria Lento, FPRA Vice President of Planning and Research

relations and integrated marketing communication campaigns. Prior to joining Visit Pensacola, Lento was communications manager for the Hilton Sandestin Beach and

previously worked for Edelman in Miami.

“To serve FPRA at the state level and have a hand in helping the organization advance its mission of enriching public relations practitioners across the state is an honorable opportunity that I do not take likely,” Lento said. “I look forward to what I’m sure will be a memorable year under Jeff Nall’s leadership and to representing the Pensacola

Bay Area in this capacity.”

The Strategic Communication and Leadership Master of Arts program provides students with in-depth knowledge of communication research, strategies and practices. This Master’s program demonstrates communication solutions to identify and change public audiences’ behavior, beliefs and attitudes that can be implemented in real-life communication challenges.