As part of a capstone project in Prof. Amy Barnes’ public relations campaigns course, ten students partnered with AR Kids Read, a local non-profit initiative that recruits and trains volunteers to help children attain reading level proficiency by the beginning of fourth grade.
The ten were split into two teams, and each created a strategic communication plan for the company. One team focused on increasing volunteers and the other team, increasing donors.
Rachel Frey, Steven Savage, Janet Patrick-May, Courtney Collins and Bricen Pace were a part of the team that designed a plan to increase volunteers. In September, they were awarded with the Public Relations Student Society of America Prism Award in the category of Best Communications Campaign – the largest student award given out by PRSSA. “Show initiative,” said Frey. “Do more than what is expected of you, always be early and work your tail off. Eventually someone will notice.”
“Through this capstone, I was able to prove to my teammates, Professor Barnes, and myself that I was able to take the knowledge gained from my program and apply it in the field,” said Pace. “Winning the Prism Award validated my growth in my undergraduate studies.”
Working on this project has already paid off for both Rachel Frey and Janet Patrick-May. May is currently working for the College of Social Sciences and Communication at UALR.
Frey was hired as an account coordinator for Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods in September where she works primarily in an advertising/PR role with the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. “Don’t stop learning new things just because you graduate. There’s so much more out there than you can possibly imagine,” said Frey.