Bateman award winners
From left are UTSA students Romina Gonzalez, Juliet Quintero,
Tiffany Smith and Kaela Dawson

Students earn UTSA's fifth Bateman PR award

By Steven Levitt
Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Communication

(May 7, 2009)--UTSA communication students Kaela Dawson, Romina Gonzalez, Juliet Quintero and Tiffany Smith placed honorable mention in the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) National Bateman Case Study Competition. It is the fifth time in six years UTSA students received an award.

Seventy-seven teams from across the nation participated in this year's competition with three teams receiving top honors. UTSA's team placed honorable mention along with 15 other teams including Louisiana State University, Penn State University, University of Florida, University of Georgia, University of Oregon and Kent State University. The schools are known nationally and internationally for their top-rated public relations programs.

Since 1973, the National Bateman Case Study Competition has given college students the opportunity to apply their skills in a real-world public relations campaign. It offers students an opportunity to exercise the analytical skills and mature judgment required for public relations problem solving. This year's client was the Consumer Bankers Association's "Hit the Books Running" college accessibility and affordability awareness campaign.

Ali Kanso El-Ghori, professor of communication and academic adviser for the UTSA team, said Roadrunner entrants over the last seven years have been consistently strong performers in the Bateman, considered by many to be the most difficult and prestigious national competition for public relations majors.

"This challenge helps our students design and implement an integrated communication campaign that not only hones their public relations talents but also advances a really important social issue," said El-Ghori. "I am delighted that our students' hard work and expertise as young public relations practitioners is being recognized outside the state. All of us can be proud that UTSA's public relations faculty and its students are ranked among the top in the country."

UTSA's PRSSA chapter has increased membership to a record level, along with nurturing the new UnityPR student-run firm. With a local client's campaign underway and other client prospects pending, the firm provides professional development opportunities for students and gives chapter members PR experience through fundraising and other special events.

PRSSA is a pre-professional organization comprised of 285 chapters and more than 9,600 students nationwide. For more information, visit the PRSSA Bateman competition Web site.

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