PR Excellence Awards

PR Excellence Awards

PR Excellence Awards 2015

The Harrington School is proud to announce the recipients of the 2015 Public Relations Excellence Awards that were held on April 1, in the Alumni Center on Upper College Road.

The Harrington School of Communication and Media recognizes outstanding students for the third annual PR Excellence Award Ceremony that will focus on shining a spotlight on five different categories: leadership; innovation; outstanding internship; campus involvement; and the impact award.

Katie Slocum, class of 2010, is the honorary chairperson of the annual awards ceremony. Recently, Katie was identified as one of the Top 30 Under 30 in PR by PRSA. She is one of 30 people in the country under the age of 30 who are doing amazing things in PR. Katie Is currently employed at Liberty Mutual Insurance Company in Boston where she is following her passion of working in the niche PR insurance industry. During Katie’s presentation, she stressed the importance of creating and selling a personal brand that is truthfully represented in person, on all social media accounts, and on a resume.

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Katie Slocum, honorary chairperson


Leadership Award

Sergio Suhett exemplifies the traits of a true model in the PR program and he certainly is seen as a leader inside and outside of the classroom. Sergio has assumed the leadership role in many experiential learning projects, such as an Unclassroom project with the Theatre Department at URI; a semester-long awareness campaign with AIDS Project Rhode Island; and the fast-moving social media campaign, “Make Your Green Count” for a local non-profit organization, Edesia.

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Sergio Suhett and Adam Roth


Innovation Award

Victoria Vichroski has the gift of bringing people together to reach a common goal. Tori is well known among the PR program for continuously going above and beyond as demonstrated in her freshman year internship with the Providence Bruins where she crafted press releases, managed their social media presence, and wrote articles about the players after she interviewed them. During Tori’s sophomore year, she took on the International Tennis Hall of Fame where she completed a meaningful internship with a focus on event planning. Tori has also interned with ABC 6, WPRO, and Patricia Raskin’s where she was exposed to proposal writing.

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Victoria Vichroski


Outstanding Internship Award

Laura Shubel interned with the Alliance Francaise de Providence. When Laura began her internship, she originally thought her job description would consist of answering the phones and responding to emails but the result of her internship experience turned into Laura assuming a leadership role in the planning of the Annual Alliance Francaise de Providence Gala. Laura’s fluency in French proved to be a resourceful contributor to her day-to-day operations at the Alliance. In a short span of time, Laura assumed the role as the Language Center Coordinator where she assumed a supervisory role.

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Laura Shubel and Kevin McClure, Communications Department Chair


William Matson V is currently interning with TRP Associates, LLC located in Warwick. Bill is directly involved with the marketing efforts with a focus on writing complex sales proposals for various organizations in response to RFPs. Bill’s supervisors have involved him in making marketing decisions to develop the new brand of TRP. He works directly with the executive team on business development issues regarding national expansion.

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William Mattson V


Campus Involvement Award

Lauren Foley is the type of student who likes to get involved at URI. She is the founder of the Student Senate Dressage Team that began in September 2012 and that is continuing its success by expanding its membership, success, and competitive participation. The team has represented URI at the national competition for the past two years. While Lauren was a resident advisor in 2012, she used that time to foster a residential community. Lastly, Lauren has also been involved with the Student Entertainment Committee, where she takes the role of recommending concert ideas while also volunteering at the concerts to help set up and break down the events.

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Lauren Foley


Impact Award:

Make Your Green Count

Kimberly DeLande, Kylie Rice, Sergio Suhett, David St. Amant created the fast-paced campaign, “Make Your Green Count” in the effort of raising money for children fighting childhood nutrition in Africa. Edesia, the local non-profit that produces the Plumpy’Nut bars, has raised enough money to donate 88 boxes of Plumpy’Nut to children in need. One box of Plumpy’Nut is enough to treat one child from severe acute malnutrition. These determined PR students saved 88 lives through their successful campaign, “Make Your Green Count”.

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David St. Amant, Sergio Suhett, Kate O’Malley, Kimberly DeLande, and Kylie Rice


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Regina Bell pictured with the 2015 PR Excellence Awards recipients




PR Excellence Awards 2014

Honorary Chairperson: Dominic Green

Honorary Chairperson: Dominic Green

The Harrington School of Communication and Media recognized outstanding students at the second annual Public Relations Excellence Award ceremony at Alumni Center. Five specific categories captured the essence of student achievement: leadership; most innovative; community/campus involvement; and outstanding internship experience.

Recent URI grad and honorary chairperson, Dominic Green, content and branding manager of (add)ventures in Providence, realizes the significance of nurturing students to develop the necessary skills to make a difference in our local and global community. “The university’s public relations program helped lay the foundation for many key skills I use in my career today. As a former student, I’m honored to take part in a ceremony that recognizes these students for their academic achievements.”

Nominated by their peers, the award recipients include:

Heather Hermanowski for Most Innovative

Heather Hermanowski

Heather Hermanowski

Taylor Gilman

Taylor Gilman for Leadership

A Public Relations Major and Communication Studies Minor, Taylor Gilman recognized that something was missing in her studies, leadership experience. From there, she identified her goal: to tone and further develop her leadership skills. This semester, she took her first leadership courses as part of her Leadership Minor. Throughout her journey, Taylor has attended leadership retreats and discovered many leadership theories that she can apply to her life here at URI and in her future career. Taylor currently holds the role of Special Events Chair for Zeta Tau Alpha, where she is responsible for organizing philanthropic events between her chapter and other chapters on campus. In the Fall of 2014, she organized a donation drive resulting in more than 140 art supplies which were donated to St. Mary’s Home for Children in North Providence. In addition to this donation drive, her leadership resulted in the chapter contributing to the grand total of $17,000 donated by Greek Life to St. Mary’s Home.

Vanessa Brown for Leadership

Vanessa Brown

Vanessa Brown

An internship with 95.5 WBRU has resulted in a life-changing experience for Vanessa Brown. As an intern, Vanessa assumed the role of Promotions Director – a role never assumed by a non-Brown student. Vanessa participated in weekly Sales meetings where she was applauded for her suggestions and recommendations to resolve concerns. As a leader at 95.5, she managed her peers on a daily basis, many of whom were older than she. At times, managing people was intimidating, but Vanessa considered it to be a real learning opportunity and recognized her own professional development as a result of this opportunity. Vanessa enjoyed every minute of her responsibilities as Promotions Director.

Sabrina Brontons
Sabrina Brontons

Sabrina Brotons for Campus Involvement

Sabrina Brotons has maximized to the fullest her academic career at URI. One of her many accomplishments includes Orientation Team Leader for three consecutive summers resulting in her knowledge of every facet of freshman orientation. Sabrina is referred to as “Sunny” because she is an inspiration and true friend to many students. A PR Intern for Greek Life, she has spent countless hours redesigning the entire URI Greek Life website that is now up and running.

She is an Executive Board member of Zeta Tau Alpha and led her sorority to one of their highest overall GPAs. She consistently encourages every member of Zeta Tau Alpha to get involved in one activity to advance the mission of the sorority. She has  also managed the Greek Life Facebook and Twitter accounts and assumed the role of a URI 101 mentor and TA for the mentoring class. Sabrina genuinely enjoys guiding students and takes pride in encouraging them to “do more” while here at URI.

Cody Frankel for Campus Involvement

Cody Frankel

Cody Frankel

A decision to immerse himself in campus life at URI has afforded Cody Frankel the opportunity to assume a leadership role in Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity where he helped to recruit the largest class of new members.  Cody has taken the lead in organizing many positive events in his fraternity to foster positive spirit and he is an Event Planning Manager at Platinum Entertainment Group where he is THE person to manage as many as 20 employees to facilitate an effective concert experience.   Cody is most proud of his role as a Greek 101 Mentor where he shares responsible drinking decision making with his peers.

Sarah Archer for Outstanding Internship Experience

Sarah Archer is one student who has enriched her academic career with invaluable and unique internships.  According to Sarah, she was determined to get as much “hands on” experience in public relations and communication studies as possible.  In 2012, she paired up with Fronetics, a strategic advising company and Matter Communications, a public relations firm to participate in a unique internship – she spent the morning at Matter Communications helping to rebrand a marketing strategy for Fronetics.  In the afternoon, she conducted marketing research and contributed to studying the aftermarket supply chain and logistics for clients of Fronetics.

The summer of 2013 brought her to Dallas where she interned with Conference USA as part of their social media team.  In the Fall of 2013, she studied in Hawaii and accepted an internship as the Communications Intern  with East-West Center, an organization concentrating on fostering better relations through research between Asia, the Pacific Islands and the United States.   Currently, Sarah is in Florence, Italy as part of her study abroad experience and is interning with LdM News where she creates story lines for videos, edits content and has the chance to be oin front of the camera.

Since Sarah cannot be with us today, this award will be presented to her upon her return from Italy.

Kylie Rice
Kylie Rice

Kylie Rice for Outstanding Internship Experience – Global Impact

If you ask Kylie Rice about her experience in Ghana, Africa, her face will light up.  According to Kylie, she is most proud of her accomplishments and the personal growth she has made as a PR student.  “One of the most rewarding experiences of my life was my trip to Ghana as a volunteer at the Blessed Bright Orphanage,” Kylie said. This two-week experience exposed her to a different part of the world and shed light on a different way of life.  The experience of living in overt poverty, yet, at the same time, seeing so many happy children who have so little has made her thankful for the life she lives.  To support Kylie’s passion, her fellow PR students planned a fundraiser at a local bar; the proceeds were sent to Blessed Bright Orphanage in Ghana.  Kylie hopes to return to Ghana one day soon to continue to make a difference at the Blessed Bright Orphanage.

Taylor Gilman, Henry Mills, Kylie Rice and Jamie Wessel for the Impact Award – Goodwill Industries

Goodwill Industries Team

Goodwill Industries Team

Four students – one project – one organization. The result: a sense of teamwork emerged among the students and a difference was made at Goodwill Industries of Rhode Island, an organization dedicated to serving the needs of the local Rhode Island community.  A snapshot of this project; each student was charged with certain responsibilities to advance Goodwill Industries.  According to the team, they used their skills and knowledge of public relations to help expand the organization through social media platforms.  Additionally,  a relationship between the University and Goodwill Industries was born.  The project did not end at the end of the semester as Cody Frankel is currently interning with Goodwill.  One team member summed it all up:  “Through this experience, I observed admirable qualities in each of my classmates as we functioned as a team.”  Congratulations to Taylor, Henry, Kylie and Jamie.

Amy Belhumeur
Amy Belhumeur

Amy Belhumeur for Impact Award – Developing Relationships

An internship with Sarah E. Daly Events in the Fall is described as an “amazing experience” by Amy Belhumeur, as she was invited to contribute to the success of the business.  Amy developed and then later strengthened the company’s very first social media presence allowing the company to gain new followers and likes.  By surveying and researching existing clients, Amy was able to identify future clients considered interesting and valuable.  She completed competitive market research and analysis, the results of which led to amending some of the event pricing to remain competitive in the marketplace and she was invited to participate in business growth strategy sessions.  As Amy reflects upon this internship, she shared the professional pride she experienced as a result of this learning opportunity.

Alexandra Baccari and Hailey Cowan for  Leadership of the URI Chapter of PRSSA

Alexandra Baccari and Hailey Cowan

Alexandra Baccari and Hailey Cowan