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Loyola at a Glance

Mass Communication students place in national PR competition

April 24, 2009

Heather Miranne, Janine Sheedy, advisor Dr. Cathy Rogers, Vicki Voelker, Sarah Mackota and Ashley Sutton will travel to Washington, D.C.. in May to present their campaign and compete for first place.

Five Loyola University New Orleans public relations students have been chosen as finalists in the 2009 Bateman Case Study Competition. The annual competition, organized by the Public Relations Student Society of America and the Consumer Bankers Association, asks teams from universities to tackle a full-scale public relations campaign for a nonprofit organization.

Janine Sheedy, Heather Miranne, Sarah Mackota, Ashley Sutton and Vicki Voelker comprise Loyola’s Bateman Team from the School of Mass Communication in the College of Social Sciences. Their campaign focused on showing high school students the correlation between attending college and maximizing earning potential.

The team crafted a successful community and media awareness campaign, which included workshops in New Orleans public schools, staffed by team members and writing professor Lisa Martin, and a day of tours and mentoring for high school students on Loyola’s campus. The team garnered much media coverage, including a coveted interview on WWL-TV’s “Eyewitness Morning News,” the highest-rated local morning show in the United States.

Teams from Loyola, the University of Maryland and Michigan State University were chosen from 77 national entries to present their campaigns in person before the CBA in Washington, D.C., in May. A panel of judges from the CBA and the Public Relations Society of America will then select the first, second and third-place teams.

The Loyola University Bateman Team has a history of high honors in this competition, having placed first nationally in 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005 and 2008 and second in 2001, 2004 and 2006. Public Relations Professor J. Cathy Rogers, Ph.D., supervises the public relations sequence and advises the Bateman competitors.

“This competition charge was extremely timely for New Orleans as it experiences changes and improvements in the public school system. For the team to be a national finalist is great recognition for the work they did to inspire hope in a group of eighth and ninth graders,” Rogers said. “The fact that these students are national finalists pales in comparison to the children’s lives that they touched—some of whom actually said they had never given life after high school a thought until meeting this team.”

PRSSA’s mission is to “serve our members by enhancing their knowledge of public relations and providing access to professional development opportunities; To serve the public relations profession by helping to develop highly qualified, well-prepared professionals.”

For more information on Loyola’s Bateman Team, contact Rogers at crogers@loyno.edu.

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Loyola at a Glance is written and distributed for the faculty, staff, students and friends of Loyola University New Orleans. It is published by the Office of Public Affairs, Greenville Hall, Box 909, 7214 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118. (504) 861-5888.

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