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Loyola students' anti-bullying effort advances to national competition finals

April 19, 2013

New Orleanians hold the "Step Up, Reach Out!" Geaux K.I.N.D. letters at the Mardi Gras parades.

Students at Loyola University New Orleans leading an anti-bullying campaign were named finalists April 15 in a nationwide public relations competition for college students—the Public Relations Student Society of America 2013 Bateman Case Study Competition. The Loyola Bateman team’s “Step Up, Reach Out!” campaign to stop childhood bullying was chosen as one of three finalists among 68 entries to compete in the final round May 10.

Loyola will face teams from Kent State University and North Dakota State University for the final competition. Loyola team members include Dwayne Fontenette, Haley Humiston, Charlie LaRock, Leah Whitlock and Vannia Zelaya. Loyola public relations professor Cathy Rogers, Ph.D., spearheads the students’ participation in the competition.

“For Loyola students, the Bateman Case Study Competition is more than just a contest. Loyola public relations students work on issues they feel passionate about, enriching the community, inspiring us all and practicing public relations skills in the real world,” said Sonya F. Duhé, Ph.D., Loyola professor and director of the School of Mass Communication. “Under the leadership of Cathy Rogers, Loyola has won the Bateman Competition more than any other school in the country—a longstanding tradition we are proud of.”

The “Step Up, Reach Out!” anti-bullying effort partnered with New Orleans schools and other local organizations to host 22 workshops and programs in six schools and an anti-bullying summit in February. Activities are based on the campaign’s motto “Geaux K.I.N.D.,” where each letter stands for a step against bullying: Keep others included; inform an adult when you see bullying; never bully others; and decide to be more than a bystander.

Loyola students have dominated the national Bateman competition for more than a decade. In addition to winning seven national titles, Loyola’s Bateman team has advanced to the national finals 12 of the last 13 years.

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