Public Relations Students Receive Prestigious San Francisco Public Relations Round Table Scholarship

2018 Scholarship Winners: Left to right, Irma Guardado, USF; Elsabete Kebede, SJSU; Angela Mesgarzadeh, UC Berkeley; Jasmine Garcia, SJSU. The Scholarship Awards took place as part of the April 24, 2018, meeting, held at Golden Gate University. Photo courtesy of SFPRRT.

Three of the four winners of the San Francisco Public Relations Round Table Scholarships were awarded to SJSU public relations students. This year there were approximately 30 applications which was double the amount from last year. The students who applied studied at nine different universities in the Bay Area. From the applications, the scholarship panel narrowed the field to eight finalists. Besides an application each was asked to submit writing samples. All eight finalists were interviewed by the panel and four were chosen.

Here are highlights of each 2018 San Francisco Public Relations Round Table Scholarship Winners

Jasmine Garcia is a senior majoring in Public Relations at San Jose State University. She has been active on campus throughout her academic career, serving as director of communications for the Associated Students government in 2016-17, and this year as president of the campus chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. She has worked as an events and promotion intern for the San Jose Downtown Association and as a public relations and social media intern for the Xerox Corporation. Garcia has also been active with the student-run advertising and public relations agency on campus, Dwight Bentel Hall Communications, where she has been leading a team that is writing and strategizing a PR campaign for a real client as part of the Public Relations Student Society of America’s Bateman Competition. She currently works 20 hours a week as a marketing content writer for the Associated Students Marketing and Events Department on campus, and plans to use the scholarship money to begin repaying her college loans. Stating in her application that she wants to use her public relations skills “to make an impact on a global level,” Garcia added that she wants to become “one of the few Latina women in the industry (and) to pave the way for more diversity in higher positions.”

Irma Guardado is currently a grad student in Professional Communication with a concentration in Strategic Communication at the University of San Francisco, having previously earned a bachelor’s in Public Relations at San Jose State University. She has been pursuing her master’s degree while working full-time as an integrated media intern at the S.F. office of Weber Shandwick, a leading global communications agency. She was a social media manager at, and a marketing and communications intern for the San Jose State University Career Center. In the volunteer realm, she led a team in the planning and marketing of the Annual Cal State University Folklorico (Dance) Showcase at SJSU, among other activities. She will use the SFPRRT scholarship to help cover her tuition, and repay her student loans. Guardado is the first in her family to graduate from a university, and the first in her family to pursue a graduate degree. “In the future, I hope to open my own multicultural-focused PR agency in the Bay Area to effectively reach the Hispanic community,” she wrote in her application, “and to create relevant content and campaigns targeted to the bilingual population.” Guardado announced at the lunch that she had just been promoted from an intern position to a junior associate at Weber Shandwick, further proof of her capabilities and bright future.

Elsabete Kebede is a junior majoring in Public Relations, in the Journalism/Mass Communications Department at San Jose State University. She transferred into SJSU this academic year from De Anza College, where she worked on the school newspaper. Having emigrated from Ethiopia with her family at the age of four, Kebede is helping to foster understanding of her culture while honing her PR and event planning skills by serving on the marketing/PR Committee for the Ethiopian Eritrean Student Conference. She serves on the Social Media Committee of the campus branch of the Public Relations Student Society of America, and hopes to go to the organization’s National Conference in Austin this year. Largely self-supporting, Kebede works 20 hours a week doing social media for San Jose State University’s Justice Studies Department. She hopes to gain a global perspective through a study-abroad program — something the SFPRRT scholarship will help finance. A “passionate storyteller,” Kebede intends to go into entertainment public relations, where she can “be at the table promoting books and films that target underrepresented groups in our society,” she wrote in her application.

Each student received $2500 and a free associate membership to SF PR Round Table for the remainder of 2018. Click here to read the press release.

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