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.

Dr. Gong Chen Presents a Speech on Self Defense Education

Dr. Gong Chen, Professor, Department of Kinesiology, was invited to give a speech “Self-Defense Education in the Mega Health Era” at the International Forum on Sports Economy and Regional Cooperation in China in June. The forum was held at Chengdu and sponsored by Sichuan Academy of Social Science. The abstract has been published in the forum proceeding and the paper has been accepted for publication for Journal of Sichuan Social Science.

Mega Health was a main focus at the forum. Dr. Chen introduced his research on self-defense education and research-based SJSU self-defense curriculum. Many universities at the forum requested Dr. Chen to provide self-defense instructor training so that they can adopt SJSU self-defense curriculum for their students.

COUGH@SJSU Receives Outstanding Service Program Award at the Student Leadership Gala

The Department of Health Science and Recreation (HSR) student organization COUGH@SJSU won Outstanding Service Program Award for its work with Earth Day and the Great American Smoke-out. COUGH@SJSU collaborated with HSR, Wellness Center and Environmental Studies on Supporting a Tobacco Free Campus and Policy Enforcement at the 7th Annual Student Leadership Gala. Congratulations to students Joann Aspiras, Justin Carbonel, Heidi Chau, Rheanna Crawley, Amber Garner, Michelle Laine, Hilda Pacheco, Jennifer Wharram and Advisor Robert Rinck.

In addition, HSR students Alicia Lopez and Joann Aspiras received the For Solidarity Network Recognition and Hilda Pacheco received the AS 55 Award.


Public Relations Students Receive Honorable Mention for 2018 Bateman Case Study Competition

Roman, pediatric cancer survivor, with (left to right) Andrea Chavez, Leah Blanks, Jasmine Garcia, and Erin Woll.

Four public relations students were awarded honorable mention for their work on the Bateman Case Study Competition. Congratulations to Jasmine Garcia, Leah Blanks, Andrea Chavez and Erin Woll on their outstanding work in this competition.

The Bateman Case Study Competition is Public Relations Student Society of America’s (PRSSA) premier national case study competition for public relations students and gives students an opportunity to apply classroom education and internship experiences to create and implement a full public relations campaign.

The 2018 Bateman Case Study Competition was to develop a campaign, on behalf of With Purpose, to bring awareness to the necessity of safe and effective treatment options for children with cancer in America.

The goal of the 2018 Bateman Competition was to increase awareness of the problems surrounding childhood cancer treatment in the U.S. Participating teams achieved this goal, in part, by evaluating the current awareness level of childhood cancer treatment and found creative ways to recruit young people to engage in the organization.

The SJSU students brought awareness to pediatric cancer by obtaining a proclamation from the City of San José and were honored at a city council meeting. In honor of pediatric cancer, the city of San José lit up city hall in gold and declared March as Pediatric Cancer Month.

PRSSA Headquarters received 84 entries for the PRSSA 2018 Bateman Case Study Competition. Of these submissions, 20 entries received honorable mention and three were chosen as finalists to present their campaigns to a panel of judges in Charleston, South Carolina.

Occupational Therapy Students Receive Numerous Awards

At the recent American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, over 30 Occupational Therapy (OT) students had their research projects accepted to this professional- peer-reviewed conference which is the largest occupational therapy conference in the world. Several students had the opportunity to present their research projects and poster presentations.

OT’s Occupational Therapy Honor Society, Pi Theta Epsilon, was also recognized at the conference during several events. OT Honor Society raised over $6,000 to support occupational therapy research endeavors and were recognized as the Most Valuable Participants in the fund raising competition. They were the third highest fund raising group with private universities at first and second place. In addition, the OT Honor Society won the Spartan Showcase “Best in Show” award.

Suzanne Walters, OT graduate student, was awarded the very prestigious California State University Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement.

The following OT students had a critically appraised paper accepted for publication: Stringari, J., Turner, T., Kwee, S., Shaul, J., & Stanbach T. (2017) Critically appraised paper for “Cognitive refocusing treatment for insomnia: A randomized controlled trial in university students”, Behavior Therapy,44(1), 100-110. Bethesda, MD: American Occupational Therapy Association, Evidence-Based Practice Project.

“We are always proud of our students and this group has certainly been amazing,” says Winifred Schultz-Krohn PhD, Occupational Therapy, Chair.