Public relations major among finalists for Student of the Year

A College of Communications student has been selected as one of five national finalists to be named Public Relations Student of the Year.

Amber Fadok, a senior from Sewickley, Pa., majoring in marketing and public relations, will be flown to New York City for the second round of judging Tuesday, Jan. 25, in the annual competition conducted by PRWeek magazine and sponsored by Hill & Knowlton.

“When I first discovered that I was a finalist for the competition, I couldn’t believe it,” said Fadok. “I am thrilled and surprised.”

Fadok and others who entered the competition were tasked with designing a campaign for SanDisk Corp. that is fun and interactive, utilizes social media, and shows college students why a SanDisk imaging card is the best way to store college memories.

“I believe my campaign stood out to the judges because I encompassed various media platforms while still creating a cohesive message,” said Fadok.

In New York, she will present her campaign -- which includes a college tour, an online competition and social media components -- to an expert panel of judges. She will then respond to a crisis communication scenario.

“I am excited and humbled by the opportunity,” said Fadok. “I plan to put my best foot forward, represent Penn State as best I can and ultimately enjoy the experience.”

The person selected as PR Student of the Year receives $5,000, a paid internship with Hill & Knowlton and the opportunity to attend the PRWeek Awards with the top leaders in the industry. The PRWeek Awards will be held in New York in March.

SanDisk Corp., a Silicon Valley-based S&P 500 company, ranks as a global leader in flash memory cards -- including research, manufacturing and product design. The company’s memory cards are used in mobile phones, digital cameras and camcorders, digital audio/video players, USB flash drives and other devices. More than half its sales are outside the United States.

Penn State has had two students in the last six years named PR Student of the Year. Robert Corrado was selected in 2008 for his campaign for the non-profit company Youth Venture and Tara Burnham was selected in 2006 for her campaign for Royal Caribbean’s cruise ship Freedom of the Seas.

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Last Updated January 26, 2011