Student earns national award for academic excellence, leadership

A senior public relations major in the College of Communications at Penn State has earned the National Gold Key Award, recognizing academic excellence and leadership in the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).

Jennifer Wallington of Philadelphia applied for the award in the spring and it will be presented in November during the PRSSA National Convention in San Diego, Calif.

“The PRSSA Gold Key Award recognizes an undergraduate student for outstanding scholarship and leadership, and Jennifer has proven herself as both a scholar and a leader,” said Ann Marie Major, an associate professor in the Department of Advertising/Public Relations and adviser for the PRSSA’s Lawrence G. Foster Chapter at Penn State. “She’s an outstanding student.”

Wallington serves as the liaison from the Penn State chapter to the national organization. She previously served as a member of the national conference committee.

“When I received the letter about the award, I was so excited and proud,” said Wallington. “Its a big accomplishment and it feels like my hard work at school has really paid off.”

Earlier this year, Wallington was a member of chapter’s award-winning team in the Bateman Competition, which challenges multi-member teams to design and implement a complete public relations campaign. The award-winning campaign, geared toward middle-school students, encouraged financial planning for college.

Wallington said Jamey Perry, assistant dean for academic services and her adviser in the College of Communications, was encouraging and helpful throughout the award application process. Perry said Wallington’s drive was instrumental and obvious.

“Jennifer has worked hard and proven herself in many ways,” said Perry, who has been an adviser in the College of Communications for a decade. “She set a bar for herself in terms of goals and expectations and rather than just reaching the bar, she raised it to do even better.”

As the start of Wallington’s final fall semester draws near, she already has an internship set that will coincide with her work in the classroom. She has been selected as a Victoria’s Secret PINK representative on campus, with her main duties planning events on campus and in the community and promoting the PINK brand.

“I’m really excited to start my internship,” said Wallington. “I really enjoy the combination of fashion and PR, so I think this will give me great experience for what I want to do in the future.”
 

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Last Updated November 18, 2010