Students meet U.S. surgeon general at awards ceremony

January 11, 2013

Penn State Beaver students enrolled in the Introduction to Public Relations course met U.S. Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin when they attended the second annual Southwestern Pennsylvania Media and Mental Health Awards ceremony held recently in Pittsburgh.

Benjamin, the country’s 18th surgeon general, was the event’s keynote speaker and took time to meet with Beaver students and course instructor Rosemary Martinelli, lecturer in communications at the campus.

Produced by the Entertainment Industries Council (EIC) in collaboration with Staunton Farm Foundation, the awards recognize accurate journalism coverage of mental health issues within television, radio, print and online media in southwestern Pennsylvania. The awards, presented at the Senator John Heinz History Center, recognize the impact of accurate media in changing attitudes and behaviors towards mental and behavioral health.

Benjamin’s keynote address focused on the new National Strategy for Suicide Prevention and the importance of accurate dissemination of information to the public about suicide prevention. Benjamin led the federal effort to draft the new strategy.

More than 200 members of the media, as well as community leaders, attended the event. Other speakers included Sen. Randy Vulakovich; Brian Dyak, president and CEO, EIC; Susan Brozek Scott, Pittsburgh regional director, EIC; and Joni Schwager, executive director, Staunton Farm Foundation.

EIC, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1983 by leaders of the entertainment industry to bring the power and influence of the industry to bear on communication about health and social issues.

The Staunton Farm Foundation is dedicated to supporting mental health treatment and service for children, teens and adults suffering from mental disorder in southwestern Pennsylvania.

For more information, contact Martinelli at

  • Penn State Beaver students met U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin at a recent awards ceremony in Pittsburgh. From left, are Caitlin Vodenichar, Jennifer Durbin, Daniel Trzcianka, Rosemary Martinelli, Benjamin, Amanda Palombo, Caitlyn Arroyo-Myers and Carly Pelliccioni.

    IMAGE: Gary Lavin for Entertainment Industries Council SWPA

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated January 14, 2013