Students work to promote the census effort in Centre County

February 12, 2010

A team of five Penn State students has entered a national competition to help promote the 2010 U.S. Census. Their efforts include a variety of free public events and information sessions in Centre County in the next few weeks.

The students, all senior public relations majors in the College of Communications, have crafted a comprehensive plan titled “Count Centre County” to promote interest in the census among community members and students.

Upcoming events include:

  • A presentation by Richard Buck of the U.S. Census Bureau at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13, in the State Theatre in State College;
  • census trivia night, which begins at 9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, at Rotelli’s in State College; and
  • a census celebration, from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 28, at Schlow Centre Region Library.

Members of the student team promoting the census are competing in the 2010 Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Bateman Competition. The competition is offered to undergraduate PRSSA members across the nation and asks teams of students to create and implement public relations plans to promote a designated cause or issue.

In 2009, Penn State earned an honorable mention in the national competition.

Members of this year’s Penn State team are Emily Franklin, Laura Peck, Emily Simmons, Jen Wallington and Katie Wiedie.

Teams have only 28 days to implement their plans and convey the message about the importance of the census.

Because the U.S. government allocates seats in the U.S. House of Representatives based on census results, the once-every-decade count has a significant impact on local communities. Information the census collects helps to determine how more than $400 billion dollars of federal funding each year is spent on infrastructure and services.

County residents will receive their census forms by mail in March, and U.S. government officials have promoted an April 1 date for response. After that, from April to July, census takers will visit households that did not return a form. By law, the Census Bureau must deliver population information to the White House by December.

More information about Count Centre County may be found at online. In addition, the group has a Facebook site ( and may be followed on Twitter (@CentreCensus).

  • IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 18, 2010