Concord University Students Win Five Public Relations Society Of America Crystal Awards

For Immediate Release: 
Jun 18 2015

CONTACT:  Sarah Dalton

Concord University

Office of Advancement 

PO Box 1000, Athens, WV 24712

(304) 384-6312,         






ATHENS, W.Va. – Concord University students won five awards and two honorable mentions at the West Virginia Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Crystal Awards Gala held at the Cultural Center in Charleston Wednesday evening. Students in Concord’s public relations (PR), broadcasting and journalism, and graphic arts programs in the Division of Fine Arts brought home awards.

“This group of Concord students certainly made an impression with Concord’s first entries in the PRSA Crystal Awards,” said Dr. Jennifer Robinette, assistant professor of communication arts. “We are very proud of their skills and the results of their talent and hard work. Concord looks forward to being a significant contender at all future Crystal Awards.”

“On behalf of the entire Concord University community, I want to congratulate our students and their instructors on this outstanding accomplishment,” said Dr. Kendra Boggess, Concord University President. “Their achievement is indicative of the dedication and extra efforts they and so many of their peers exhibit on a daily basis in their coursework and extracurricular activities.”

The work of PR seniors Molly Bates-Farrell, Mark Borromeo, and Cassandra Molchanoff, graphic arts senior Cory Bishop, and broadcasting and journalism junior Jesse Stevens competed against entries from Marshall University and West Virginia University. The Houston, Texas, Chapter of the PRSA judged the Crystal Awards entries.

West Virginia Foster and Adoptive Care grant program coordinator Gail Murano and director John David Smith chose PR majors Bates-Farrell, Borromeo, and Molchanoff to work on a campaign to raise awareness of the need for foster and adoptive parents in the state. The PR team began researching and planning the campaign during the Fall 2014 semester. The “West Virginia Cares for Kids” (#WVCares) campaign launched in Spring 2015 and is ongoing. It won four PRSA Crystal Awards, including best integrated strategic campaign and best research.

The PR team worked with Bishop and graphic arts faculty member Kevin Bennington to develop the campaign’s award-winning website ( and logo that won honorable mention. Stevens won an award for the video public service announcement (PSA) he created for the campaign with television workshop instructor David Burnside. The radio PSA Stevens developed for the campaign was recognized by the PRSA with honorable mention.

In addition, Molchanoff won an award for the “There is Help, There is Hope” internal campaign she developed to raise awareness of the Counseling Center on campus. Molchanoff researched and conducted the campaign for her Fall 2014 persuasion class.

Photo attached below




Pictured from left to right: Mark Borromeo, Molly Bates-Farrell, Division of Fine Arts Chair Jack Sheffler, Cassandra Molchanoff, Assistant Professor of Communication and Public Relations Jennifer Robinette, Jesse Stevens, and WV Foster and Adoptive Care Grant Director John David Smith.



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