Three WKU student PR teams win PRSA Nashville Parthenon Award

Public Relations Capstone Projects Earn Top Award For Eighth Consecutive Year
Parthenon Awards

Courtesy WKU

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Three WKU student teams of public relations majors earned first place Parthenon Awards at PRSA Nashville’s 34th annual competition. The winners were announced in a virtual ceremony from Nashville, Tennessee, on Monday.

This year’s awards marked the eighth consecutive year for public relations seniors to earn Parthenon Award distinctions.

In their 2019 senior capstone class, 13 students, now WKU graduates, implemented three different awareness campaigns for the PRSA Foundation’s diversity initiative, for Lost River Cave’s volunteer opportunities, and for the Bowling Green Backpack Program’s need for volunteers and donations.

“Receiving feedback from professionals in the public relations industry is always important to faculty and to current students as part of the learning process,” said Department of Communication Head Helen Sterk, Ph.D. “Congratulations to these graduates for earning this distinction for their hard work and focus.”

Award winners include:

Bea Johnson of Nashville, Tenn., Jason Odine of Nashville, Tenn., John Goebel of Jasper, Ind., and Olivia Peebles of St. Louis, Mo., implemented the Driving Diversity campaign for the PRSA Foundation to raise awareness and increase interest in WKU’s public relations major among diverse student groups.

Savannah Brant of Lexington, Ben Duncan of Carlisle, August Gravatte of Louisville and Abby Haynes of Louisa developed an informational campaign for the Bowling Green Backpack Program, which serves public school children with backpacks of food as part of its overall mission to feed hungry Americans. A key public relations issue for the local organization was to raise awareness among WKU students to increase donations and service opportunities.

Emily Hatfield of Philpot, Gillian James of Evansville, Ind., Jamie Salings of Brownsville, Kelly Howe of Louisville and Matt Wisenden of Moorhead, Minn., launched the Find Your Roots campaign for Lost River Cave. The team raised awareness among WKU sororities and fraternities about environmental-related volunteer opportunities at the 72-acre, Bowling Green-based urban park.

The Parthenon Awards, sponsored by the Nashville chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), acknowledges excellence for public relations programs and projects developed by professionals and students. Public relations professionals from other PRSA chapters evaluate the entries based on quality of research, creativity and accuracy in strategic planning, effective execution, evaluation efforts, and appropriateness for desired target audience.

PRSA is the world’s largest organization for public relations professionals and serves as the parent organization for the students’ PRSSA organization. PRSA Nashville has almost 200 active members. For additional information on PRSA Nashville, visit