Students and alumni from Oklahoma Christian University’s communication department continue to receive honors and gain acceptance into competitive programs.
OC public relations student Jessica Estrada recently won her second Zenith Award in two years for PR Writing. The Zenith Awards are one of the top national public relations competitions for undergraduate students. The PR Writing category included finished pieces such as a news release, feature story, newsletter, speech or editorial. This is the third year in a row that an OC student has received one of the only seven awards given out each year.
In April, Estrada received the Dean’s Award as the top graduatng student in OC’s communication department. Estrada came to OC from Duncanville, Texas, and she spent the last year interning with Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt, one of the fastest-growing franchises in the U.S.
“These honors for Jessica are well-deserved,” said Larry Jurney, chair of OC’s communication department. “She pursues excellence in her work and demonstrates a servant attitude in all she does. It’s been a joy having Jessica in our program.”
In addition to Estrada’s honors, three OC communication students were also accepted by selective programs. Two students were accepted by the Disney College Program for the summer and fall. Another student was accepted by the Los Anglese Film Studies program through the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.
Devin Dobson, a sophomore public relations major from Edmond, and Sadie Rosenthal, also from Edmond, will spend the summer and fall in Orlando, Florida working at Disney World. Rosenthal graduated with a communication studies degree in April.
“For anyone who has been around Sadie and Devin, it is not surprising that their applications and personalities stood out to Disney,” said Associate Professof of Communication Josh Watson. “We know they will learn and do great things in Orlando.”
Caleb Henry, a senior from Prineville, Oregon, will spend the fall studying film production and working on professional sets. The highly compettive program seeks to train students in the craft of expressing their authentic voice while walking out their faith in Los Angeles.
Fiinally, four OC alumni received six awards from the Oklahoma City chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The alumni were recognized at the chapter's 2014 Awards Banquet.
Two awards were given in the Newspaper Division A category, which is for publications with circulations of 25,000 or more. The competition included writers from “The Oklahoman,” “Tulsa World,” “Lawton Constitution,” the Associated Press Oklahoma office, the “Oklahoma Gazette,” “Oklahoma Watch” and tribal newspapers. Four awards were given in the Public Relations division.
Bobby Ross, from the Christian Chronicle, received first place in Education Reporting for his story "Religious Freedom in Public Schools."
Steve Lackmeyer, from the Oklahoman, received first place in Business Reporting for his story "Chesapeake Changes."
Murray Evans, from OC, received first place in Press Release Writing for "Weeden, family work to support Children's Hospital Foundation."
Christy Watson, from the Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation, received second place in General Writing for "Leading the Way," third place in General Writing for "Giving It Her All" and third place in Annual Report for "Stars."
“We applaud and celebrate the quality of writing that these four alumni continue to produce,” Jurney said. “Their sustained success has been a benefit to Oklahoma City, and it reflects well on the foundation they received at OC. We are proud of them.”