Graduate student wins national Student of the Year award from PR News

Topic: College of Communication Information and Media

September 26, 2008

Because of his dedication and hard work, Ball State University graduate student Matthew Kelly has won a Student of the Year award from PR News, a newsletter resource for public relations professionals.

Kelly was one of four 2008 recipients for the award. A PR People Awards luncheon will be held on Nov. 6 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

"This just proves if you work hard enough, without getting a healthy amount of sleep for an extended period of time, you will eventually be rewarded," Kelly joked.

Kelly was nominated for the award during his senior year at Eastern Illinois University by Terri Lynn Johnson, associate professor. During his undergraduate career at Eastern Illinois, Kelly served as associate director of the student-run public relations firm The Agency, president of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), co-founder and president of University Mothers Against Drunk Driving (UMADD), and a founder of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity.

While at Eastern Illinois, Kelly oversaw and created campaigns to benefit groups in the community, such as the Children's Advocacy Center.

"He is very talented and creative, and did an excellent job with all his efforts as an undergraduate," said Johnson, adviser to The Agency and PRSSA at Eastern Illinois."Matt was instrumental in all the campaigns."

This year, Kelly was one of two graduate students selected to be a member of Cardinal Communications, Ball State's nationally affiliated student-run public relations firm. He is involved with the Ball State chapter of PRSSA and is the graduate assistant for Robert "Pritch" Pritchard, public relations sequence coordinator.

"I'm pleased when he sought to advance his academic career he chose Ball State. That really speaks to our program," Pritchard said.

By Alyssa Brumback

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