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Raising diversity awareness was goal of student award-winning campaign

Adviser Shara Clark named Educator of the Year by area organization

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Miami's Batemen competition award winners are back row (l-r): Alyssa Kuelthau, Shara Clark, APR (faculty advisor), Heather McCowan, Carly Leonard and front row (l-r): Diego Marcucci, Alex Cooley.

Miami University’s Shara Clark and a team of Miami University students won four awards during the 2019 Blacksmith Awards hosted by the Cincinnati chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

Clark, visiting instructor in the department of media, journalism and film, won Public Relations Educator of the Year. Alyssa Kuelthau won Student of the Year from Cincinnati’s Public Relations Student Society of America.

Students won for their #MUVOICES in the campaign category and for the #MUVOICES pledge in the category for best student tactics in the Cincinnati chapter’s Bateman competition. Students were honored among top agencies and companies.

The students participating in the winning team were Kuelthau, Heather McCowan, Carly Leonard, Diego Marcucci and Alex Cooley, with Clark serving as their adviser on the project.

Marcucci said the contest challenged teams to increase awareness of the importance of diversity in the workplace.

The #MUVOICES campaign’s goal was to “raise awareness for the lack of diversity in the communication field and educate” students on Miami’s campus.

"We wanted to help people understand the true importance of our pledge," Marcucci said.

The campaign encouraged students to find and share their voices by following the #MUVOICES pledge:

  • Monitor the way their actions affect others around them.
  • Utilize their voice to stand up and speak out.
  • Value other’s differences and experiences.
  • Oppose acts and words of discrimination.
  • Include everyone regardless of race/sex/sexuality.
  • Celebrate people’s differences.
  • Educate those around them on the importance of diversity.
  • Spread positivity through their words and choices.
At the end of the monthlong campaign held last spring, more than 400 students signed the pledge, above the student’s original objective of 300.