West Virginia University President Gordon Gee has been named the 2015 Outstanding West Virginian by the state chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. University Relations, the Reed College of Media and the WVU Institute of Technology also earned several honors from the chapter’s annual Crystal Awards Gala held in Charleston on June 17.

The Outstanding West Virginian Award honors an individual not working in a public relations position who, by their actions and conduct, has improved the image of West Virginia and West Virginians. Previous winners include retired U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, WVU men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins and Hollywood actress Jennifer Garner.

“I joke around and call myself a born-again, born-again West Virginian, but I mean it with the utmost sincerity,” said Gee, who returned to WVU in 2014 after last serving as its president in 1985. “I am a proud West Virginian. And this award validates my coming home.”

University Relations won two Crystal Awards and two honorable mentions. The Crystal Award is the top prize in each of the Association’s award categories. Also earning awards were the WVU chapter of the Public Relations Student Society, assistant professor Geah Pressgrove’s students, associate professor Rita Colistra’s students and the Integrated Marketing Communications program.

Chartered in 1979, the West Virginia Chapter of PRSA is an organization consisting of public relations professionals in the state.

Here is the complete list of WVU winners:

University Relations
• Crystal Award – Social Media: WVU on Snapchat
• Crystal Award – Special Events and Observances, Eight Days or More: 25 Days of WVU Giveaways
• Honorable Mention – Community Relations Campaign: Gordon Gee’s 55-County Tour
• Honorable Mention – Long-Form Video: Gee Mail

WVU chapter of PRSSA
• Crystal Award: Chapter of the Year
• Crystal Award: Best Electronic Communication for blog

Assistant Professor Pressgrove’s students
• Crystal Award – Special Events, Seven Days or Less: Morgantown Eats Culinary Crawl
• Honorable Mention – Community Relations Campaign: Enhance WVU health intervention campaign

Associate Professor Colistra’s students (awards listed by campaign)
Morgantown Early Learning Facility (spring 2014)
• Crystal Award for Community Relations Campaign
• Crystal Award for Website
• Crystal Award for Logo
• Crystal Award for Long-form Video
• Honorable Mention for Poster

Green Earth Event Services (spring 2014)
• Crystal Award for External Communications Campaign
• Honorable Mention for Research

MSNAP Campaign Team (fall 2014)
• Crystal Award for Research

Reed College of Media
• Crystal Award- Brochure – 2014-15 undergraduate recruitment viewbook
• Honorable Mention – Magazine or Newsletter External – the College’s 75th Anniversary special edition magazine 2014

• Crystal Award – Long-form Video – graduate profile piece
• Honorable Mention – Special Events, Seven Days or Less – INTEGRATE 2014 Conference

WVU Tech
• Honorable Mention – Website – Student Life website redesign

A complete list of winners will be posted at http://prsawv.org/awards.php.



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