"Give Hope for New Life" Wins Prestigious Ebeling Award

December 10, 2018

A group of Bradley University public relations students recently teamed up with Gift of Hope and Green Ford to raise awareness for organ donation registration among local Peoria high school students.

As of January 2018, Illinois legislation granted 16-year-olds access to first-person organ donor registration. In other words, these high schoolers no longer need their parent's consent to sign up. For the Bradley public relations senior capstone project, one group formed the PR agency PRISM to raise awareness of organ donation among high school students and to break down stigmas.

According to Gift of Hope, as of August 2018, there are over 4,500 in Illinois people waiting for heart, liver, kidney, lung, pancreas, or small bowel transplants. Over a four-month time period, PRISM hosted two events at local high school football games, where they delivered halftime announcements, handed out flyers/rally towels (donated by Green Ford), and spoke with students face to face about organ donation. The team also created an informational video being used by six local driver's education programs.

For their efforts, the team was awarded the Fall 2018 Ebeling PR-ize™. PRISM consists of:

(Pictured L to R)

Rachel Kendziora, Senior
Hometown: Palatine, IL
Major: Public Relations
Minor(s): Management & Leadership; English - Professional Writing

Ranana Levy, Senior
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Major: Public Relations

Ellie Stamper, Senior
Hometown: Bettendorf, IA
Major: Public Relations
Minor(s): Theater Arts; English - Professional Writing

Emma Krantz, Senior
Hometown: Peoria, IL
Major: Public Relations
Minor: English - Professional Writing

Front row: (L to R) Kendziora, Levy, Stamper and Krantz. Back Row: (L to R) Tony Adams/Professor, Chairperson, Department of Communication, BJ Lawrence/Associate Dean Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts, Chuck Ebeling and Rachelle Pavelko/ Assistant Professor of PR

The Ebeling PR-ize™ was conceived by Bradley alumnus Chuck Ebeling and faculty member Dr. Ron Koperski in 2004, and is a competitive program among Bradley’s senior public relations students in their capstone course. Students form “agency” teams and are responsible for planning and implementing a real, coordinated public relations campaign on behalf of a local business and a compatible community service organization. Campaign submissions and judging criteria are based on the nationally recognized Silver Anvil Award competition administered by the Public Relations Society of America.