Published on August 6, 2020 by Sean Flynt  
Organ Donation
The April campaign earned one of two national honorable mention awards

Samford University’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communication and Communication Studies fielded one of five teams in the nation to earn honors in the 2020 National Organ Day Awareness Competition (NODAC) organized by the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). The Samford team of Sarah Kate Bennett, Jarece Tillery and Haley Pruett tied for the honorable mention prize for their campaign to educate college peers about the importance of organ donation April 27-30. “The judges were wowed by your creativity and your ability to cultivate media attention and coverage,” Rowan University professor and competition judge Alison Novak Rowan told the team.

The Samford public relations students focused their campaign on the popular Instagram social media platform, with posts highlighting donation facts, individual stories of donation recipients, and the group’s partnership with Alabama’s Legacy of Hope organization. A video post featured Samford alumna Megan Hilt, an organ recipient and featured survivor at the American Heart Association’s Birmingham Heart Ball in March.

"The team had planned some important in-person events, and they shifted online without hesitation to continue to meet the campaign goal," said Samford professor Betsy Emmons, a nationally-accredited public relations professional and advisor for the university’s PRSSA chapter. “The team believed in the cause, and their passion came through in their campaign.”

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.