Sofia Estevez, Nathaniel Derrenbacher, Izabella Felpeto and Jiaying Li

University of Miami School of Communication students were celebrated at the 31st annual Ev Clay/PRSA Miami Chapter Endowment Fund Luncheon for receiving four out of seven Ev Clay/PRSA Miami Scholarships, totaling $2,750 each.

Nathaniel Derrenbacher, Sofia Estevez, Izabella Felpeto and Jiaying Li, SoC students and Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) members, were selected after submitting 500-word essays detailing the steps they would take to ensure a quick and effective reaction to a potential public relations crisis.

“It's unprecedented for UM students to win so many of these scholarships, which is why I'm even more proud than usual of our PRSSA chapter,” said Heidi Carr, PRSSA adviser and lecturer in the Department of Strategic Communication. “Typically, two students from each of the local universities are named winners. But this year, the judges were super impressed with the quality of the applicants from UM.”

PRSSA members from Florida International University, Florida Memorial University, Miami Dade College, and the University of Miami were evaluated on writing abilities and academic excellence.

Since its establishment in 1985, the Ev Clay/PRSA Miami Chapter Endowment Fund has presented more than $252,000 in scholarships to 153 students, providing aspiring public relations professionals with uplifting advances.

“This scholarship helps in so many ways, but most importantly, it keeps creativity alive,” said scholarship winner Nathaniel Derrenbacher. “It encourages students like myself to pursue our career aspirations and can help us become the best we can in the field.”

The 31st annual Ev Clay/PRSA Miami Chapter Endowment Fund Luncheon was held on Sept. 22. For more information on joining PRSSA, contact Heidi Carr at h.carr@miami.edu.