UO PRSSA Students Receive 2016 Ewan/Cawood Awards


Sophie Lair   Maritza Rendon

Sophie Lair                         Maritza Rendon

Two members of the University of Oregon Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and students in the UO School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC) were recognized for outstanding achievement in public relations at this year’s commencement on June 12.

Sophie Lair received the Jack Ewan Award, presented each year to the outstanding senior member of UO PRSSA. The award recognizes both achievement and potential and is named in honor of the late Jack Ewan, associate professor emeritus in the SOJC. Ewan built the school’s public relations courses into an accredited major and founded the UO Chapter of PRSSA, the first in the Northwest.

Lair, a senior from Pleasanton, California, was recognized by judges from Portland Metro Chapter PRSA as “a rising star who reflects so well on the values and opportunities afforded by PRSSA. While managing and allocating the chapter’s budget, she increased the allocation by 40 percent.” Judges also said this student “demonstrates the importance of working with her peers, a strong study ethic, the value of building a team of leaders and continuing her learning and professional development opportunities.”

Maritza Rendon received the Liz Cawood Award, presented each year to a member of the UO Chapter of PRSSA for outstanding commitment of service to both PRSSA and the community. The award is named in the honor of Liz Cawood, owner of CAWOOD, a public relations firm located in Eugene. Cawood is a founding member of the Greater Oregon Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America and was the first professional advisor of UO PRSSA.

Rendon, a junior from Mexico City, Mexico, was recognized by judges from the Greater Oregon Chapter PRSA for showing “exceptional proactive involvement by expanding the peer mentorship program and increasing awareness of student veterans by helping organize and implement an event for 50 UO veterans.”

Judges also said “perhaps her greatest contribution to the community is her work as an intern with Eugene Water & Electric Board. By translating information from English to Spanish, she enabled Spanish-speaking residents to learn about the resources available to them.”