Nebraska's Bateman team named finalist for second consecutive year

Thursday, April 21, 2022 - 12:45pm
Bateman team photo
(Top, left to right) Ilana Lewis, Lindsay Elliott, Spencer Swearingen (Bottom, left to right) Delani Watkins, Morgan Zuerlein, Mai Vu

For the second consecutive year, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's College of Journalism and Mass Communications (CoJMC) Bateman Team has been named a finalist in the Public Relations Student Society of America’s Bateman Case Study Competition. 

This is the third time in the last six years that the team has had a top three finish in the national competition.

This year, the CoJMC team was chosen as a finalist out of 51 entries. Joining CoJMC’s team in the finals are teams from Brigham Young University and University of Florida. The three teams will present to a panel of judges May 12 to compete for first place. 

The Bateman competition is the premiere national PR competition for college students. The competition challenges students to create communications campaigns addressing important social topics such as civility, diversity and inclusion, childhood cancer and mental health, to benefit campus, community and state.

The 2022 Bateman Competition client is the Lymphoma Research Foundation (LRF). CoJMC’s team developed and executed an integrated communications campaign to raise awareness of lymphoma and the unique challenges adolescents and young adults can face when diagnosed with lymphoma. You can see some of the content from their “1 is Still 1” campaign on their Instagram account here.

CoJMC’s team designed their campaign to educate UNL students about how college-aged students are overlooked in national cancer research funding and to engage students to show they know how to advocate for every young adult with lymphoma and their own health.

“Working with this team has been incredible, we learned a lot from each other, including how to work together towards a common goal.” the campaign’s community relations coordinator Delani Watkins said. “We faced challenges that we had to push through and to see all that hard work and dedication pay off is amazing.”

The team partnered with a University of Nebraska-Lincoln RSO Students Together Against Cancer, to bring light to the inequity of funding research for young adult lymphoma.The groups put together the “1 is Still 1” petition to stop young adult lymphoma from being overlooked and hosted three advocacy events on UNL’s city campus.

“I am incredibly proud of the success our team has had representing the CoJMC in the Bateman competition this year,” the campaign’s project manager Ilana Lewis said. “Through our campaign we have been able to not only grow as communicators, but also bring light to an important topic concerning our age group.”

Dane Kiambi, associate professor of public relations, leads the team as the faculty adviser. Sheri Sallee, a former CoJMC faculty member with nearly 20 years of health communications experience, served as the professional adviser.

“The team has put so much time and effort into developing and implementing this campaign, so it is a huge accomplishment and affirmation for us to make it into the finals,” the team’s writer Mai Vu said. “This wouldn’t have been possible without the strategic direction from our advisers.”

The following is a list of CoJMC’s Bateman team members, listed by hometown, with major(s) and their year in school:

Name Hometown Major(s) Year
Lindsay Elliott Lincoln, NE Advertising and Public Relations Senior
Ilana Lewis Omaha, NE Advertising and Public Relations Senior
Spencer Swearingen Lincoln, NE Advertising and Public Relations, Journalism Junior
Delani Watkins La Vista, NE Advertising and Public Relations Senior
Mai Vu Haiphong, Vietnam Advertising and Public Relations Junior
Morgan Zuerlein Omaha, NE Advertising and Public Relations Senior