For the first time in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s history, the College of Journalism and Mass Communications’ Bateman Team has won first place in the Public Relations Student Society of America Bateman Case Study Competition.
It’s the third time in the last six years that the team has had a top-three finish in the national competition.
The CoJMC team was chosen this year as a finalist out of 51 entries, along with Brigham Young University and the University of Florida. The University of Florida placed second, and Brigham Young University placed third.
The Lymphoma Research Foundation was this year’s Bateman competition client. CoJMC’s team developed and executed an integrated communications campaign called “1 is Still 1” to raise awareness of lymphoma and the challenges adolescents and young adults can face when diagnosed with lymphoma.
The 1 is Still 1 campaign made UNL students aware of the issue facing college-aged students who are overlooked in national cancer research funding.
“Working with this team has been incredible. We learned a lot from each other, including how to work together towards a common goal. said Delani Watkins, the campaign’s community relations coordinator. “We faced challenges that we had to push through and to see all that hard work and dedication pay off is amazing.”
The Bateman team and UNL’s registered student organization, Students Together Against Cancer, together launched a change.org petition to stop young adult lymphoma from being overlooked and promote equitable funding for research.
They also hosted three advocacy events on UNL’s campus so students could learn how to advocate for every young adult with lymphoma and for their own health.
As part of their final presentation, the team put together a toolkit for universities to incorporate into their curriculum to raise awareness of lymphoma and the inequities of research funding for young adults with cancer.
Regardless of the outcome of the competition, the Bateman team members knew they wanted to share the toolkit with UNL, the University of Nebraska Omaha and the University of Nebraska at Kearney to boost the awareness throughout the University of Nebraska system. The team’s next goal is to encourage every school in the Big Ten Conference to use the toolkit on their campus.
“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 win this competition,” team writer Mai Vu said. “This wouldn’t have been possible without the strategic direction from our advisers.”
The members of the UNL Bateman Team, including their hometown, year and major, are:
|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
Dane Kiambi, associate professor of public relations, served as the faculty adviser. Sheri Sallee, CoJMC alumna and former faculty member with nearly 20 years of health communications experience, served as the professional adviser.