By Ashley Gamble
A University of Mississippi Meek School of Journalism and New Media student recently was named Mississippi’s Outstanding PR Student by the Public Relations Association of Mississippi.
That award was the latest of many for Tori Olker, a graduating senior print journalism major with an emphasis in public relations. Olker also was awarded the Taylor Medal for the highest GPA in the Meek School. In addition, she and her team partner won first place in the Southeastern Journalism Conference PR competition.
Olker was named the Oxford-Ole Miss PRAM chapter’s Student of the Year, and was selected for Who’s Who and Kappa Tau Alpha Journalism Honorary Society.
“Winning the Outstanding PR Student award provided me with the validation that I am on the right track as a professional journalist and it showed me how much I want to accomplish after graduation,” said Olker, from Spring Grove, Illinois. “I am extremely proud and humbled to have been selected among so many other college students.”
During her years in the Meek School, she has worked in all aspects of media. She has been a disk jockey on Rebel Radio, a writer for the yearbook and a feature reporter for The Daily Mississippian. She has also completed several public relations and journalism internships.
The PRAM award was presented at their state conference in Jackson on April 8 along with a $250 scholarship, PR professors at all Mississippi universities could nominate a student to compete for the award. UM Senior Lecturer Robin Street nominated Olker.
A panel of PR professionals selected the winner based on the nominating letter and on factors including academic excellence, honors, public relations activities, and campus and community involvement.
“I am in awe of Tori’s multiple accomplishments and activities,” Street said. “She truly is one of the most impressive students I have ever taught. She not only excels in the classroom, but in putting that classroom work into reality through her internships and part-time jobs.”