Two professors win top research award

Drs. Julie O’Neil and Jacqueline Lambiase won the top teaching paper award from the Public Relations Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication in August 2014.   Their paper, titled Considering Certification?: An Analysis of Universities’ Communication Certificates and Feedback from Public Relations Professionals, won the Wilcox Award and a $500 cash prize. The presentation of the award was made on Aug. 8, 2014, in Montreal, where the paper was presented by the two researchers.   “We learned that working professionals are hungry for learning that focuses on new media, digital strategy and other trending skills,” said O’Neil, the lead author of the study. “They also need flexibility for any type of post-baccalaureate studies, whether master’s degree level or certification programs.” In addition to interviewing professionals, the researchers also reviewed certificate programs across the United States in public relations and mass communication programs.   The Wilcox Award is named in honor of Dennis L. Wilcox, a professor emeritus of public relations and past director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at San Jose State University. He is past chair of the Public Relations Society of America Educator’s Academy and a member of the PRSA College of Fellows.