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DWC wins award from Public Relations Society of America Greater Fort Lauderdale Chapter

Awarded Department of the Year

On Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, the Public Relations Society of America Greater Fort Lauderdale Chapter (PRSAFTL) honored the "best of the year" at its PR Wizard Awards and named Nova Southeastern University’s CAHSS Department of Writing and Communication as its Department of the Year.

PRSAThe awards program, presented by Wizard Creations and sponsored by Burlock Coast and The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale, recognizes the chapter’s “best” with the categories of communicator, new professional, department and agency.

“The Department Wizard Award formally recognizes public relations or communications departments based in Broward County that ethically and notably represent the profession in a positive manner during the year,” said Victor Aimi, APR, a member of PRSAFTL who served on the awards’ panel of judges. Criteria used to determine the winner of the Department Wizard Award category include the department’s impact, community involvement, PRSAFTL chapter involvement and overall impression, he said.

“Chapter involvement was definitely the deciding factor to grant the Wizard Award to the NSU DWC this year,” said Aimi. “The department was instrumental in setting up the NSU PRSSA chapter, the only student chapter sponsored by PRSAFTL. It is the first time an academic department wins the Wizard Award, testament of the outstanding quality of the nomination and the department’s work last year.”

Whitney Lehmann, Ph.D., APR, an assistant professor of communication for NSU’s CAHSS School of Communication, Media, and the Arts, serves as the faculty adviser for NSU’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (NSU PRSSA). She received the award along with NSU PRSSA member and M.A. in Composition, Rhetoric, and Digital Media student Nikki Chasteen, who is also an alumna of NSU’s B.A. in Communication program.

“I am so proud of the hard work that that our communication students have put into launching and growing this chapter on NSU’s campus,” Lehmann said. “These students are truly passionate about their future careers in the growing field of public relations.”

During the Winter 2017 semester, strategic communication students in Lehmann’s Principles of Public Relations class completed the application process for starting a PRSSA chapter on NSU’s campus. The charter was granted on Aug. 30, 2017. The chapter, sponsored by NSU’s CAHSS School of Communication, Media, and the Arts, is open to any undergraduate or graduate student at NSU who has an interest in learning about the public relations profession.

“This award signifies that Dr. Lehmann has been instrumental in making sure PRSSA is a presence at NSU and that the district recognizes her and the students' efforts,” Chasteen said.

“My thanks and congratulations to Dr. Lehmann for her outstanding work that earned this accolade,” said Shanti Bruce, Ph.D., professor and assistant dean of NSU’s CAHSS School of Communication, Media, and the Arts. “To be recognized by PRSA is certainly an honor.”

To learn more about NSU’s B.A. in Communication program and its strategic communication concentration, click here.

For information about NSU PRSSA or to join, email Lehmann at

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