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Two students awarded public relations scholarships

Tayana Dix and Camille Devincenti, from the University of Miami, were among South Florida university students honored at the recent Public Relations Society of America Miami chapter’s 2020 awards ceremony, hosted by Local 10 news anchor Louis Aguirre.
Camille Devincenti and Tayana Dix
Camille Devincenti, left, and Tayana Dix were recently honored at the Public Relations Society of America Miami chapter’s 2020 awards ceremony.

The Miami chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) presented Tayana Dix and Camille Devincenti, two University of Miami students, with scholarships at their 33rd Annual Ev Clay/PRSA Miami Endowment Fund awards. 

Dix and Devincenti, both School of Communication students, were presented with the scholarships on Oct. 2 in a virtual ceremony hosted by Louis Aguirre, WPLG Local 10 news anchor. They will each receive $3,400. Established in 1985 in memory of Miami public relations pioneer Everett A. Clay, the scholarships are presented to students who are contributing to the field and need financial assistance for their studies. 

Eight South Florida students were recognized for their outstanding accomplishments in the field of public relations and given scholarships. The achievements of South Florida communications professionals were also highlighted at the Facebook Live event. 

This year's Communicator to Watch honoree was Elizabeth Nickerson, director of marketing and communications for the American Heart Association. Bernadette Morris was the 2020 Bill Adams Lifetime Achievement honoree. Morris is the president and CEO of Sonshine Communications. Lastly, Lee Brian Schrager, senior vice president of communications and corporate social responsibility at Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits and the creator of the Food Network and Cooking Channel South Beach and New York City Wine & Food Festivals was recognized as the Royal Palm Award honoree. 

Dix, a senior from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, said this award couldn’t have come at a better time. Following a year of unfortunate events, receiving this scholarship has renewed her emotionally and lifted financial stress from her parents during the pandemic. 

“There's so much uncertainty, and it's easy to feel alone,” said Dix. “And still, in spite of all that, they still put together a fund for students to make sure that they can pursue their dreams.”

In the beginning stages of figuring out her post-graduate plans, Dix said that this award will help launch her onto a path of success. 

“Winning this award made me feel so overwhelmingly supported,” said Dix. “It came out of left field and is a huge reminder that I have people rooting for me.” 

Devincenti, a junior who recently changed her major to international studies because she hopes to one day work for an international organization, was excited to learn she was among this year’s cohort of winners. 

“Through this experience, I have also met other women in PR,” she said. “Before the awards, we met virtually to make a fun video for social media. I think this is such an amazing scholarship, and I’m grateful to be a part of this organization.” 

Growing up in Washington, D.C., Devincenti said she was exposed to the media world—politics especially—from a young age. Interested in fusing her creativity and politics, she hopes this scholarship will open up new doors for her as she enters her final year at the University. 

Both students thanked Heidi Carr, associate professor in the School of Communication, for her dedication to students and aspiring them to work in the public relations field one day. 

“She’s always encouraging us and making sure that we are getting as much information as possible,” said Devincenti. “She has helped facilitate experiences and has been awesome to all of her students.” 

As Aguirre wrapped up the virtual event, he wished the students good fortune. “Congratulations to all of the scholarship recipients,” he said. “We wish you all success!”