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This blog is no longer active as of 2017.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Being Successful at Public Relations and Event Planning

Last night I attended a presentation by Chelsea Whittington, Director of Communications for the city of Gary, Indiana. She spoke about her twenty years of experience with public relations and event planning. She was enthusiastic about her career and gave attendees lots of good advice. I jotted down several tips I wanted to remember and exchanged business cards with her after her speech. While listening to her, I felt encouraged that I am heading in the right career direction.

Here are Chelsea's criteria for being successful in public relations and event planning within the field of communication:

  • Be a people person
  • Be well read 
  • Be a strong writer
  • Be a strong speaker
  • Be tech savvy
  • Be creative
  • Be resourceful
  • Be ready

All of those qualities seem within my reach. Chelsea explained that most of her public relations and event planning training occurred on the job. She stressed the importance of internships, learning from people who already have experience with what you want to do, and networking.

I'm so glad I had the opportunity to meet her and listen to her words of wisdom. As the Buddhist proverb says, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear."

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Oticon Focus on People Awards 2014

As a 2011 Focus on People Award winner, I am very pleased to share with you this announcement from Oticon of Somerset, NJ.

2014 Oticon Focus on People Awards is Looking for a Few Outstanding People with Hearing Loss

National competition aims to change perception and open doors

Oticon, Inc. is seeking nominations of outstanding individuals with any degree of hearing loss for the 2014 Oticon Focus on People Awards. The national awards program recognizes hearing impaired students, adults and advocacy volunteers whose accomplishments demonstrate that hearing loss does not limit a person’s ability to make a difference in their families, their communities or the world.  By spotlighting the achievements and contributions of people with hearing loss, Oticon aims to change outdated stereotypes that discourage people from seeking professional help for their hearing loss.

Winners in each of four categories receive prizes and national recognition that help create awareness and change attitudes that can open doors of opportunity for all people with hearing loss.  Categories include:  Student, for full-time students with hearing loss, ages 6 – 21;  Adult, for people with hearing loss, ages 21 and above; and Advocacy, for adults with hearing loss, who are actively involved in support efforts for the hard-of-hearing and deaf community. A special Hearing Care Practitioner category recognizes hearing care professionals who go “above and beyond” to change the world for people with hearing loss through humanitarian and public education efforts.

Anyone may nominate using a simple online form available at Deadline for nominations is May 15, 2014.

Since 1997, the Oticon Focus on People Awards has awarded more than $250,000 to deserving individuals and the not-for-profit causes of their choice.  First place winners in Student, Adult and Advocacy receive a $1,000 cash prize, $1,000 donation to charity of their choice and Oticon advanced technology hearing devices.  The first place winner in the Hearing Care Practitioner category receives a $1,000 cash prize and $1,000 to a charity of his/her choice.  Second place winner receive a $500 cash prize and third place winners, a $250 cash prize.

The general public will be invited to vote online for three finalists in each category following close of the call for nominations.  Votes will determine first, second and third place winners in each category.

For more information about the 2014 Oticon Focus on People Awards and to obtain a nomination form, visit

Contact Sara Coulter, TagTeam Global, or 201.447.5531

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Induction into Communication Honor Society

Happy news! Last night, I was inducted into Lambda Pi Eta Honor Society of the National Communication Association. According to the organization's website, to be eligible for admission, master’s students must meet the following criteria:

1.   Complete 12 hours of graduate credit-hours (18 quarter hours) in communication
2.   Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 for all courses taken
3.   Currently be enrolled as a student in good standing, as determined by the institution’s policies.  

After the current semester, I will have finished 15 hours towards my masters degree in communication studies. To graduate, 36 hours must be completed, including a capstone project, internship, or thesis. The classes I have taken so far are Introduction to Graduate Communication Studies, Research Methods 1, Project Management, Principles of Effective Fundraising, Group Communication and Leadership, and Conflict Management. This summer I will be taking a break from my studies and in the fall I will be taking a class called Listening.

Wearing my honor cords and holding my certificate.
At the ceremony I learned that Lambda Pi Eta represents Aristotle's three ingredients of persuasion: logos (Lambda), meaning logic; pathos (Pi), relating to emotion; and ethos (Eta), defined as character credibility and ethics. Lambda Pi Eta recognizes, fosters, and rewards outstanding scholastic achievement while stimulating interest in the communication discipline. 

The induction ceremony included the lighting of these 3 candles.
Last night there were about 25 students being inducted. One by one our names were called and we were presented with red and white honor cords (to be worn again at graduation), a society pin, and a certificate. My adviser and two of my professors helped to distribute the awards. When it was my turn to come forward, they each gave me a hug. My hearing aids squealed, but I didn't care. We were allowed to invite up to 3 guests and I was really pleased that my husband and son came to share this special event with me. After time for taking photos, we enjoyed a lovely buffet of food.

Me and my son Charlie
Me and my husband Rob
I want to close this post by saying thank you to all of my readers for your continued interest in my Speak Up Librarian blog while I am school preparing to become a communication professional.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What is it that you desire most?

This Thai video subtitled in English touched my heart and reminded me of the power of human kindness.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Our Girls First Easter Egg Hunt

Longtime readers may recall that I took our first golden retriever, Rusty, to an Easter egg hunt for canines. If you haven't read that story, you can read all about the Soggy Doggy Easter Egg Hunt. Yes, it rained on our dear old Rusty, but today the girls, Blondie and Melody, had the prettiest day yet this spring, all sunshine and warm temps.

Today's the day we're going to an Easter egg hunt!
Blondie, 2, at left and Melody, 6 months, at right
I sewed the girls special collar covers to wear.
Melody enjoys the car ride to the Easter egg hunt.
Don't worry, we didn't leave Blondie at home. 

The Easter Egg hunting grounds
Dogs taking position around the perimeter.
Our girls are ready to start hunting!
The eggs were filled with yummy dog treats.
Rob & Blondie pose with the
Easter Bunny and his dog friend

Melody had a great time! Happy Easter, everyone!