Cronkite student Bohrer honored for public relations excellence

Queen Creek woman receives multiple awards during 2016-17 school year, including Student of the Year

Aspire Award recipient Caitlin Bohrer of Queen Creek, right, with her mentor, Corey duBrowa, Starbuck’s senior vice president of Global Communications. (Special to the Independent/Courtney Pedroza, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Caitlin Bohrer of Queen Creek was honored April 10 with the 2017 Aspire Award for her work in public relations.

Ms. Bohrer is a senior at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

She is a senior team leader in the Cronkite School’s Public Relations Lab. The lab offers an immersive learning environment in which students plan and execute professional public relations and communication campaigns for clients that range from Fortune 500 companies to nonprofits.

She also is working as a public relations intern at LaneTerralever, an advertising agency in Phoenix, and previously held positions at Cramer-Krasselt and Banner Health.

The Aspire Award was established in honor of Enid R. Pansky by her son Scott Pansky, co-founder of the global public relations firm Allison+Partners, and his wife, Yovita.

The award pairs the winner with a nationally recognized communications leader who spends a day with the recipient at the Cronkite School.

Ms. Bohrer was teamed with Corey duBrowa, senior vice president of global communications and public affairs at Starbucks.

He presented Ms. Bohrer with the award during a ceremony hosted by the Cronkite PR Lab as part of its annual PR Lab Mentorship Lecture. Mr. duBrowa, who leads the development and execution of communication strategies at Starbucks, was the guest speaker at the event.

He previously spent a decade as president at WE Worldwide, in addition to individual consulting assignments for such clients as Microsoft and T-Mobile. In addition, he served as director of employee communications for Nike.

Prior to his lecture, Mr. duBrowa met with Ms. Bohrer. He reviewed her portfolio, discussing career goals and offering advice.

“It is definitely an honor after four years to see all that hard work pay off,” Ms. Bohrer said in a press release, “and to know that I have a mentor going forward as I move into the workplace. There’s someone I can talk to and bounce ideas off of and give me advice.”

Scholarship recipient

The Aspire Award caps a year filled with honors for the Queen Creek woman.

On Oct. 28, the Public Relations Society of America awarded Ms. Bohrer a $1,000 scholarship during the annual Copper Anvil Awards, which are presented by the Phoenix chapter of the PRSA.

She serves as the marketing director for ASU’s Public Relations Student Society of America chapter.

She said the Cronkite School’s PR Lab helped her career by giving her a hands-on environment and preparing her for the real world.

Students leave the lab with professional portfolios and experiences in all aspects of PR. That experience includes crisis communications, event planning and promotion, image and reputation management, internal and external communication management and corporate communications strategies, according to a press release.

Ms. Bohrer said she wants to continue in public relations and content strategy after she graduates in May.

Student of the Year

In December, Mr. Bohrer won the Student of the Year award from PR News at the PR People Awards Luncheon in Washington, D.C.

She received the top collegiate honor in front of leading agencies, organizations and nonprofits at the National Press Club on Dec. 6.

The PR People Awards recognize leading public relations professionals by practice area as well as honor the top college student in public relations. PR News is a leading public relations industry publication, which hosts conferences and other events.

The award recognized Ms. Bohrer’s work with the PR Lab. In two semesters at the lab, she executed communications campaigns for one of the nation’s largest St. Patrick’s Day parades and fairs, as well as a nonprofit offering in-home support services for the elderly in the East Valley.

She also played a key role in promoting, “Hooked Rx: From Prescription to Addiction,” a Cronkite School documentary on prescription opioid abuse. The production aired Jan. 10 on every broadcast TV station and most radio stations in the state.

Her team collaborated with the Arizona Governor’s Office on promoting the documentary.

More about Ms. Bohrer

To learn more about her, the Queen Creek Independent asked Ms. Bohrer to answer the following questions:

•Name: Caitlin Bohrer.

•Age: 22.

•Town/Neighborhood: Queen Creek, Sossaman Estates.

•When & why I moved here: My family moved here in 2004 from Gilbert.

•What I like most about living here: I like that Queen Creek has small-town community atmosphere, but still offers a variety of retail stores and restaurants. I also enjoy the trails for running, biking and hiking that are in the town or are in close proximity.

•What I do: I am a journalism student soon to be graduating in May from ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

•What I like most about what I do: What I like most about writing and communication is the opportunity to share compelling stories to an audience and also help businesses or brands connect with their customers through great storytelling and creativity.

•What achievements (excluding the Aspire and National Student of the Year awards) are you most proud of during your time at ASU?: I am the most proud of my involvement in three of the biggest sporting events to come to Arizona in recent years. I assisted with media operations at 2015’s Super Bowl Central and the 2016 College Football National Championship fan fest. This year, I also had the unparalleled opportunity to be a member of an ASU Cronkite team that produced content for the NCAA Final Four’s social media accounts.

•You’ve won several awards recently for your work in journalism. What does winning an award mean to you? Do the Aspire and National Student of the Year awards specifically mean anything to you?: It is a great feeling and an amazing honor to be recognized for all of my hard work and dedication to my pre-professional career over the last four years. Being named the 2016 PR News Student of the Year is a testament to the first-class learning opportunities I have received from the Cronkite School and my internships, as well as the unwavering support from my professors and mentors. The Aspire Award is also a very special award to me because it not only recognizes my achievements as a student but also pairs me with a lifelong mentor. Corey duBrowa, senior vice president of global communications and international public affairs at Starbucks, has a remarkable repertoire of expertise in the communication field that I hope to learn from for many years to come.

•Do you have a job lined up for after graduation? If so, where and what will you be doing? If not, where are you looking?: Currently, I am looking at various job opportunities in public relations, digital content marketing and social media around the Phoenix Valley.

•Where do you see yourself career-wise in 10 years? The Cronkite School has prepared me with the skills to perform as a well-rounded communication professional. In 10 years, I see myself as a corporate communicator or brand manager helping to create memories for people through digital and social media tools.

•Favorite community cause & why: My favorite community organization is the Boys and Girls Clubs. My first college marketing and public relations internship was with the Boys and Girls Clubs of the East Valley where I discovered the amazing work that staff and volunteers provide to enhance the lives of children throughout the Valley.

•My family: Dave and Cathy (parents), Collin (brother).

•My interests and hobbies: Playing and coaching volleyball, watching Arizona sports (Suns, Cardinals, ASU, Diamondbacks), going to the movie theaters, spending time with family and friends

•The trait(s) I admire in others: Commitment, honesty, generosity and patience.

•People who inspired me (and how): My parents have inspired me to follow my passions through hard work and dedication. Their support and encouragement, especially during the last four years, were crucial components behind my success in college.

•My guiding philosophy: To succeed, we first must believe that we can.

•What were your impressions of the award event? Was it hectic? Were you nervous? Were there people there you knew? The Aspire Award reception before the formal presentation was a great way to mingle and catch up with friends, family, peers and co-workers, as well as connect with former internship supervisors. I am so appreciative of all of the guidance and support I have received throughout my college career, and it was nice to see those people attend to help celebrate this achievement.
Here is a little background on the presentation so you can understand the flow of the night: After the reception where people could eat and mingle, Scott Pansky, co-founder of Allison+Partners, described why he started the Aspire Award mentorship program in memory of his mom and mentor Enid Pansky. He then introduced me as the 2017 Aspire Award recipient. I accepted the Aspire Award and gave a short introduction about my new mentor Corey duBrowa. Corey then gave a 30-minute lecture/presentation on his mentors, what he values the most about mentorship, as well as how Starbucks provides mentorship and support to its employees (or partners as they like to call them) throughout the company. I was a little nervous to introduce Corey in front of a large group of people, but overall I was very excited to receive the award and spend the day getting to know Corey and learn more about his career.

•What went through your mind when you were handed the award? Was the reality different from your response in the questionnaire about what the award means to you, which you answered prior to the award ceremony? During freshman orientation, Christopher Callahan, the dean of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, stood on the stage of Cronkite’s First Amendment Forum and told myself and others about the many opportunities that our school could provide us. Four years later, I stood on the same stage with the senior vice president of global communications of Starbucks and accepted an award for my work and dedication to PR. I have seen my college career come full-circle now. This award is a great reminder of all the amazing things I was able to accomplish and the relationships I was able to build with other PR professionals throughout college.

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