10/7/15 ASHLAND, Ohio – Ashland University’s Megan Salatino, a senior who is triple majoring in public relations/strategic communication, health and risk communication, and sport communication from Follansbee, W.Va., has been recognized as Ohio’s Distinguished Undergraduate Student for 2015 by the Ohio Communication Association (OCA).
Salatino was recognized as one of three students receiving the award at the 79th annual conference held at the University of Dayton on Oct. 2 and 3.
OCA is an organization dedicated to the development and practice of human communication theory, research and application. OCA has membership that varies from educators, public relations professionals, students and communication consultants.
“I was extremely honored to have my name selected as one of OCA’s Distinguished Undergraduate Student recipients,” said Salatino. “I have loved attending the conference over the course of my undergraduate career, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to receive this honor.”
Dr. Deleasa Randall-Griffiths, associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies, nominated Salatino for the award as one of Ohio’s Distinguished Undergraduate student recipients, which honors the most distinguished undergraduate student in the state of Ohio.
"I am so excited for Megan. It has been my pleasure to watch her grow as a scholar over the past few years at Ashland University,” said Randall-Griffiths. “As I said in my nomination letter, 'Her academic excellence, leadership, and maturity make her one of the most promising Communication Studies majors I have seen in a long time.' She truly deserves this award."
The nomination process includes a letter of nomination that provides a 250-500 word description of the student’s academic and community service activities, a copy of the nominee’s current curriculum vita and further evidence documenting the nominee’s merit, which includes letters of support from faculty, administrators and examples of the student’s papers and projects.
Salatino’s faculty adviser and chair of the Department of Communication Studies, Dr. Theodore Avtgis, was thrilled with Salatino’s award.
“We all are so proud of Megan. She exemplifies the very best intellectual and personal attributes of Ashland University. This honor is beyond well-deserved as she truly is a role model for other students inside and outside of the classroom,” said Dr. Avtgis. “Over the last four years, Ashland University's Department of Communication Studies has had three students awarded Top Undergraduate Communication Studies Student in the state of Ohio. No other university in the state of Ohio has had so many honors from the Ohio Communication Association.”
Salatino has attended the OCA conference and has presented her research three consecutive times and won the top undergraduate poster award in 2013. Built into the poster presentations is a competition judged by members of the association, with a cash prize going to the top poster of the conference.
This year, she submitted research with AU May 2015 graduate Lauren Fattlar, whose presentation was titled “A Crucial Catch: A case study on a masculine sport raising awareness on feminine health issues.” Salatino and Fattlar decided to explore this research after learning how successful the NFL’s campaign “A Crucial Catch” is and wanted to see how communication theory could relate to that.
Next year, the 80th Annual Ohio Communication Association Conference will be held at Ashland University with the conference theme being, “Strong Roots – Branches of Communication.”
The students in attendance at the conference were:
- Lauren Fattlar, a graduate of Westlake High School in Westlake, Ohio, who triple majored in public relations/strategic communication, health and risk communication, and sport communication. Her presentation was titled, “A Crucial Catch: A case study on a masculine sport raising awareness on feminine health issues.”
- Megan Salatino, a graduate of Brooke High School in Follansbee, W. Va., who is a senior triple majoring in public relations/strategic communication, health and risk communication, and sport communication. Her presentation was titled, “A Crucial Catch: A case study on a masculine sport raising awareness on feminine health issues.”
- Allison Vredenburgh, a graduate of Ontario High School in Mansfield, Ohio, who is a junior double majoring in public relations/strategic communication and sport communication. Her presentation was titled, “The Lack of Institutional Control in a Sport Organization.”
Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2016, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.