Organ Donor Awareness Campaign Kicks off at UW Oshkosh

24 04 2017

Abby Reich  By Abby Reich @missabbyrae23

The UW Oshkosh Dr. Julie Henderson Public Relations Student Society of America chapter started its Blooming Lives campaign for the National Organ Donor Awareness Competition on April 13, and they are already “blooming with joy.”

The PRSSA chapter at Rowan University sponsors the competition. The founder of the chapter received a life-saving kidney transplant from his sister, so the chapter created the annual PRSSA competition for other chapters to gain experience in event planning and to bring awareness to organ donation.

The Oshkosh chapter has been planning its campaign since February, and their events will kick off at the end of April. Their campaign has two main components: the Blooming Lives flower drive, which will be held 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. April 27 in Reeve Memorial Union, and a campus-wide planting event on April 29.

Ashley Larson          Working on Campaign

Carissa Brzezinski, the vice president of events for UW Oshkosh’s PRSSA chapter, is leading the campaign. “This campaign is a reflection of our chapter, not just me,” she said. “I want everyone to feel involved throughout the entire process and to feel proud of all the work we have done.”

Brzezinski also came up with the concept of flowers for the campaign. When she was thinking about the campaign, she kept coming back to the idea that NODAC is always held in the spring. She said, “There’s something about the springtime and new life … and that serves organ donation and the new life that it creates, as well.” Members brainstormed the chapter’s name for the campaign, “Blooming Lives” for organ donation, during a chapter meeting.

Blooming Lives Banner

One of the great things about the flower drive is that there will be no charge for the pansies. The flowers will be free to anyone who is a registered organ donor, signs up to become an organ donor or learns more about organ donation at their booth on April 27.

According to Brzezinski, “The goal of the flower drive is to focus on the positive benefits of donation and to celebrate those who are already donors and those who want to learn more and possibly become donors.”

After the flower drive, the chapter will plant 300 pansies on campus in partnership with the university on April 27. The chapter chose orange pansies to create a visual and long-lasting awareness on campus for organ donation. Brzezinski said, “Like organ donation itself, planting these flowers not only benefits the cause, but our campus community as well.” The pansies will be planted in beds on the front side of Kolf, Horizon, Dempsey and the power plant.

The Oshkosh chapter has a long history participating in NODAC starting in 1997 when the competition began. They also have a long history of success. In the last 10 years alone, they have received two firsts, two seconds, and two honorable mentions. Its members are grateful to be able to apply the skills they have learned in the classroom with their peers and colleagues for a very worthy cause.

“Blooming Lives is an honest and genuine campaign focused on bringing even more positivity and grace to the conversation around organ donation,” Brzezinski said. The chapter’s goal is to increase awareness of organ donation, and they hope that the campus community will take part in the Blooming Lives events.

The chapter will learn the results of the competition in May. Winning chapters will be recognized and will receive their awards at the PRSSA National Conference in October 2017.





Advance-Titan 2016-2017 Awards and Achievements

31 03 2017

@Christina Basken (@ChristinaBasken)

AT
(In order top left to bottom right)

Morgan Van Lanen-Head Sports Editor, Austin Walther-Social Media Manager, Alex Nemec-Head News Editor, Mike Johrendt-Assistant Sports Editor, Ti Windisch-Managing Editor, Garrett Wright-Copy Desk Chief, Alyssa Grove-Campus Connections Editor, Kurt Ness-Web Manager, Trevor Hurst-Copy Desk Editor, Nicole Horner-Opinion Editor, Emily Fredrick-Head Photo Editor, Laura Dickinson- Assistant News Editor, Jessica Johnson-Editor-In-Chief, Haley Lentz-Advertising Manager. Not pictured: Alicia Kahl-Assistant Photo Editor.

 

The UW-Oshkosh Advance-Titan Student Newspaper staff headed to Madison on Feb. 23 to compete in the Wisconsin College Media Association Contest.

During this event, former Editor-In-Chief Katie Knox won first place best news reporting on a piece she wrote about a tattoo project that shed light on mental illness.

“Her piece actually started out as an assignment for my class, but it was so good that we wanted to feature it in the A-T,” said Vincent Filak, adviser of The Advance-Titan.

In addition to this award, reporter Erik Buchinger won first place best sports reporting on his story of UWO quarterback Brett Kasper connecting with his bone marrow transplant recipient, Phoenix Bridegroom.

“It was a huge success for Katie and Erik. I am very proud of both of them,” said Filak.

During fall 2016 semester members of the A-T celebrated a huge win in DC at the Associated Collegiate Press National College Media Convention.

The A-T team submitted their website in a large-scale competition for “best website design and content” among 30 other universities.

“We were all exhausted as we landed in Chicago, but when news hit we found our second wind and celebrated the accomplishment,” said Filak. “It was a pretty big deal for us. We competed on the large scale meaning that we went up against colleges with four times the population and budget, some even with their own web divisions.”

When asked what the biggest contributions were leading up to this victory, Jessica Johnson, the Editor-in-Chief of the Advance-Titan had this to say, “We owe a lot to Kurt Ness. He single-handedly switched our entire operating system over to WordPress, taking advice from all of us along the way making it feel like a real team effort. The website is faster, more reliable, much more user-friendly and visually pleasing.”

The advisor of the paper stated, “We won the award because of the overall website layout and content; reporting, writing and photography. It was especially gratifying to win the award because the judge for this particular entry is very well-known in the community of Journalism as being a very hard critic and I respect him very much,” Filak said.  

A new feature of the website is a section, located under the “report news” tab, where students can submit ideas and feedback on what gets posted.

Looking to the future, the goal of the Advance-Titan is to increase readership and make the student body here at UWO feel more connected to the paper and provide a place for their voices to be heard.