Student-run Agency earns industry awards

December 18, 2023

Two students and a professor stand in suits in front of a sequin backdrop holding award trophies.

At the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Greater Connecticut Chapter’s 2023 Mercury Awards, Quinnipiac’s student-run Agency brought home multiple wins for their exceptional work.

The group earned two bronze trophies for tactics in internal websites, as well as collateral tactics for Defend the Den. They were also acknowledged as Connecticut Program of the Year at the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Region I awards.

In the spring, Stephen Sweet, director of student conduct and community standards, requested that The Agency create a campaign that would continue to spread positivity and accountability among all students at Quinnipiac — as part of the Defend the Den initiative.

The team worked diligently to develop a brand that would promote a safe, inclusive and kind environment on campus.

Lisa Scrofani, assistant director of digital content strategy, worked with Sweet and The Agency to develop the webpage to support Defend the Den.

“This project was such a great initiative and I was glad to be able to contribute to the effort by building a digital home base for Defend the Den,” Scrofani said. “The Agency truly represents some of the university's best and brightest. It was a pleasure to help bring their vision to life.”

The campaign’s success is exemplified through its lasting effects on campus, said John Powers, assistant professor of interactive media and design and director of the interactive media graduate program.

“The Agency at Quinnipiac is extremely grateful and proud of these awards,” he said. “The student members brought about outstanding work for their client and we are very thankful that the organization was recognized with these very special awards.”

Powers and Hilary Fussell Sisco, professor of public relations, advised The Agency initiative this semester. 

“Our students work to become the ‘best of the best’ just as our slogan says,” said Sisco. “They push themselves at the very beginning with the application process to even be considered in the course and then they work together to achieve the best outcomes for their clients. I think students can take ownership of their learning and their experience in The Agency and they can really push themselves into new roles and areas with the opportunities presented in this course.”

Defend the Den officially launched this past summer — student leaders received training on bystander intervention, trivia nights and giveaways were hosted, an Instagram account was created for the project, and a peer education program was implemented to provide students with opportunities to learn about the tools to protect one another from adversity at college.

“Working with The Agency has been an absolute joy both professionally and personally,” said Sweet. “Defend the Den is such an important initiative and the account managers who have supported the creation and development truly do represent the best of the best at Quinnipiac. Seeing an idea like this come to life has been so exciting and it wouldn’t have been possible without the dedicated effort of the students working within The Agency.”

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