Media Matters Blog

Posted on December 13th, 2021 by Emily Turnier
Picture of Jacqueline Malott
Graduate student Jacqueline Malott

In November, Jacqueline Malott, a student pursuing the Master’s in Public Relations, was awarded the Joanne Dring Scholarship, worth $1,000, from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Hoosier Chapter. Scholarship recipients are selected based on merit and financial need.

Malott accepted the scholarship at PRSA Hoosier’s 2021 annual meeting.

She learned about PRSSA, PRSA, and the scholarship through her JOUR-J528 PR Management professor, Rodger Johnson, who is Visiting Lecturer of Practice in Public Relations and faculty advisor for IUPUI’s PRSSA chapter.

“Jacqueline is a smart graduate student and has a thirst for learning the profession,” Johnson said. “This is important because the Hoosier PRSA scholarship is designed to reward talented rising stars, and defer the cost of tuition and supplies. So, in a sense, it rewards excellence and provides a resource to promote more of the same.”

“By awarding Jacqueline this scholarship it demonstrates our department’s continued excellence in graduate-level instruction, and that professional organizations such as the Hoosier Chapter of PRSA recognize that,” he continued. “Jacqueline’s award shines a spotlight on the IUPUI Department of Journalism and Public Relations as another example of the high caliber media professionals we train.”

We asked Malott about receiving this scholarship:

1. Why did you decide to apply for the scholarship?

“I’d been looking for scholarships for awhile since I’m paying out of pocket for my graduate program right now. I hadn’t had any luck until now.

I thought the scholarship would be a great way to start being a part of PRSSA – to be noticed a little more. A lot of my research right now is focused on the underrepresentation of women, not just in public relations, but the entire workforce. So, in a few of the short answers on the scholarship application, I was able to talk about what I’ve discovered while taking graduate classes. It was so enjoyable to talk about.”

2. How did you feel when you heard you won the scholarship?

“I was at work, opened the email and I made everyone stop what they were doing so I could tell them! I was a bit dramatic but I was so extremely happy. Everyone I closely worked with knew how badly I wanted to win the scholarship. It was a confidence booster to keep looking for more scholarships. It can be really difficult to get a scholarship. You never know what’s a scam, or if you’re standing out enough to be noticed when you submit an application. So, I was overwhelmed with gratitude and felt so blessed.”

3. You work full-time while pursuing your Master’s. How do you balance it all?

“Working full-time limits what I can do outside of the 40 hours a week that I put into my job. I’ve been balancing that well but it’s only because I choose to do one class at a time right now. I have been with the same company since 2010 and I’ve been given more responsibility over the years which has changed how I balance my life. My mental health always comes first now and I don’t take my work home. I dedicate most of my day to my job and then at night I focus on school. Obviously there are times where after work you don’t feel like doing anything and that’s what I do – nothing! I’ll order food and watch Netflix for hours. I’ve realized that relaxation and self-care is just as important (if not more important) as meeting deadlines for work and school assignments.”

4. What are your career goals? When do you plan to graduate?

“I am currently an accounting associate and handle a lot of customer service tasks. As much as I love the business I work for and the people I work with, I am anxious to move towards something I am passionate about. I thrive in a learning environment and want to be somewhere doing what I’ve been studying. I’d love to use what I’ve learned from my current job and outside studies to go into advertising/promotions, become a social media manager, or become a digital content strategist. There’s a lot I want to experience and do before making any final decisions though.

I will probably graduate in 2024 or 2025 depending on how much I can afford every semester. It will be interesting to see where this degree program takes me but I am confident and nothing but excited to do it!”

Ready to take your PR career to the next level? Learn more about the Master of Arts in Public Relations here