1853 Communications Wins First Place in Gift of Life College Challenge

By Ryan Hiemenz | June 3, 2024
The 1853 Communications team on Haber Green.

Arcadia University’s student-run public relations agency, 1853 Communications, won first place in this year’s Gift of Life College Challenge, bringing home $1,000 in prize money. Students in 1853 Communications this spring competed against 11 other schools to promote and educate their respective communities on becoming organ donors.

Titled “Food for Thought: U-Knight to Save Lives,” their campaign collaborated with Arcadia’s art department, President Ajay Nair, and local restaurants to gain media coverage and rally the community together to promote registration for organ and tissue donation.

Schools earned points by completing various tasks including hosting events, promoting content on social media, and setting up tables to register others to be organ donors. 1853 Communications and the other 11 schools involved successfully registered more than 250 new organ donors.

This year’s participants from 1853 Communications include Brianna Colantoni ’24 (co-firm director), Jo Creollo ’24 (co-firm director), Abby Filion ’24 (Vice-firm director), Livia Kleiner ’24, Sara Stein ’24, Daniel Johnson ’24, Jake Cavanaugh ’25, Julianna Rodriguez ’25, and Allison Schmidt ’25.

Since its inception in 2020, 1853 Communications has worked to incorporate a modern approach while assisting clients with their communications needs. As a Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) nationally affiliated firm, it upholds the values of advocacy, honesty, loyalty, professional development, and objectivity that are present in the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Code of Ethics in all of its efforts.

The Gift of Life College Challenge is a PRSA Philadelphia chapter award-winning initiative that encourages student participants to engage in the planning, promotion, and implementation of a campaign of outreach efforts on campus, both in-person and virtually. The Challenge’s ultimate goal is to advocate for new registration of organ, tissue, and cornea donors while educating the community on their importance.