Alumna Wins 2019 Emerging Leader Award from Orange County Public Relations Society of America

Samantha Sands receives organization’s highest student honor

Jun. 5, 2019 By Lori Mann

Alumna Samantha Sands (’19) won Orange County Public Relations Society of America’s (OCPRSA) Shining Star “Emerging Leaders” award for 2019, the highest honor a student can receive from the organization. Sands, who served as chapter president for Biola’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter last year and just graduated with a bachelor's degree in public relations, was excited to learn she received this year’s award.


“I am thankful for the opportunities that our PRSSA chapter has to be recognized, and I honestly never imagined it would be me,” said Sands. “I love supporting my team and helping them grow into driven professionals, but it is such an honor to receive this award, and it holds a lot of value to me.”


Sands was presented the award at Biola’s annual PRSSA student banquet held on April 29, 2019 at Biola. The award is OCPRSA’s highest honor for a graduating senior, recognizing outstanding service, commitment, and leadership within their PRSSA chapter and local community. Through a competitive application process, one senior is selected to receive the award by OCPRSA from each of the four PRSSA chapters in Orange County: Biola University, California State University Fullerton, California State University Long Beach and Chapman University.


Sands has been involved in Biola University’s PRSSA chapter, serving as Regional Ambassador, a position that is liaison with the PRSSA National Committee, and as chapter President in 2018-2019. A thriving group composed of over 50 journalism, communication, and business students, the Biola chapter of PRSSA offers a myriad of opportunities to help students enhance their education, broaden their network and launch their career in public relations.


“I'm so incredibly proud of Sam,” said Biola’s PRSSA chapter faculty adviser, Anna Sinclair. “She has displayed phenomenal leadership skills, as well as mentored and equipped her team this year, to provide numerous opportunities for the chapter to meet and make connections with industry professionals.”

Along with the honor of receiving the award, Sands will receive $1,000 toward any Public Relations Society of America expenses including membership, program attendance, webinars, and others. She will also be recognized at OCPRSA’s PROTOS Awards dinner this fall.

PRSSA is housed within Public Relations Society of America, the nation’s largest professional organization serving the communications committee with more than 30,000 members spanning every industry sector nationwide. Multiple public relations students have served on the PRSSA national committee and Biola’s chapter has been awarded the “Star Chapter” award in the past, a distinction that only about 10 percent of national chapters receive, which recognizes activities and service by the chapter.

Learn more about Biola’s Media, Journalism and Public Relations department and apply now.

For more information, contact Jenna Loumagne, manager of media relations, at

Post a Comment

Your email will not be published as part of your comment.

Media Contact

  • Jenna Loumagne

    Assistant Director of Media Relations and Strategic Communication

  • Brenda Velasco

    Senior Director of University Communications


Biola University
13800 Biola Ave. La Mirada, CA 90639
© Biola University, Inc. All Rights Reserved.