2012 Philip N. McCombs Scholarships
And the Winners Are…
From Golden Gate University:
Rana was raised a humanist and social activist. Her family, education, and professional work experience provided the seeds for her evolving work ethic, sense of local and global civic responsibility, and the limitlessness of her potential.
After completing a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, she worked at a Palestinian management consulting firm, where her role evolved from project coordinator to marketing manager of InTajuna (‘Our Products’ in Arabic), a project to increase the low market share of Palestinian fast moving consumer goods and fresh fruits and vegetables.
One of her key successes was the introduction of the first Palestinian brand for fresh fruits and vegetables that allowed consumers to identify the origin of their produce (directly addressing a major concern raised by Palestinian households). In the project’s final stages, she designed and managed the implementation of “Friends of InTajuna” that recruited over 136 Palestinian public, private sector, and international organizations who pledged to give priority to local products within their procurement policy, thereby institutionalizing the philosophy and fostering sustainability of the project’s goals.
Rana Hamdan will earn a graduate degree in Integrated Marketing Communications in the spring of 2013.
Born in Healdsburg, Tracy says “wine and small, family owned businesses have always been second nature to me.” When she left home for San Diego State University, she discovered that “there is a lot more out there than what meets the eyes of a small town girl.”
She wasn’t sure where she wanted to take her professional career, but knew she loved to travel and valued other cultures and countries. These passions eventually lead her to focus on a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality & Tourism Management.
After graduating, she landed a position in the Marketing and Public Relations Department at the New York Palace, where, she says, “I immediately found my niche and knew this was where I wanted to grow my experience and strengthen my knowledge.”
She has been very busy these past few years with school, friends, family, her work as a coordinator for DIAGEO NORTH AMERICA in San Francisco, and a recent engagement. She’s even managed to make a few international trips: organizing groups to Rio de Janerio, Brazil, and Koh Samui, Thailand.
Tracy graduates this month with a Master of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications and an emphasis in Public Relations. She hopes to make the switch into Marketing and Public Relations in the near future.
Born in Istanbul, Turkey, Hilal graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from the prestigious Istanbul Commerce University. Even though she enjoyed being an engineer, she realized that she was more passionate about creating new ideas, communicating with people, and planning events.
She dramatically changed her major by enrolling for a Master’s in Integrated Marketing Communication at Golden Gate University. Soon after she took her first public relations class, she realized that PR was exactly what she wants. She started volunteering at BPC Inc., an online marketing company in San Jose, as a PR and marketing assistant to improve her skills in PR and expand her class experiences into real world scenarios.
Hilal will receive her degree this year. She likes to travel, discover new cultures, and meet new people. She appreciates the opportunity to study in the U.S.A., and looks forward to being part of the new trends in the PR industry.
From San Jose State University:
Greg is a graduating senior, majoring in Public Relations and completing a minor in Communication Studies. He will graduate with a GPA above 3.65 and is on the Dean’s list.
In addition to attending San Jose State, he holds a full-time position as the communications manager for the Public Works Department in the City of San José. He was recently promoted to this position after 3 ½ years as a senior project manager implementing energy efficiency projects at existing facilities.
Greg’s duties include updating the department media policy, developing department announcements, leading a team that is evaluating and updating the internal and external websites, and becoming a partner with other citywide communication managers in support of promoting the City of San José to its various stakeholders.
Beyond his commitments at school and work, he is a husband and father of two children, a 19-year-old son and a 5-month-old daughter. His family has established roots in San José, and Greg looks forward to contributing to the ongoing growth of the community and city at large.
His plans after graduation include continuing to gain experience in the public relations field, locating a job in corporate communications, and exploring ways to volunteer his time and experience with local charities and non-profits. He’s also considering the possibility of pursuing a master’s degree.
From University of the Pacific:
Lily Penfold, a graduate student in Communication, is completing her third semester, concentrating in Media and Public Relations. She is also the media relations assistant in Pacific’s Office of Communications, and teaches a discussion section of Public Speaking.
She found her passion for public relations in her undergraduate years, studying at California State University, Stanislaus, graduating Magna Cum Laude in December of 2005 with a major in Communication and a minor in Agriculture Studies. At CSU, Stanislaus, she was a member of the Communication Honors Society, Lambda Pi Eta.
Lily grew up on a small farm in Lancaster, CA, and remains passionate about agriculture today. After earning her bachelor’s degree, she obtained a sales position at Associated Feed and Supply, an animal feed manufacturing company, where she worked for five years, until returning to school to obtain her Master of Arts degree. Her passion for agriculture continues in the classroom, where she is writing her master’s thesis focusing on the ballot measure, Proposition 2, the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act, which was passed in 2008.
When she graduates, Lily hopes to obtain a position in agriculture communications, focusing on a career in public relations. Lily would like to make an addition to this area by making it known why agriculture in California is important and by fostering new relationships with those who are disconnected from how and where food is produced.
Congratulations to all the winners! PRRT can be proud that our scholarship program has grown significantly over the years, thanks to everyone who has contributed to our annual Silent Auction and to the dedicated work of our Scholarship Committee.