Jill Wagner, campaign communications director at California State University, Fresno, was honored as Professional of the Year by the Central California chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

During its Image Awards luncheon on Friday, May 8, the chapter also presented nine other awards to Fresno State’s Office of University Communications team for work done in 2008, the most for any organization entered in the 22 categories.

Wagner has more than 20 years’ experience in public relations, including service with Fresno and Madera Unified School districts and in the private sector before joining the Office of University Communications at Fresno State in 2007.

She directs all aspects of communications for the Campaign for Fresno State, the most-ambitious fundraising effort in the university’s nearly 100 years.

Wagner was cited for helping the campaign attract millions of dollars in gifts and pledges, for mentoring public relations students on campus, advising public relations professionals who seek her counsel and volunteer work with the PRSA chapter.

“Jill has undertaken numerous projects for the campaign, bringing creativity, energy and a wealth of experience that has helped the campaign exceed its goals,” said Shirley Melikian Armbruster, interim assistant vice president for University Communications.

Wagner also won an Award of Excellence trophy for a PowerPoint presentation for the university’s Renaissance Scholars program.

Armbruster won Awards of Excellence for two speeches she wrote for multimedia presentations by Fresno State President John D. Welty.

Other awards to Fresno State’ University Communications team were presented for:

  • Newsletter – The Lyles College of Engineering’s eCurrents designed by Kevin Medeiros.
  • Brochure – Foundation History brochure designed by Todd Graves and directed by Bruce Whitworth.
  • Poster – College World Series trophy designed by Graves.
  • Magazine – FresnoState Magazine’s fall 2008 issue edited by Lanny Larson.

Awards of Merit were awarded to the 2008 Bulldog Foundation brochure designed by Graves in the Brochure category and the University Journal, an online monthly employee newsletter edited by April Schulthies in the Electronic Publication category.

Also at the luncheon, Tori Randolph, a graduating senior majoring in Mass Communication and Journalism, was named PR Rookie of the Year.

The Image Awards program takes entries from throughout the chapter’s service area in Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced and Tulare counties. They were judged by members from a PRSA Eastern District chapter.