Posted May 8, 2020
By Patty Hall
The South Carolina Public Relations Society of America recognized Victoria Canada (2020 B.A., public relations) as the most outstanding public relations student in the Palmetto State. She was honored for her work both inside and outside of the classroom during a virtual online celebration of the annual Mercury Awards on April 30.
Ernie Grigg, public relations instructor and faculty advisor for The Carolina Agency, a full- service strategic communication agency staffed by South Carolina students, nominated Canada for the award.
From Apex, North Carolina, Canada was a Woodrow Scholar, a prestigious award given to out-of-state students, and a member of the Capstone Scholars Program, a two-year living and learning program for exceptional students at South Carolina.
“We’re all enormously proud of all Tori has done during her time at the university," Grigg says. "With every experience, she sets the bar high for everyone who follows her. This award is no exception. There is no one more deserving.”
Canada's public relations resumé is extensive. A three-semester member of TCA, she was named agency director her senior year, and she anchored the South Carolina team in the PRSSA Bateman Case Study Competition. Canada interned on Capitol Hill, drafting policy memos and researching speeches, and with LGA in Charlotte, working with clients as diverse as Bojangles, Spectrum and Piedmont Natural Gas. She also served as social chair of the Alpha Chi Omega Theta Upsilon sorority, managing an $86,000 budget and logistics of eight events for more than 400 members. And she played a crucial role in Dance Marathon as a member of the executive board, overseeing 12 mini marathons at local high schools.
Canada was unaware she had even been nominated for the award with the semester cut short due to the coronavirus. When the award notification popped up on her phone, "It was a sweet surprise," she says.
Canada said she was able to achieve so much as a student and develop confidence in herself because from the time she arrived as a public relations major, she felt at home — primarily because of her professors. "They were unmatched," she says. "I know that sounds very cheesy, but it's so true. Every one of them took the time to get to know and encourage me."