Richmond PR student 'nails' prestigious industry award

Wed, Jun 17, 2015

Vancouver, B.C. – Richmond’s Vanessa Mora didn’t just win a prestigious scholarship from the Vancouver chapter of the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) – she nailed it.

A first-year student in the public relations program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU), Mora was named winner of the 2015 CPRS Vancouver Student Scholarship Award for her exceptional work on the Canada Nail Cup national nail art competition.

Mora’s win marks the first time a first-year student has won the award, which comes with a cool $2,000.

“I couldn’t believe I won,” says Mora, 19. “It was a complete surprise because there are so many great students out there.”

Applying all the skills and knowledge from her first year at KPU, Mora developed a communications strategy for the Canada Nail Cup that included media advisories, media releases, background sheets and posters. She also interviewed contestants to provide greater content for interested media.

“I took a subject that people wouldn’t expect to be newsworthy, and brought out the news value by applying what I learned in class,” says Mora.

“Vanessa’s ability to earn media coverage for an event that didn’t demonstrate traditional news values is what set her scholarship application apart from others,” says Ashley Castellan, director of the CPRS Vancouver student portfolio. “Her creativity and dedication to her client is a testament to her skills as an up-and-coming PR practitioner.”

Mora, who works four summer jobs to support her education, plans to put the $2,000 she won toward next year’s tuition. After she graduates with her PR diploma next year, she wants to get her undergraduate degree in marketing.

CPRS Vancouver has awarded a student scholarship almost every year since 1997. The scholarship recognizes a student who submits excellent work for a real-world client. Many past scholarship recipients have found that having the CPRS Vancouver Student Scholarship on their resume has set them apart from others looking to break into the industry.

In the 19 years since the award was established, 14 KPU PR students have won it. For more information on the CPRS Vancouver Student Scholarship, visit  

Kwantlen Polytechnic University has been serving the Metro Vancouver region since 1981, and has opened doors to success for more than 250,000 people. Four campuses—Richmond, Surrey, Cloverdale and Langley—offer a comprehensive range of sought-after programs, including business, liberal arts, science, design, health, trades and technology, horticulture, and academic and career advancement. Over 19,000 students annually have a choice from over 124 programs, including bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, diplomas, certificates citations and apprenticeships. Learn more at


Photos are available on Flickr.

Media contact:
Hayley Woodin
Media Specialist
t: 604.599.2883
c: 604.364.1288

For more KPU news: