GSU senior rewarded for extensive work experience

With the Vicki York Fair Scholarship, Kiana Nicholas furthers public relations career by studying abroad

The resume of Georgia State University senior Kiana Nicholas is already piled high with experience. She has worked for the U.S. Census Bureau, Atlanta United Way (which asked her back – twice), for public relations firm the Reynolds Group, and at Turner Entertainment Networks.

That extensive internship experience was one of the reasons she won the GSU Department of Communication’s 2011 Vicki York Fair Scholarship for Excellence in Public Relations. The Fair Scholarship is given to the most outstanding public relations major, an area of study in the GSU College of Arts and Sciences.

Nicholas has made publicity toolkits for members of Congress; helped start a United Way program to provide one-time emergency financial aid to families in metro Atlanta; and written press releases for regional hotel and restaurant chains.

Nicholas is also interested in international business and public relations practices. In May, she studied marketing in London and Paris. Her study abroad group met with professionals from Citigroup and from the prominent English football clubs Chelsea and Arsenal. “They’re less theory-based over there,” she said. “More practical.”

She’s using the $1,000 Fair scholarship to study abroad again this spring, this time on  GSU’s European Hospitality Experience Program held in Cannes, Monte Carlo and Barcelona. “I want to learn more about tourism and marketing,” she said. “I’m really excited about going back to Europe.”

Fair was a GSU alumna, public relations specialist for the Georgia Board of Regents and vice president of the GSU Young Alumni Council. Established after her death in 1986, this gift honors her professionalism, high ethical standards and devotion to her profession.

Nicholas is well on her way to following in Fair’s footsteps, and is looking for a job after graduation in either entertainment or the nonprofit world. No matter where she ends up, she’ll bring a wealth of practical experience with her.

“This is what I just love about Georgia State,” she said. “There have been so many opportunities here.”

–Written by Ann Claycombe, managing editor, GSU College of Arts and Sciences, 404-413-5047