SUU Community Programs win Las Vegas PRSA Pinnacle Award

Published: November 30, 2018 | Author: Haven Scott | Read Time: 3 minutes

Participant in SUU Community Education's On the Go program in PeruSouthern Utah University’s Community and Academic Enrichment (CAE) programs recently brought home a 2018 Pinnacle Award from the Public Relations Society of America Las Vegas Valley Chapter. The award was given for the university’s campaign, “Be Wise, Keep Learning: Launching SUU’s New Community Programs.”

Housed in SUU’s School of Integrative and Engaged Learning, the new CAE office offers community education and professional development classes, a Community on the Go educational travel program, Summer Experience (offering cultural education experiences to summer tourists), and Road Creek Inn, a new field station near Capitol Reef National Park. These programs are designed to facilitate SUU’s objective to “create, expand, and support collaboration between SUU and its larger communities for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.”

New community classes launched in the spring of 2018 for the purpose of generating fun, cultural and affordable educational opportunities for those who love to learn. More than 500 local residents have enrolled in subject courses such as hiking southern Utah, outdoor photography, social dancing, pet training, and many others. A favorite has been “Southern Utah Chef,” a class where local chefs teach participants to cook a favorite recipe. Community Education classes are both proposed and taught by local experts for the purpose of increasing cultural appreciation, participant knowledge and developing new skills.

“Our role at Southern Utah University has always been to extend our reach to our off-campus community,” SUU Provost Dr. Bradley Cook said. “We are in a unique position where we can draw on our on-campus experts to contribute to the continuing education for all residents, and the School of Integrative and Engaged Learning is continually making a concerted push to elevate the lives of others in our community.”

The Community on the Go program has led more than 100 community explorers on seven trips around the world to destinations including London, France, Peru, Transylvania, and most recently New York City. The program is designed to benefit student scholarships and to allow SUU faculty to showcase areas of expertise in leading trips. Since its inception in 2017, Community on the Go has contributed $25,000 to student scholarships.

“To see so many community members engaging in cultural learning opportunities is exciting,” said SUU’s CAE Executive Director Melynda Thorpe. “Cedar City has a historical commitment to education, and it’s neat to see that interest and devotion growing in many fun and important new ways.”

Created in 1996, the PRSA Pinnacle Awards recognize the best public relations programs, tools, and professionals in southern Nevada, northern Arizona, and southern Utah. The other Pinnacle Award winner in the community category of the 2018 PRSA Pinnacle Awards is McDonald’s of Las Vegas “Make Activities Count” Grant Program.

“Our community members have been asking for these kinds of outreach efforts,” said Patrick Clarke, Dean of SUU’s School of Integrative and Engaged Learning. “And it’s gratifying to see a marketing campaign connect so effectively with community interests related to lifelong learning.”

For more information on SUU CAE’s five community programs, or for a spring 2019 class schedule, visit, or call (435) 865-8259.

Tags: Community and Professional Development Community

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