Deadline for 2019 applications: Tues., April 30
For the past 13 years, the Torchia Scholarship has been awarded to a communications student who has chosen to study Public Relations in one of Canada’s two official languages that is not their first language and who is entering the second year of study in a Canadian university degree program or diploma program that meets recognized standards of education.
With the deadline of April 30 fast approaching for 2019 applications, this week we sat down with Daniel Torchia, APR, managing director and partner at Torchia Communications to discuss the scholarship.
Most importantly, please consider applying or sharing with anyone you know who may be eligible for the scholarship. See details at cprs.ca, in the awards section.
What prompted you to establish the Torchia scholarship?
Fifteen years ago, our father retired. As children, we always respected the profession that allowed him to lead a fruitful and fulfilling career. He always respected the importance of the profession and successfully transmitted that to us. At the same period, I recall we were working on two important corporate social responsibility projects for clients, and the thought was born to do for us what we were busy designing for clients – an award initiative that would allow us to give back to the profession we called our own. Of course, we were always committed to the Canadian Public Relations Society and to aspiring students who are so enthusiastically entering the field. So I would say it was the confluence of these four factors: a desire to recognize our father, to create a small awards program as part of our Agency’s own CSR platform and, finally, a desire to support the CPRS and students of the profession.
Why is the scholarship targeted towards bilingual students?
When we look back at our father’s career (active from 1966 to 2004), his passion for excellence in communication; that is, his serious appreciation for and rigour on language, clearly stands out. Associating his love and rigour for language was a natural choice for an award category.
How much money does the Torchia scholarship offer and what is the minimum requirements for applying for the scholarship?
The award is for $1,500 and it’s offered to a student who has chosen to study Public Relations/Communications in one of Canada’s two official languages that is not his/her first language or mother tongue. The student will be entering his/her second year of undergraduate study in Public Relations/Communications at a Canadian university or college, in either a degree program or a multi-year diploma or certificate program that meets recognized standards of education in September.
What advice would you give students looking to begin a career in PR?
Public Relations is a noble and good profession. The value and power of Public Relations starts with listening, and in staying true to its definition – a management function that strives for harmonious and mutually-beneficial relationships between an organization and the publics on which the future of that organization depends – with the public interest and sustainability in mind. To make this definition come alive, the PR professional needs to know the theory behind the profession and keep ethics at the foremost of their minds throughout the career. A great place to start is with the writings of James Grunig.