BY ALONSO RODRIGUEZ
Anna Deal, a 21-year-old Fort Hays State University student from Hutchinson, has been selected as a recipient of the American Advertising Federation of Kansas City Foundation (AAF-KC) Scholarship. Deal was selected over students from all across the region and from 17 different educational institutions.
This award is a sign not only of Deal’s qualitative ability, but of how well the potential of students at FHSU is being managed. Deal will be a senior this fall and studies communications with an emphasis on public relations and advertising. In addition to her being awarded the scholarship, Deal is also working as an intern with Developmental Services of Northwest Kansas.
Through both her internship and AAF-KC scholarship benefits, Deal will be in an environment conducive to gaining prestige and experience. Thanks to the scholarship, she is working with a mentor that provides her a great experience in the business area, and she’s also making a profit from her job apprenticeship. Besides this, Deal will be allowed free entry to any AAF-KC event and is a member of the AAF-KC due to scholarship benefits.
Deal is known throughout campus for her leadership skills and involvement in various areas within the university environment. She is the president of the FHSU Student Public Relations Society of America and is a member of the FHSU Honor Society and the Delta Zeta Sorority. Deal also has an internship to work with the Hansen Foundation through FHSU.
Deal, being a figure so involved in so many projects that concern our university, transmits a very valuable personality for the identity and makes FHSU a more prestigious place. She said when she learned of being the recipient of the award, she lived the process with humility.
“Receiving this scholarship is definitely an honor. When researching AAF-KC, I thought they were an amazing organization that does so much to help students who are interested in advertising to pursue their dreams. I am so thankful I was selected to be one of the recipients,” Deal said. “I wasn’t very confident while filling out my application and during the interview process just because I never thought I was good enough to receive such a prestigious scholarship, so it was definitely nice to know that all of my hard work and dedication to academics as well as organizations on campus was recognized.”
Such a circumstance requires a difficult process as Deal explains, and this serves as an inspiration for future generations who want to follow in her footsteps. Deal said that through hard work and focus, other students can be recognized in the same way she was.
“I would just remind students to stay focused and keep working hard,” Deal said. “It can be easy to become discouraged when you feel like you are working so hard and no one is really acknowledging it. Eventually, all of your hard work will pay off if you continue to have a good work ethic”.
Deal said how important it has been for her to belong to an entity like FHSU, where she has received the support and encouragement she needed in order to optimize her talent and concerns as a student.
“I am 100% sure that if I had gone to any other university, I would not have gotten the same opportunities, encouragement and support,” Deal said. “The professors and classmates I have met at FHSU have been nothing short of amazing. I will always owe my successes to the mentors I have been able to work with at FHSU. I know that the education and experience I have attained at FHSU will allow me to shoot for the stars and set me up for success in whatever I decide to do.”
As a future professional in public relations and advertising, Deal explains how this unique area of communication studies works.
“In my opinion, PR and advertising is a field that is centered around people; therefore, it is important to be able to work well with people and in group settings,” Deal said. “You should always be kind and honest to the people you work with. Make sure you are credible and work hard to make deadlines. It can be tough to receive criticism on projects you have worked so hard on, but always be humble and willing to learn. I have continuously soaked up knowledge from my mentors and that has been so helpful.”
Deal, despite being the visible figure of this academic success, does not want to take all the merits and tries to highlight the people who have surrounded her and made her realize her full potential, thanking those who have helped her along her journey.
“The whole Communication Studies department at FHSU has been incredibly helpful and encouraging during my academic career. I have learned so much in my classes and been able to apply that knowledge outside of the classroom,” Deal said. “Two people who have definitely been by my side encouraging and pushing me are Dr. Hsin-Yen Yang, one of my professors as well as Dr. Marcella Marez, my advisor. I can feel very down and insecure at times and these two women have been so encouraging and are always there to make me feel accomplished and deserving. I look up to both of them for their academic achievements, continual willingness to help students, kindness, and so much more. I would be lost without them.”
After graduating with her undergrad, Deal plans to pursue additional education by getting her master’s degree through the communication studies department at FHSU before jumping into the workforce.
“I love Fort Hays and my professors far too much to leave,” Deal said. “After I graduate with my master’s degree, I would love to get a job at a PR firm or work for a non-profit organization as a communication specialist. The possibilities are endless with the knowledge and support that has been provided to me by FHSU and I am endlessly thankful for that.”