Home Carrollton The Partnership pledges $50,000 to UWG, helping transform student-led initiative

The Partnership pledges $50,000 to UWG, helping transform student-led initiative

The Partnership announced a collaborative effort with the University of West Georgia (UWG) and its School of Communication, Film, and Media (SCFM). The Partnership has pledged $50,000 in support toward the transformation of bluestone, a student-led public relations firm and talent and resource development initiative at UWG.

The recently established SCFM will leverage the institution’s strengths and resources in research and academia to further promote interdisciplinary collaboration. The investment in bluestone represents a commitment to this larger vision to build a consistent pipeline of talent while preparing students for today’s complex job market.

“This initiative allows us to play a vital role in shaping the future of public relations by equipping tomorrow’s workforce with the insights, knowledge, and real-world experience needed to succeed in our current landscape,” said Amanda Lucey, CEO of The Partnership and 2006 alumna of UWG.

The Partnership fully embraces this vision and, alongside providing financial support, is a key partner in developing students’ profiles through various placement opportunities. The collaboration will enrich both The Partnership and the students, who gain valuable experience at bluestone in turn.

“At UWG, we are dedicated to enhancing existing programs and developing new ones to engage our students in relevant, 21st-century learning experiences that connect them to careers,” said Dr. Brendan B. Kelly, UWG president. “We are grateful to Amanda Lucey, a proud UWG alumna and member of our UWG Foundation board of trustees, and her leadership of The Partnership to elevate and advance the experience our students gain from this first-of-its-kind partnership with bluestone.”

Beyond the classroom and sponsored internship opportunities, The Partnership will contribute by providing diverse experiential learning initiatives, taking part in speaking engagements, and enhancing career development projects. The Partnership will also take an active role in creating a collaborative on-campus workspace within the learning labs of bluestone, which will be designed to emulate professional agencies.

“Our aim is to provide pathways for growth. We are committed to student development and ensuring they have a place to practice and study in a real-world environment, which is fundamental for professional development and market readiness,” said Lucey.

At bluestone, students are challenged to realize fully formed public relations campaigns, developing marketable skills such as creating press releases and copywriting with real industry partners. They will also gain the opportunity to engage in social media content development and planning as well as developing comprehensive communication plans.

Dr. Brad Yates, dean of UWG’s SCFM, said his school is “humbled and honored” to receive the gift from The Partnership.

“Through our connection with The Partnership, SCFM will be able to link its students with professional practitioners on an ongoing basis through internships, workshops and focused training,” Yates said. “We look forward to growing and evolving the experiential learning opportunities for our students through this wonderful collaboration.”

Whether in direct collaboration with The Partnership or onsite at bluestone, these activities will have a broad range of learning outcomes, including developing leadership and interpersonal skills, budgeting and strategic planning, personal autonomy and more.

“At The Partnership, we believe initiatives like these are invaluable in developing the next generation of public relations and marketing professionals. We are immensely excited to see the impact this contribution will have on bluestone and hope it will provide the University of West Georgia with greater insight into real-world agency operations,” said Lucey.

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Sam Gentry is a lifelong resident of Carroll County, Georgia. In August of 2007, while enrolled at the University of West Georgia, Sam worked at University Communications and Marketing for two semesters as a student assistant. He began writing for a local newspaper that same year. After graduating from UWG in 2010, Sam continued working for the same paper, where he made his way through the ranks, eventually becoming General Manager in 2017. Sam joined the UCM team again in January of 2020 where he serves as Manager of Media Relations. Besides being a liaison to media outlets, Sam’s writing efforts are focused on the Richards College of Business. In his free time, Sam enjoys writing songs, woodworking, and traveling with his wife, Becky, and four children: Samantha, Will, Audrey, and Gracie.