PRSA Silicon Valley Announces Judges for 2024 Diversity and Multicultural Scholarship

Judges include top Bay Area-based communications executives at Underdog Fantasy and Airship, alongside DEI and agency professionals; Chapter also extends deadline for applications through May 18
May 14, 2024
Alannah McDermott
PRSA Silicon Valley Announces Judges for 2024 Diversity and Multicultural Scholarship

Mountain View, Calif., May 14, 2024PRSA Silicon Valley, a community-driven organization focused on empowering communications professionals in Silicon Valley, has announced the judges for this year’s 2024 Diversity and Multicultural Scholarship program. The Chapter also extended the deadline for applications through May 18. This year, the Chapter was able to increase funding for students due to a Share the Love Matching Campaign, which doubled every donation to the fund up to $5,000, and through last year’s Media Predicts event, which donated 100% of the proceeds to the fund.

The judges, listed below, bring a combined 45 years of experience in communications and public relations in industries spanning government policy, Big Tech, cybersecurity, and consumer tech.

  • Rochelle Nadhiri, Vice President and Head of Communications at Underdog Fantasy
  • Deidre Wright, Public Relations Director at Airship and Communications Consultant at Strategic Stories
  • Jazmin Eusébio, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Program Manager & Public Relations Manager, Highwire
  • Alannah McDermott, Account Supervisor, ICR Lumina and DEI & Mentorship Co-Lead, PRSA Silicon Valley

“Building a diverse communications workforce is essential for a thriving world, as communicators are builders and storytellers of brands that reflect society,” said Rochelle Nadhiri, Vice President and Head of Communications at Underdog Fantasy. “From my time launching Sherwood Media, LLC at Robinhood and also deploying XR Programs and Research Fund at Meta, I’ve worked closely with stakeholders in government, academia, and civil rights groups to responsibly build technology. With programs like this scholarship, we can take steps to ensure we have the best, most diverse workforce building the future.”

Nadhiri holds over 20 years of experience in strategy development, policy, litigation, and executive and crisis communications. Her hallmark is bringing the right people together to share engaging stories, answer hard questions, and resolve issues. Prior to Underdog Fantasy, Nadhiri was Vice President and Head of Communications at Robinhood, where she led corporate/executive, internal, litigation/policy, and strategic and product communications and oversaw the launch of Robinhood Retirement, the first ever IRA with a match.

Deidre Wright, PR Director at Airship and Communications Consultant at Strategic Stories, holds over 17 years of experience building personal brand strategies for top-ranking executives in order to establish them as expert thought leaders. As a sought-after personal brand advisor, Deidre has launched leading products, secured top media coverage, grown revenue, planned results-oriented events, and more, all with the goal of evangelizing organizational brand stories.

“Every facet of this profession requires a creative, out-of-the-box mindset to continually innovate and achieve success,” Wright said. “I believe this scholarship is an investment in our industry’s ability to solve emerging challenges with a pipeline of inclusive talent. Now more than ever we need unique perspectives shared authentically to meet the needs of global audiences and changing demographics. It’s an honor to be able to use the knowledge I’ve gained throughout my career to support this next generation of professionals. I’m eager to watch what they will do and look forward to seeing the accomplishments and expertise the 2024 cohort of applicants bring.”

“When I helped to launch this award, my goal was to advance a more inclusive industry for students to step into, and I’m honored to see the fruit of these efforts this year,” said Eusébio. “As a Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging & PR Manager at Highwire PR, I see firsthand the value these types of scholarship programs bring. From my work leading Highwire’s Latine ERG, Màs Sabor, and overseeing four other ERGs, I’ve witnessed the clear line between our work as DEI professionals and the successful onboarding, retention, and training of a diverse workforce.”

As an initial founder of this scholarship program, Eusébio has tripled the program’s fundraising goal and awarded scholarships to over 15 racially diverse college students to date. She is a recipient of multiple awards and honors for her work in DEI, including DEI Champion in PRNews People of the Year Awards 2023, Rising Leader and DEI Champion of the Year in Diversity Action Alliance 2022, and many more.

Alannah McDermott is a San Jose-based public relations professional with experience in media relations and marketing communications for a range of industry-leading B2B and cybersecurity clients. As Account Supervisor at ICR Lumina and DEI & Mentorship Co-Lead for PRSA Silicon Valley, she is an advocate for nurturing an inclusive workforce within tech and communications.

“It excites me to see more voices and faces in communications that best reflect the rich communities in this country,” said McDermott. “To create a diverse, inclusive and equitable environment, it takes more than just talking about the problem. I’m grateful to be a part of the team at PRSA Silicon Valley who are all passionate about equipping the next generation of diverse students with what they need to make the world better, one step at a time!”

This year, the chapter is awarding $2,500 to a handful of students for outstanding academic achievement and commitment to the practice of public relations. The goal of this scholarship is to open doors and increase opportunities for the next generation of diverse and talented communications professionals to thrive. Read more about the scholarship at the link here

And if you are interested in applying before the May 18th deadline, we highly encourage you to do so! We want to hear from you on why diversity matters in the communications industry, the impact it's had on your life and the recent multicultural communications efforts you’ve been a part of to bridge the gap between your community and institution and/or college. To check out the eligibility, visit the link here.

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