Skip to Footer

Niagara College Public Relations grad wins top national industry award

For the third time since 2020, a Niagara College Public Relations Graduate Certificate student was recognized by the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) national office for excellence in the field.

On June 11, Naomi Fox of St. Catharines received the CPRS Notified Student Award of Excellence from the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) at the National Conference in Mont Tremblant, Quebec.

"It feels surreal to be receiving this award," said Fox, who accepted the award virtually. "I'm very proud to be the third winner the College has had since 2020... It’s amazing to have my hard work validated, and it feels like this is a catapult for my career."

According to CPRS, the Notified Student Award of Excellence is awarded to the student who shows a clear understanding and application of the principles of PR theory, demonstrates professionalism leadership in scholastic activities and is committed to pursuing a career in PR. The student must also demonstrate an ability to contribute to the status and acceptance of the profession.

“On behalf of all of us at Niagara College, we're thrilled to learn of Naomi's achievement," said Charles Kopun, Associate Dean of the School of Media. "It must be incredibly gratifying for her to receive national recognition, underscoring her unwavering commitment to the field of Public Relations."

"This also marks the third time since 2020 that a Niagara College PR student has achieved such a prestigious honour, a testament to the exceptional talent of our students and the dedication of our faculty to student success," said Kopun.

CPRS National President Clair Ryan said Fox has set "an admirable example" for aspiring PR professionals in Canada.
"Naomi’s recognition as this year’s winner of the CPRS-Notified Student Award highlights her dedication to the public relations field," Ryan said. "Her academic excellence, mentorship to her peers, as well as her active engagement with CPRS Hamilton, reflect her passion for the PR profession."

Fox joins NC PR alum Nicolas Mertens and Brenna McCutheon who were awarded the CPRS Notified Student Award of Excellence in 2021 and 2023, respectively.

"It's a pleasure to recognize Naomi's achievements with the CPRS Notified Student Award of Excellence," said Lisa Davis, Vice-President, Marketing at Notified. "Her passion for public relations, commitment to mentorship, and demonstrated academic excellence are evident and admirable, and we're proud to celebrate her as a next-generation storyteller."

It was a big week for Fox, who graduated from NC's graduate certificate program at Spring Convocation on June 12.

Fox also holds a Bachelor of Arts from Western University in Media, Information and Technoculture.

"I came to the PR program because I felt like I had lots of theoretical knowledge but lacked the practical knowledge needed to start my career," said Fox. "I’m a big wine lover and got to collaborate with the NC Teaching Winery in planning a successful (and delicious) Wine Maker’s Dinner. I also got to meet inspiring industry professionals on a weekly basis which has been invaluable in growing my network."

Fox also interned at Creative Guild in Hamilton with NC alum Mertens, Senior Social Media Strategist, and Creative Director Jeff Blay (Journalism 2011; Public Relations 2015).

"Nicolas Mertens has been an immense inspiration to me as a student and budding professional, and receiving the same award," said Fox.

"In my internship, I got to collaborate with the amazing team and worked on brands like Arby’s Canada, Turtle Jacks Muskoka grill, and WOW 1 Day Painting. I wrote copy, shot and edited content for social media, wrote and pitched a press release, and landed coverage for the agency."

Fox is currently interning with Toronto-based PR agency Kaiser & Partners. A testament to the many NC PR grads making their mark on the industry, Fox met fellow NC alum Ray McIlroy (Public Relations, 2008), Senior Vice-President of Kaiser & Partners through mock interviews as part of her NC program.

"I hope to continue working in the agency world, and my long-term goal is to work as a digital marketing consultant!"

In addition to guidance received through the CPRS Hamilton mentorship program, Fox credits her success to PR Program Coordinator Emily McInerney who nominated her for the award.

"Emily McInenery’s dedication to the program and her students has been critical to the success of my peers and myself. I now feel fully equipped and confident in starting my career as a PR practitioner."

Niagara College has a full-time enrolment of more than 11,000 students from over 95 countries, who study in 130 diploma, certificate and bachelor degree programs at specialized campuses in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake. Niagara College is also involved in educational projects and partnerships around the world and is ranked Canada's No.1 research college. Learn more at