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CU Boulder students use PR campaign to raise awareness about Lymphoma
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A campaign to raise awareness about Lymphoma hangs from the Broadway Bridge at University Colorado Boulder.

BOULDER, Colo. — If you work in public relations, chances are you’ve heard of the Bateman Competition. Each year, the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) partners with a nationwide client and challenges students across the country to showcase their skills by implementing a full PR campaign.

This year, PRSSA teamed up with the Lymphoma Research Foundation in an effort to raise awareness about Lymphoma, the most common type of blood cancer in young adults. Among the hundreds of students participating in the Bateman Competition this year is a small group of four students from the University of Colorado Boulder.

“I wanted to be a part of something bigger,” said Jessica Curley, a member of CU Boulder’s Bateman team. “This Bateman competition allows us to utilize those PR skills that we've learned over the years and put it to actual work and work on the live campaign.” 

Colorado Voices

Students raise awareness about Lymphoma through PR campaign

The campaign, #ThroughIt, connects with students and faculty through an art installment by senior Evelyn Kiehuss. Under the Broadway Bridge on campus, a see-through painting represents what Lymphoma looks like through a microscope. The placement of the painting forces viewers to see “through it.”

“We wanted to launch our campaign in person and we wanted it to be invasive as we didn't want to launch our campaign [on] social media,” Keleigh Andrus, a senior at CU Boulder, said. “Nowadays that's what's done.”

In an Instagram post, the campaign writes: “In a generation that takes 5 milliseconds to make an opinion about a website and scrolls the length of the Empire State Building within a day, we didn’t want this to be scrolled through or casually ignored. Our art installment was meant to be invasive, reflective of lymphomas invasive nature.”

To understand Lymphoma from a patient’s perspective, the team collaborated with fellow student, Quinton O’Donnell, a stage 3 Hodgkin's Lymphoma survivor.

“They felt that the best way to understand that patient's perspective was in fact, just to ask me what it was like. So I spent a lot of time speaking with the team, talking about my experiences and the way that it impacted me, especially beyond just what the typical person might think,” O’Donnell told Rocky Mountain PBS.

In addition to raising awareness about early signs of Lymphoma, the competition simulates a real-life public relations campaign to help students prepare for a career in PR.

The students have until March 11 to implement all aspects of their campaign plans, from events to social media posts. In April, judges will select three finalists and in October, winners will receive their awards.

“We're asking students to walk this path every single day to take a second of their everyday routine to stop and look through it,” Andrus added.

To get the most eyes on their campaign, the team plans to move the art installation around campus, including places like the Macky Auditorium.

To stay up to date, follow the campaign on Instagram.

Julio Sandoval is a multimedia journalist with Rocky Mountain PBS. You can reach him at

Victoria Carodine is a digital content producer for Rocky Mountain PBS. You can reach her at

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