The Charger Blog

Communication Major Wins Statewide PSA Contest with Message about Support and Encouragement

Attending a workshop for creating public service announcements led Emily Brown ’22 to develop her first PSA. She produced an uplifting message about overcoming addiction and recovery. Her video has now been aired on television statewide and shared online, and she hopes it fosters a dialogue about recovery.

June 23, 2020

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Image of Emily Brown '22
Emily Brown '22

Early in the spring semester, Emily Brown ’22 attended a workshop at the University of New Haven during which she learned how to create an effective public service announcement. The workshop, which she wrote about for the Charger Blog, inspired her to create her own.

She entered her PSA, “Our Superheroes,” into a PSA contest held as part of an initiative created by Fox61 and Change the Script, a statewide public awareness campaign to help communities deal with the prescription drug and opioid crisis. Her PSA was chosen as the winner.

Image of Emily Brown '22
Emily Brown filming at the University’s Up ’til Dawn fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital last spring.

“I was very excited when I had found out that I had placed first,” said Brown, a communication major. “I felt a sense of accomplishment. This is the first project like this that I have ever completed, and the workshop was instrumental in helping me create my PSA. I had attended the workshop hoping to learn more about how PSAs are made, and I left with a script and a game plan.”

As the winner of the “Be an Rxpert” contest, which was open to students ages 13 to 22, Brown received a cash prize of $2,500. Her work aired on Fox61 and she was interviewed about her work during National Prevention Week last month.

Hosted by Prof. Nicki Chavoya; Stephanie Moran, prevention services coordinator for the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services; and Trish Hesslein, community marketing manager for Fox61, the workshop Brown attended enabled students to learn about what an effective PSA entails, the resources available to people struggling with addiction, and the steps being taken to prevent addiction.

"I hope that my PSA creates a dialogue about the recovery aspect of addiction. I hope it encourages people to become more educated and realize they can aid in someone’s lifelong recovery."Emily Brown '22

“Emily is an outstanding student who seizes every opportunity to challenge herself technically, creatively, and professionally – this time, while making a difference in the community,” said Prof. Chavoya. “Opioid addiction is an ongoing battle in our country, and I'm so happy that Emily chose to create a piece that honored the strength and courage of the ‘superheroes’ that are working every day to recover from it.”

Image of Emily Brown '22
From left to right: Stephanie Moran, Trish Hesslein, Emily Brown.

Brown and the second and third place finishers were recognized during a virtual event hosted by the Governor’s Prevention Partnership during National Prevention Week. Their PSAs were aired on Fox61 and online. Brown’s work may also be shared during a presentation at the state’s Legislative Office Building during Red Ribbon Prevention week in October.

“I hope that my PSA creates a dialogue about the recovery aspect of addiction,” said Brown. “I hope that by watching my PSA, family members and friends of those in recovery will be motivated to seek more information on what they can do to help their loved one. I hope it encourages people to become more educated and realize they can aid in someone’s lifelong recovery.”