James Gardner of St. Catharines is the 2014 winner of the Lou Cahill Scholarship in Communications awarded by Brock University.
The $1,250 scholarship is awarded to a third-year student studying in a four-year communications program in Brock’s Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film. Scholarship recipients are recognized for academic excellence, community involvement and participation in charitable activities.
The scholarship was established to honour Lou Cahill, founder of Enterprise Canada, the country’s longest-operating public relations firm. An icon of the Canadian public relations industry, Cahill died in November 2008 at the age of 94. He held an honorary doctoral degree from Brock. This year would have been Cahill’s 100th birthday.
“We are delighted that James has received the Lou Cahill Scholarship in Communications,” said Bruce MacLellan, chair, the Communications + Public Relations Foundation. “Lou Cahill would have been proud of James’ community involvement and commitment to volunteer service.”
Gardner will be the first winner to benefit from mentoring by the recently established Lou J. Cahill Society, an organization whose members worked with Cahill during their public relations careers.
Gardner is committed to community through his managerial role in the Niagara-on-the-Lake Sailing Club’s (NOLSC) Learn to Sail program, which is accessible to youth and adults, equipping them with lifelong skills in recreational sailing. He has contributed to program planning and budgeting, as well as making promotional visits to schools, developing a web site and providing an integrated social media presence. He has used his communications theory and practice gained from the Brock program to establish a clear vision for the Learn to Sail program that has boosted enrolment.
“James has played a crucial role in improving the programs offered at NOLSC and he continues to build awareness in the community about what we do providing children and youth with an active, educational and engaging summer on the water,” said Greg Chapman, past secretary of the NOLSC Board of Directors.
Gardner is a graduate of Holy Cross Secondary School, St. Catharines, where he was an Ontario scholar. He spent two years in Australia at St. Paul’s and Carranballac College.
He is a certified Canadian Yachting Association (CYA) Learn to Race Instructor, and CANSail 1&2 instructor. When in Australia, he received a Yachting Australia assistant instructor certification.
The Lou Cahill Scholarship is managed by the Communications + Public Relations Foundation. The Foundation promotes the advancement of communications and public relations as vital functions in society, is dedicated to the public interest, and is committed to increasing public knowledge and awareness of the role of communications and public relations in daily life. The Foundation accepts individual and corporate contributions towards research and educational initiatives nationwide.
Students at Brock in their third year of study in a four-year communications program in the Department of Communications, Popular Culture and Film are eligible to apply for the annual Lou Cahill Scholarship in Communications. Applications are available from the University’s Student Awards and Financial Aid Office.