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The University of Alabama

Two UA PR Students Win National Minority Scholarship

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Two students from The University of Alabama’s department of advertising and public relations have been selected as recipients of the 2013 LaGrant Foundation Scholarship for ethnic minority students studying advertising, marketing or public relations.

Benjamin Ladrillono, a junior from Madison majoring in public relations and minoring in business administration, is a second-time recipient of the award. Ladrillono is a member of the UA Honors College, a member of the Public Relations Student Society of America, an inductee to honor society Kappa Tau Alpha, a member of the College of Communication and Information Sciences Ambassadors and an inductee to Golden Key.

He also volunteers as a student leader/mentor for Tuscaloosa’s One Place Program, Habitat for Humanity and Relay for Life. He will be completing a summer public relations internship with Intermark Group this summer.

Angela Veloza, a sophomore double majoring in public relations and international relations, is a first-time recipient of the award. Originally from Bogota, Columbia, and now a resident of Munford, she is participating in a national student exchange to the University of Massachusetts, where she is a web writer for the UMass Center for Multicultural Affairs.

She previously has served as an intern for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and House Minority Whip in Tuscaloosa and is an ESL translator for the Tuscaloosa County School System. She is a performer with the CAYENA and FORRO Latin Dance groups and has multiple service projects under her belt.

“Receiving a nationally competitive scholarship is a high compliment to excellent students,” said Dr. Joseph Phelps, advertising and public relations department chair. “The LaGrant Foundation award provides financial support and also provides the students with professional seminars and training time with leading public relations and marketing professionals. This combination of funding and professional training makes the LaGrant Foundation Scholarship program special and highly competitive.”

The University of Alabama was the only university with more than one recipient in the undergraduate category. The department of advertising and public relations is housed in UA’s College of Communication and Information Sciences.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.

  • CONTACT: Misty Mathews, communication specialist, 205/348-6416,
  • SOURCE: Dr. Joseph Phelps, advertising and public relations department chair, 205/348-8646,