As part of a public relations capstone class, four SUNY Oswego seniors raised more than $1,000 for St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a charitable organization that funds childhood cancer research.

Ajsa Mehmedovic, Pablo Leon, Angie Cordovez and Carter VanGee received an assignment at the beginning of this semester: develop a theoretical publicity campaign for an organization. These seniors went above and beyond, though, and decided to make their work a reality.

“Normally, students do not actually implement their campaign to raise real money,” said Taejin Jung, assistant professor of public relations at Oswego and the course’s instructor. “But this group, even though they are not required to do that, staged a few events to raise real money and it satisfied the client a lot.”

The group said it was a pleasure to be able to raise money for the charity.

“They’re a great organization, they do great work,” said VanGee, who plans to graduate later this month with a degree in public relations. “We just thought that it was great to give back, and overall they just do so much work… we just thought that this campaign was a great way to do that.”

Campus and community partners 

As part of their efforts, the students organized tabling events with several groups on campus, including fraternities Kappa Sigma Sigma, Theta Chi and Alpha Phi Omega, as well as the men’s club hockey team. 

“We tabled for the first time, and we were all nervous, at the last hockey game,” said Cordovez, who plans to graduate early in December with a double major in psychology and public relations. “We were just beginning, and we got like $200, and then we were like, ‘We’ve got to continue doing this.’” 

The group also coordinated with local businesses, asking them to donate and help conduct fundraising events. Restaurants and bars like Wonzones Calzones, Eastside Nutrition, Fajita Grill, Riverwalk Pizza and Ferris Wheel all have donated or plan to donate funds to St. Baldrick’s. 

“My favorite moment was when we were working with the Ferris Wheel Oswego,” said Mehmedovic, who plans to graduate later this month with a double major in psychology and public relations as well as a minor in graphic design. “We did a karaoke night… we actually got like $400 from that alone. So many people came.”

Reflecting on success

On April 24, the organization held its 16th annual St. Baldrick’s Day in Oswego at the Best Western Plus Oswego Hotel and Conference Center. The event encourages attendees to shave their heads both to raise money and to show solidarity with children undergoing treatment for cancer. Since then, the group of students has had a chance to look back on the work they have done as they approach the end of the semester. 

“It means a lot to me, being able to just help out in that sense,” said Leon, who graduates later this month. “It’s inspiring to be able to raise money and know that you’re doing it for a good cause.”

The group credited SUNY Oswego’s faculty, in particular Jung, for helping them find experiences like working with St. Baldrick’s Foundation. 

“All the advisors and faculty are very caring, they’re there to help you, they want you to be the best,” said Cordovez. “TJ, for example, I have for public relations research… he’s always there, he wants you to succeed. So, the comm department is amazing.”

Jung gave the students rave reviews for what he termed “very good” work. 

“They are going to earn the highest grade,” said Jung. 

For more information on St. Baldrick’s Foundation, visit their website at

–- Written by Collin Knapp of the Class of 2023