Meet the THON 2014 Directors: Dana Giacobello, Public Relations Director

With THON season in full swing, we conducted a series of interviews with each member of the THON 2014 Executive Committee in order to better connect the Penn State community with the leaders of the largest student run philanthropy in the world. This week features Public Relations Director Dana Giacobello.

Dana Giacobello, Public Relations Director

Current Year: Senior

Major/Minor: Marketing and Public Relations

Fun Fact: Last summer I went to six countries in six weeks.

Onward State: Why did you apply to be a part of the Executive Committee for THON 2014?

Dana Giacobello: I always knew I wanted to do more for THON, but I wasn’t exactly sure how to do more, and after THON last year I realized that my skill set was best suited for spreading THON’s message. That’s why I specifically wanted to be the Public Relations Director, because even though I’m not good at numbers and I’m not a scientist in a lab working for a cure, I can still use the skills that I have to really try to make a difference.

OS: Summarize some of the responsibilities of the Public Relations committee, and then the role you play as Director within those responsibilities.

DG: My captains and I work to spread THON’s message in a lot of different ways. We work with press outlets, both locally and nationally, to spread awareness to people who may not be aware of THON. We also have events such as 100 Days and Mr. and Mrs. THON that we’re in charge of planning and executing. We also promote all of THON’s other fundraiser. At the same time, we also have a more artistic side in that we spread THON’s message visually through graphic design and photography. Each of my captains has a different role, and my job is to kind of help them the best that I can in executing their roles and just improving on THON even from last year.

OS: What are your overall goals for this year? What are you looking to change and improve to make the Public Relations Committee the best it can be?

DG: One of my overall goals is to break out of the central Pennsylvania bubble in terms of spreading awareness of THON’s mission. One way I’m looking to do that is by having PSAs air during canning weekends so that if someone is driving, they’ll be able to make the connection between all of these Penn State students out on the sidewalks and know that they’re donating to an amazing cause. Another thing that I’m looking to do is to work on improving the events that PR is in charge of by involving more people within the Penn State community and expanding on those events.

OS: What moment or moments are you most looking forward to during this upcoming THON year? Be as specific or vague as you’d like.

DG: I’m really excited for Harvest Day because I’ve never gotten the opportunity to go before, and we get to meet all of the new families. It’s a day of a lot of closer interaction with all of the families and I’m really looking forward to that. I’m also looking forward to Family Carnival, because similarly to Harvest Day, it’s another day of close interaction with the families, but I also get to watch my captains interact with the families, which I think will be amazing because I know every single person is going to appreciate that so much.

OS: Why do you THON?

DG: My senior year of high school, my cousin was actually a Penn State student and he passed away from cancer. He had had cancer in high school, he beat it, and then he relapsed. So now I want to do everything I can to honor how amazing he was and I want to make sure that cancer stops winning.

OS: Name an event or two that you think will make this year’s line dance?

DG: The Fox song and our new advisors Jen and Darcy.

OS: If you could be any dinosaur, which would you be and why?

DG: Whichever one is the tallest, because that’s the opposite of me in human form.

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About the Author

Anna Ungar

Penn State Class of 2015 Visual Communications major, Onward State photographer, THON 2014 Public Relations Captain, Camp Kesem of Penn State Marketing & PR Coordinator, anglophile, lover of chocolate milk, bows, cats, The Office, photography, Morgan Freeman, and british accents. Orders a side of pickles with everything.

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