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THON Director Thursday: Meet THON 2023 Public Relations Director Megan Dalo

Name: Megan Dalo

Majors: Biobehavioral health and biology with a minor in human development and family studies

Previous THON experience:

THON 2020: Dancer Relations Committee Member
THON 2021: Public Relations Captain (Media Relations)
THON 2022: Public Relations Captain (Media Relations Lead)
THON 2023: Public Relations Director

Name an interesting, weird, or quirky fact about yourself.

My family owns a bakery in my hometown that has been open since 1910. Check out Dalo’s Bakery in Berwick, Pennsylvania!

What made you want to apply for a director position for THON 2023?

I wanted to become a director to amplify the inspiring stories of our Four Diamonds families and community members, to lead and learn from my fellow student volunteers that I have the pleasure of working alongside, and to contribute to innovative projects and processes that will propel our organization forward.

There isn’t one distinct experience or role that has solidified my passion and love for this organization, but countless moments that have made me feel so blessed to be part of such an indescribable community. I wanted to invest as much time and energy as possible into further projecting the voice of our organization by sharing stories of the incredible community members that make it up. I wanted to play a part in creating incredible relationships with as many volunteers as possible and to use my time and effort to create a positive experience for them within the THON Community. Lastly, I wanted to contribute to various projects, campaigns, and initiatives that will take our organization to new heights where we can better serve our families in pursuit of a cure.

I have been engulfed in this organization and its love since stepping foot on campus during my first year as a student, and I wanted to be able to leave a lasting impact that sets our organization and its community members up for success now and in the years to come.

What are your responsibilities as a THON Director?

As a member of the Executive Committee, I have the opportunity to work alongside my 16 fellow directors to make impactful changes and execute initiatives that will benefit our organization and its 16,500 student volunteers as an entirety. Specifically, as Public Relations Director, I have the incredible opportunity to work with 28 captains and over 80 committee members to spread awareness of childhood cancer and the support THON and Four Diamonds provide to children and families impacted by the disease.

Public Relations works on a local, state, and national level to share our family, volunteer, and community members’ stories. We also run all of THON’s social media platforms, create our own digital, written, and visual content, execute a variety of campaigns to enhance our organization’s efforts, and maintain THON’s overall brand across the entirety of the organization.

What do you want to implement in your position this year that’s unique and differs from years past?

Two of the largest goals I have had as Public Relations Director is to better align the content for campaigns and events across the Public Relations Committee and to implement initiatives to enhance the Public Relations Committee Member experience. Aligning our organization’s external face is important to ensure that all stakeholders of THON are receiving consistent and unified messaging throughout the year. This has been better enhanced through the creation of two new focus groups that meet regularly to ensure that all campaign messaging and initiatives are interconnected.

In addition to this, our committee has enhanced our benchmarking and documenting for the campaign by position to ensure that all positions within the Public Relations Committee are well-informed and aligned in how we spread awareness of different initiatives and campaigns within and beyond the THON Community. In regard to enhancing the Public Relations Committee Member experience, my captains and I have worked hard to ensure that all Public Relations Committee members are well-informed and engaged throughout the entire year.

There are three different types of committee members on the Public Relations Committee: Production, Photography, and Promotions. Although each committee has different day-to-day responsibilities, it has been a goal of mine to ensure that experiences as a committee member are unified. We have done this by rolling out biweekly branding and Public Relations Committee education for all captains and committee members, creating a standing meeting time with all six of my captains with committees to brainstorm committee member engagement ideas throughout the year, as well as implementing two Public Relations Committee specific events throughout the year to enhance committee morale.

What makes your committee so cool, fun, and/or important?

The Public Relations Committee is unique for so many reasons, one of which being the level of variety amongst roles within the committee. No two positions are alike, and all require unique interests, abilities, and skill sets. That being said, each position connects back to our committee’s mission of serving as the voice for THON and spreading awareness of our organization on a local, state, and national level. We are able to communicate with thousands of individuals through press materials, social media, and all written, visual, and digital content and promotion and are able to connect them to our mission in various ways to encourage them to join us in the fight against childhood cancer.

What are the overall goals you hope to reach with your committee for THON 2023?

I am so excited to reflect on how far we have come as an organization during our 50 years of existence and look forward to the next 50 years and beyond to identify where we can grow and expand our mission as a community. The sky is the limit with this community, and I am excited to work alongside the Public Relations Committee to capture the magic of our organization in new ways and spread our mission across the country and around the globe to reach new audiences and engage new individuals in our fight for the kids!

Why do you THON?

I THON for more of life’s beautiful moments. Every child should get to experience childhood in its happiest and healthiest form and have the opportunity to chase each one of their goals and ambitions. I am grateful to have the opportunity to work toward the day that cancer will no longer have the power to take that away from the children and families that it affects; one day, our fight truly will conquer childhood cancer.

What’s your favorite THON memory?

Although it is difficult to choose just one memory, my favorite would be prior to total reveal during THON 2022. As the hustle and bustle of executing our roles for the weekend came to a close, I was able to stand arm-in-arm with my co-captains in a packed Bryce Jordan Center, sharing such a special moment that culminated all of our efforts throughout the year. Even more importantly, I realized how special it is to play even a small role in bettering the lives of our families and working toward the day when childhood cancer will no longer exist. There are countless moments that make me feel honored to be part of such a special community, and even thinking about that exact moment gives me chills. Any moment spent with the THON community is a moment spent right.

Per Onward State tradition, if you could be any dinosaur which one would you be and why?

I would be a pterosaur because they can fly and that would help to save a lot of money with traveling!

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About the Author

Haylee Yocum

Haylee is a junior studying immunology and infectious disease. She is from Mifflintown, PA, a tiny town south of State College. She is a coffee addict, loves Taylor Swift, and can't wait to go to a concert again. Any questions can be directed to @hayleeq8 on Twitter or emailed to [email protected]

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