History & Current
CUPRAP is a voluntary organization of communications professionals from colleges, universities and independent schools dedicated to advancing the understanding of higher education and enhancing the professional development of its members. CUPRAP members work in public relations, media relations, marketing, publications, sports information, web and graphic design, and more. Members come from private and public colleges and universities, junior colleges, community colleges, independent schools, as well as other organizations involved in higher education. Founded in Pennsylvania in 1980 as one of the nations few statewide organizations, CUPRAP members now come from many states. Today, CUPRAP has nearly 350 members from 100 institutions.
Formed in 1980 by a dedicated group of Pennsylvania higher education public relations professionals, CUPRAP includes members from nearly all of the institutions of higher education in Pennsylvania and several in New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware.
More specifically, CUPRAP members include: public relations directors, publication editors, graphic designers, web designers, writers, marketing specialists, sports information directors, media relations managers and special events coordinators. Members come from private and public colleges and universities, junior colleges, community colleges, independent schools and other organizations involved or interested in higher education. Members can enjoy a number of benefits and take part in a variety of programs, including a series of professional development activities:
- Professional Development Workshops: A number of one-day professional development workshops, in fall and spring, in different parts of the state.
- Professional Development Conference: A three-day professional development workshop, held each year in early spring.
- Annual On-line Membership Directory.
- CUPRAP website, with links to members and resources.
- CUPRAP-L, an exclusive electronic discussion group for members.
- Arthur V. Ciervo Award—awarded to a public relations professional, president, higher education advocate, public official, or outstanding faculty or staff member who exemplifies CUPRAP’s fundamental purposes of supporting and advancing the understanding of higher education.
- Don Hale Award—awarded annually to a CUPRAP member who has significantly contributed to the organization.
- Joseph W. Donovan Young Professional/Rising Star Award – awarded to a person with great potential in the communications field who is under 40 years old and has been in higher education less than five years.
- Dick Jones Scholarship for Aspiring Communications Professionals
- CUPRAP Diversity Scholarship
Formed in 1980, CUPRAP has members from nearly all of the institutions of higher education in Pennsylvania. Recently, members from surrounding states have become involved. In its 35 years of existence, CUPRAP has elected presidents from across Pennsylvania.
2019-Present: Tom Durso, Drexel University
2017-2019: Gabriel Welsch, Duquesne University
2015-2017: Anders Back, Harcum College
2012-2015: Victoria Kidd, Susquehanna University
2011-2012: Ray Betzner, Temple University
2009-2011: Terry Day, Mansfield University
2007-2009: Barbara Marshall, Albright College
2005-2007: Sally Widman, Ursinus College
2003-2005: Alan Janesch, Penn State
2001-2003: Marie Moughan, Immaculata College
2000-2001: Ed Blaguszewski, Penn State Erie
1999-2000: Ed Blaguszewski, Penn State Erie
1997-1999: Joe Donovan, Thomas Jefferson University
1996-1997: Joe Reasy, Penn State Altoona
1995-1996: Joe Reasy, Penn State Altoona
1994-1995: Debra Thomas, Bryn Mawr College
1993-1994: Debra Thomas, Bryn Mawr College
1992-1993: Bill Mahon, Penn State
1991-1992: Bill Mahon, Penn State
1990-1991: Joe Biscontini, Penn State Delaware County
1989-1990: Bob Clark/Joe Biscontini, Penn State Delaware County
1988-1989: Bob Clark, Muhlenberg College
1987-1988: Valerie Oltmanns, University of Pittsburgh
1986-1987: Dick Jones, University of Scranton
1985-1986: Mary Ann Aug, University of Pittsburgh
1984-1985: Mary Ann Aug, University of Pittsburgh
1983-1984: Don Hale, Carnegie Mellon University
1982-1983: Don Hale, Carnegie Mellon University
1981-1982: Art Ciervo, Penn State
1980: Art Ciervo (Acting), Penn State