Kaitleen 'Kate' Brady receives the PennACE 2019-2020 Joanne Day Student of the Year honor.
Carrie Schubert (left), from Cal U's Office of Academic Success, and Kaitleen 'Kate' Brady.'
As she prepares to graduate this May, Kaitleen “Kate” Brady has already accomplished some impressive goals on campus and through her community relations internship with the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation.
A communications major with a concentration in public relations and a minor in marketing, Brady was recently selected as a PennACE 2019-20 Joanne Day Student of the Year recipient for her internship work.
PennACE is a non-profit service organization established in 2002 as a result of a merger of two long standing and successful Pennsylvania organizations dedicated to support and advocacy for experiential education, career development and employment in Pennsylvania.
Through four categories (business, STEM, liberal arts, and associate's degree) the Joanne Day award recognizes the achievements and contributions made by undergraduate students enrolled at member institutions who have completed an internship or co-op. Day was the first president of PennACE and died in 2005 from cancer.
Brady served as an intern with the Penguins Foundation during the Spring 2019 semester and in September was hired by the foundation as a game night assistant.
Highlighting her internship was a “Her Hockey Night” that Brady and three other female interns conducted during a Penguins home game last March in conjunction with National Hockey League's Gender Equality Month.
Afterward, the foundation was able to raise $17,000 to continue to assist local charities within the Pittsburgh region. The “Her Hockey” night project was recognized by the NHL on social media platforms and press releases.
“Not only was this an amazing event to draft, plan and execute, but it was incredible to see the support from fans and even the league.,” Brady said. “It is amazing being able to continue working for an organization that I hold very close to my heart.”
Abby Braddock, manager of foundation programs, praised Brady and said the project has become an annual event for the Penguins Foundation that many other NHL teams are looking to replicate. She added that it was one of the foundation’s most successful in-game activations and social media campaigns.
“Kate showed leadership, creativity and great initiative in making sure that this project came to life,” Braddock said. “Kate never backed down from that challenge and did everything she could to make sure those challenges were met and exceeded.”
Brady said the internship has inspired her to pursue a career in public relations and marketing.
“I am so honored to have received this award and be able to represent Cal U and the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation in such a positive way,” she said. “My internship with the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation undoubtedly changed my life, both personally and professionally. I was able to not only work within the sport industry, but support a bigger goal of giving back to the community.
“I fell in love with helping others and using the platform of sports to assist with that.”
She called her on-campus work supervisor Carrie Schubert, from the Office of Academic Success, and Meaghan Clister, from the Internship Center, the definitions of role models and mentors.
Schubert pointed out that Brady is the first Cal U student to win a JoAnne Day Student of the Year award.
“Kate is beyond deserving and an exceptional student both in and out of the classroom,” Schubert said. “I have watched her grow personally and professionally over the last few years, and can say wholeheartedly, that whatever she dedicates her time to, she will succeed in.
“Kate’s drive, work ethic, approachable demeanor, and ability to reflect and use feedback to improve are just a few of her many positive character traits.”
Active on campus, Kate, a Peer Mentor coordinator, is also a member of the Alpha Lambda Honors Society and Delta Zeta. She is the public relations coordinator for National Panhellenic Conference and treasurer of Cal U’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America.
“From clubs, organizations and coursework, I truly loved every moment, and I cannot even begin to describe the amazing experiences I had while here at Cal U,” she said. “My journey here has flown by.”