Tina Pruna - Herbert Ford Journalism and Public Relations Scholarship
, August 20, 2008
Tina Pruna is a senior international communication major with an emphasis in Spanish, and she is one of three recipients of the Herbert Ford Journalism and Public Relations Scholarship. The communication department at PUC nominated Tina for the scholarship, which recognizes student commitment to the profession. The fund was established by PUC alumni to honor professor emeritus Herbert P. Ford.
“The fact that it’s anonymous, that they don’t know who receives the award, I think it shows a lot of faith on their part. Faith in the college and the kind of students the college produces,” Tina says of her donors.
Tina appreciates not only the scholarship for the financial assistance but also for the recognition of her hard work. “All scholarships are helpful but getting a scholarship from your department is special,” says Tina. “After getting all the papers back, that take me forever to write, and they have all those red marks, it helps me see my own improvement. The scholarship just makes me want to work even harder.”
Tina was born in Puerto Rico, but has called New Mexico home since the age of six. Initially Tina did not enroll at PUC. But before her sophomore year of college, she decided to investigate other colleges. During her research, Tina discovered PUC had three things she was looking for: “west coast thinking,” a volleyball team, and diversity. She transferred to PUC—even without confirmation of a spot on the team! As it happened she did make the team and has remained a key player through all three years at PUC.
Picking a career goal and a major was yet another puzzle for her. “I just want to help people in the simplest terms. It took me forever to pick a major because nothing seemed to satisfy me – I just couldn’t imagine myself doing any of them. I finally decided to work backwards,” she says. First she decided she was interested in the healthcare field but weeded out nursing and medicine. Then she discovered global health. “In global health you go to different countries and educate people in basic healthcare. I like the idea of going outside the United States, outside the comfort that is here. You don’t do it for yourself you do it for somebody else,” she says.
Tina will complete her degree in December of 2007 and plans to continue towards a master degree in global health at Loma Linda University’s School of Public Health. She anticipates completing the field practicum requirement by doing a 27-month residency in the Peace Corps.