Laura Saicane Named the 2014 Torchia Scholarship in Communications Winner

TORONTO, Sept. 3, 2014 /CNW/ - Laura Saicane, Calgary, Alberta, is the winner of the 2014 Torchia Scholarship in Public Relations/ Communications, awarded by the Communications + Public Relations Foundation.  The $1,500 annual Scholarship was established to recognize a student who best exemplifies the spirit and practice of bilingualism in the Canadian communications and public relations profession.

A student at Mount Royal University, Saicane is entering second year of a Bachelor of Communications degree with emphasis in public relations.  She is fluent in Latvian, Russian and English and studied Communications Science at the University of Latvia before coming to Canada. 

"Having come to Canada to further her education and communications career, Laura has a world perspective of public relations, and is aware of the cultural nuances of practice," said Bruce MacLellan, chair of the Foundation.  "Her accomplishments speak for themselves and the jury was most impressed with her ability, maturity and commitment to the communications discipline."

A CPRS (Calgary) student member, Saicane believes in the importance of multiculturalism in the practice of public relations and the opportunities that it provides.  She pointed out how important it is to understand humour, metaphor and translation interpretation in any culture to avoid misunderstanding in communication. She has also participated in discussions with faculty about public relations practice in a post-communist environment. 

Saicane has been a volunteer instructor in small group sessions of adult ESL learners at Bow College helping them to improve their language skills and has also helped newcomers to learn English that will prepare them for employment through the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada [LINC] program.  

According to Sandra Braun, PhD, Assistant Professor, Public Relations, Mount Royal University, "Laura has shown herself to be an all-round dedicated learner, achieving academic excellence inside the classroom and also taking the initiative to learn outside the classroom. She is also a reflection of Canada's growing multiculturalism and diversity, which will increasingly require the skills of public relations practitioners with cross-cultural knowledge. She will be an outstanding young professional and valuable asset to the public relations community and those whom it serves."   

The Torchia Scholarship is awarded to a communications student who has chosen to study public relations/communications in one of Canada's two official languages that is not his/her first language or mother tongue, and who is entering the second year of study in a Canadian university degree program or multi-year certificate or diploma program that meets recognized standards of education.

"Speaking multiple languages enriches students, gives them a competitive edge and a greater appreciation for other cultures and ways of thinking, which often leads to exciting career opportunities," said Jean-Claude Torchia, CEO and Co-Founder of Torchia Communications.  "Torchia Communications is very proud to support this Scholarship and what it stands for. We extend our congratulations to Laura as she embarks on what promises to be an outstanding career."

The Torchia Scholarship monies are managed by the Communications + Public Relations Foundation. The Foundation promotes the advancement of communications and public relations as vital functions in society, is dedicated to the public interest, and is committed to increasing public knowledge and awareness of the role of communications and public relations in daily life. The Foundation accepts individual and corporate contributions towards research and educational initiatives nationwide.

For more information about the Foundation and its public relations educational initiatives, contact Barbara Sheffield, Executive Director, Communications + Public Relations Foundation, Suite 1515, 73 Widdicombe Hill Blvd., Toronto, Ontario, M9R 4B3, or phone 416 242-6146 or email

SOURCE: Communications + Public Relations Foundation

For further information: Barbara Sheffield, BA, APR, FCPRS, Executive Director, Communications + Public Relations Foundation, (416) 242-6146,

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