RMU alum wins big

Delaney Hassell, Staff Reporter

On Sept. 24, Lieutenant Colonel Michele Papakie was named the 2014 Business Communicator of the Year. Papakie is chairwoman/associate professor of journalism and public relations at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

She received the award at the 35th annual Golden Triangle Awards by the Pittsburgh chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).

The Golden Triangle Awards recognize excellence in business communication skills, management and creativity across a wide range of disciplines.

Papakie also serves as Inspector General in the 171st Air Refueling Wing of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard and is owner and CEO of Indiana, Pa.-based public relations agency Prism Simple Solutions, LLC.

Papakie’s military experience has taken her across the U.S. as well as to over 20 countries throughout the world—including Afghanistan in 2010 where she served as manager of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program.

A graduate of South Fayette High School and a native of the Pittsburgh Area, she was an adjunct instructor of communications at Robert Morris.

The award wasn’t the only thing Papakie was celebrating that day.

“First, to be nominated is a wonderful compliment. But then, to actually win, and be named a communication superhero in my hometown on my birthday—that renders this award-winning communicator speechless,” said Papakie.

Dana Scarpino is the IABC Pittsburgh President and is also Marketing Manager and Community Relations for UPMC Health Plan.

“The IABC/Pittsburgh Business Communicator of the Year Award is given to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution in practicing, promoting and enhancing professional business communications in southwestern Pennsylvania,” said Scarpino.

She also stated that Papakie was a perfect example of all of these qualities and that they were delighted to honor her.

For more information about the Golden Triangle Awards and a complete list of winners, visit www.iabcpittsburgh.com.