UF Online Public Relations Student Named PRWeek’s Student of the Year

After spending a decade as a professional ballerina, 34-year-old Angela Null discovered her newfound passion for public relations while studying at UF via UF Online. Plus, Angela is the proud recipient of PRWeek’s 2022 Outstanding Student Award for her groundbreaking Olympic PR campaign. “I hope to inspire people,” Angela said. “It’s definitely one of my goals in life, if not to be a mentor of some kind, to at least inspire people to chase after their dreams and let them know that anything is possible.”


Angela retired from ballet once she married her husband, who was studying oral surgery while serving in the military in Oklahoma. “I decided to retire and trade tutus and pointed shoes for Oklahoma,” she said. For her next chapter, Angela wanted to pursue her bachelor’s degree through flexible online education that was necessary for her new lifestyle. “I needed to have some sort of a situation where I could juggle my classes and still move and be supportive of my husband pursuing his career.”

Angela first joined UF Online as a business major in the hopes of opening her own ballet studio. However, her professors helped her discover a passion and talent for writing that motivated her to switch to public relations. “I love writing. I felt like it was the best way to combine my creative side that came from the artistic side of my entire history and then the writing and blend it all together. [Public relations] was honestly the perfect fit for me.”

“I’m definitely fearless and I love a challenge,” Angela proclaimed. “This was the top university when I was applying for undergraduate and I went ‘if I could graduate from UF that would be incredible’ and here I am just a month away from doing it. I put myself through school, so that’s something I’m very proud of. To be able to work and dedicate those funds and be able to graduate from college solely on my own without anyone else’s help was an ambition of mine.”

“If you have a dream, if you want to attend college, if you’re thinking especially about communications programs, definitely put it up at the top of your list and pursue that,” Angela advised. “Don’t be afraid to pursue anything.”


Through the UF College of Journalism and Communications, Angela found the online mentorship and guidance she needed to excel in the PR field. “The thing in the college that stands out to me the most is the faculty and their willingness to dedicate their time to our education,” Angela said. “They’re such open people and you know most of them are active professionals in the field right now and I’ve learned so much from them. I’ve really developed a connection with Dr. Tina McCorkindale. I kind of say that she’s my mentor and she’s trained me. I took her strategy class and just fell in love with it.”

Angela felt right at home at UF Online while studying from her home in El Paso, Texas. “I think the culture, everything the college fosters, it’s a great place to be,” Angela said. “It’s a great place to connect and build long-term relationships, whether it’s with your fellow students or your professors. I feel like the university as a whole has wonderful programs and they have so much to offer. I feel incredibly lucky and fortunate and very blessed.”

“It means everything,” Angela described what the Gator Nation means to her. “To be able to walk away with my degree from such a prestigious, well-known university that’s top in the nation is huge. I never imagined I would graduate as a Gator.”


During her senior year, Angela created a global-scale PR campaign that covered an array of topics and controversies surrounding the 2022 Winter Olympics, including athlete mental health and COVID-19. “I really looked into Gen Z and Millennials because I was sitting on the couch one day and I realized I’m using my laptop, I’m on my cell phone, I’m watching the television set, and yet none of it is connected,” Angela explained. “I thought how cool it would be if we had some sort of platform for the Olympics in which we could be on our devices simultaneously and it’s all being linked to that one entity. I was really proud of myself for coming up with it and apparently other people thought it was very impressive.”

Angela’s campaign earned her national recognition when she was named PRWeek’s Outstanding Student of the Year for 2022. Haymarket Media, who owns PRWeek Magazine, arranged her travel and accommodations for her to attend the industry ceremony where many of her UF Online professors were present. “It was incredible. I’ve been to New York City a handful of times, mostly just to visit and see the sights, never for anything like this,” she said. “Being an online student and finally being able to be around faculty members in person was incredible and they were my support system. I think we have the best PR program. We have one amazing program.”

“I feel like even in an industry like ballet where I’ve been immersed in it for 20 years, I find myself still learning,” Angela said. “I feel like with PR, it’s the same thing and I just want to continue to learn and be able to put my best foot forward in the industry.”

The University of Florida congratulates Angela on receiving PRWeek’s 2022 Outstanding Student of the Year Award and graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations. UF Online wishes her luck and success as she continues her education at Georgetown University in their Master’s in Public Relations & Corporate Communications program.


With a UF degree in Public Relations, students learn the writing, research, strategy, and communication skills needed to succeed in this growing field. Taught by faculty in the top-ranked College of Journalism and Communications, UF Online’s PR program makes our graduates viable candidates for a wide variety of careers ranging from business to government agencies. To learn more about UF Online’s public relations program, visit the degree page or attend an upcoming virtual information session.