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The Rising Star Award

This award recognizes an up-and-coming communications professional at a two-year college who has demonstrated special creativity or ability in college marketing and PR and shows evidence of a promising future in the field. It is presented in each of NCMPR’s seven districts, and the district winners are eligible to compete for the national award.


2018 National Rising Star

Sarah Yunits
Communications Specialist
Massasoit Community College
Brockton, Massachusetts

When Sarah Yunits first joined Massasoit Community College in 2014, she quickly surprised everyone with her can-do attitude and depth of communication talent. Her experience and professional abilities, combined with her interpersonal skills, undoubtedly make her a great asset to her institution and explains why she was named NCMPR’s 2018 National Rising Star.

As communications specialist, Yunits is the college’s initial media contact. She writes and distributes press releases and manages Massasoit’s social media. She helps with special events and special projects. She works closely with the marketing team on key campaign initiatives. She’s known for having a keen artistic eye, superb creative talent, and a willingness to jump in and contribute wherever she can.

Massasoit Community College Interim President William Mitchell puts it this way: “Her professional opinion is sought across the college on projects, presentations and issues of messaging in all forms of media. With her willingness to dive into challenges outside of self-imposed silos, Sarah has developed a true holistic awareness of what the college is trying to do on a macro level.”

Notable examples of Yunits’ contributions include:

  • She completed a full design overhaul of the college’s major marketing collateral, including the student handbook, college catalog, admissions packet and orientation package.

  • She successfully helped spearhead the college’s culminating events for the 50th anniversary celebration, which required responsiveness and attention to detail.

  • She worked on a faculty-led initiative to help advise students on the road to success, and now is seen as a valuable resource to divisional leadership in other areas.

  • During MCC’s 2017 “Portrait of Success” gala, the college’s senior leadership relied on her to help shape key messages to area elected officials, community partners and other influential stakeholders. Her finely tuned political acumen, along with her creative and communication planning, contributed significantly to the event’s success.

  • Yunits was selected to participate in the Southeastern Massachusetts Public Higher Education Partnership Key Talent Leadership Program – a professional development program for emerging leaders in higher education.

A relative newcomer to NCMPR, Yunits quickly immersed herself in the organization. She regularly attends and presents at district conferences. In 2016, she volunteered to serve on the District 1 planning committee and helped create the theme and design for the district conference. In 2017, she took on the large task of District 1 Medallion coordinator.

In a short period of time, Yunits has made a big difference at Massasoit Community College. Interim President Mitchell adds this: “She is in every sense a rising star both within her field and at Massasoit Community College. Our college benefits from having her on our team but, more importantly, our students benefit from having her on our team.”

Past Rising Star Award Winners


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