Headshot of Eleni Kashis, 2020 Deanne Dewey Roberts Scholarship winner

A Pandemic, A Passion, and the Scholarship That Made It Possible.

Every year since 2012, ChappellRoberts funds the Deanne Dewey Roberts scholarship at the University of South Florida in remembrance of our founder. We’re passionate about empowering the next great generation of communicators, and we’re excited to introduce you to this year’s recipient: Eleni Kashis.

As a lover of all things creative, Eleni knew she wanted to pursue a major in advertising and public relations when she was introduced to it by one of the university’s advisors. This scholarship has given her the opportunity to finish her final semesters strong without worrying about the financial implications of a college degree during a pandemic. With its support, she is able to focus on her courses, internship, and the extracurriculars that have developed her love of advertising and public relations.


Q: What drew you to advertising and public relations?

A: When I was younger, I wanted to be everything when I grew up. Throughout school, I worked hard to ace all of my classes in pursuit of this mystery career that would let me dabble into a little bit of everything.

My first steps on USF’s campus, I was a journalism major. Then I considered art, then marketing. It wasn’t until I met with an advisor at the Muma College of Business that I unveiled this dynamic mystery career I’d been searching for — advertising. The advisor saw the intersection of my interests and introduced me to this new integrated route.

When I first entered that advisor’s office, I thought I’d walk out a marketing major. Instead, I was set on this new dynamic and creative path of integrated advertising and public relations.

Every course I’ve taken so far has reaffirmed what I’ve known since my freshman year; this is the path I was meant to pursue.


Q: What does this scholarship mean to you?

A: This scholarship will provide me with the boost I need to wade through the financial struggles of attending a university in a pandemic. But this scholarship is more than financial, it has linked me to a network of people just as driven as Deanne.

This experience has introduced me to the fruit of Deanne’s labor: the members of her agency and their breadth of wisdom. Although Covid-19 uprooted typical agency life, I was granted the opportunity to virtually meet with members of the team.


Q: What’s next for Eleni?

Hearing the ChappellRoberts team speak about Deanne deeply inspired me and reinvigorated the excitement I have to enter this field. Her passion, drive, creativity and leadership are just some of qualities that defined her. Listening to others speak so passionately about Deanne made me realize how invested each member is in her legacy, her agency, and her.

To make an impact as strong as Deanne’s is what students strive for, it’s the reason we entered college in the first place. To have the support of a women-led agency with the purpose of creating change is such a high honor, and it is one that will help me navigate these last semesters at USF.