About The Editorial Team 

Guide Editor Julie Cajigas Talks about her Favorite
Discoveries During the Project> read more here 

Media outlets have permission to use the content of this site like a news release. Expand to learn more ->

The content of this website was created by students in the Fall 2023 Public Relations writing course at The University of Akron.  Any of the information on this website may be used the way a feature news release would be used. If a significant portion of a student's work is used, a byline will help them build their professional writing portfolio.

For high resolution images to run with a story about shopping small in Akron or to reach any of the businesses featured in the guide, contact Professor Julie Cajigas at for additional media information.

About the Editor

Julie Cajigas is a Professor of Practice in the University of Akron School of Communication and instructor of record for Public Relations Writing. She edited and produced this guide, which was written by students in the Fall 2023 section of the PR Writing course.

Cajigas has taught at The Univeristy of Akron since 2011. Before that, she enjoyed a career in trade journalism, copy writing and corporate public relations.

She has a Masters in Communication Theory and Methodology from Cleveland State University, where she also did her undergraduage degrees in Music and Communication.

A Note on the Editing

"My philosophy in editing this guide was to act as a mentor or supervisor at a Public Relations firm or an editor at a magazine would. I asked students to make initial rounds of edits and to expand on the information where needed, and then did a final edit," Cajigas said. "The core of every bylined piece was researched and composed by the students."

In some cases, Cajigas collaborated with students to create co-bylined pieces and in one case, she also granted an interview. The children pictured in some of the experience photos are hers. "My kids and I are extremely active around Akron. Where it helped a student with their content, I extended permission for them to use images of my family."

Cajigas is proud of the effort her students put into the guide.

"These stories were a lot of work for the students and drafting and polishing them taught them many important lessons in interviewing, research and writing," she said. 

About the Student Interns/Editorial Assistants

For the 2024 "ZipsGuide to Moms, Dads, and Grads," four students worked as editors and advanced-level content creators. 

Madison Latona

Madison Latona is a sophomore public relations major at The University of Akron. An avid reader and fan of literature, Madison runs an Instagram account that solely talks about what she's reading and what she's interested in reading. Madison also loves a good pun. In terms of her next steps, she still has at least two more years at UA, but her very next step is to get married. She and her fellow-Zip fianceé Kieran Nolan are planning to tie the knot in October 2024. For the Moms, Dads and Grads guide, Madison wrote the brief story on Grad Gifts at the UA Bookstore. Her focus has been on running five weeks of social media contetst to make sure our content has been getting to the right people; people who will come out and support these businesses. She is also responsible for creating a stellar (get it?) guide for the total exclipse we experienced on May 8. Thank you Madison!

Anthony Nichols

Anthony Nichols is a graduating senior at The University of Akron majoring in Sport Management.  Anthony is also a championship-winning, three-sport distance runner for the Zips in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) and a future MBA student. Anthony has a developing passion for documenting his experiences in photos and videos. In the Fall 2023 section of Public Relations Writing that launched ZipsGuide, Anthony's news release was selected by Downtown Akron Partnership to run on their website. For this guide, he wrote the Grads Gift Guide. He also wrote the ZipsGuide to Black History Month and has contributed to the social media profiles and website for Congratulations on your graduation Anthony!

Shananne Lewis

Shananne Lewis is a post-baccalaureate student majoring in public relations. She earned her BA in dance and her first-act career was as a dance instructor. Shananne is preparing for a third act (currently, she is a full time Education Specialist at The University of Akron) in arts administration. She enjoys writing, reading historical fiction and books about dance, visiting The Hower House Museum and eating at Rob's with her kids. Shananne assisted with editing and wrote the Father's Day guide spotlight in her role as in independent study student. She was a member of the Fall 2023 Public Relations Writing class that piloted the ZipsGuide project and is currently a copy editor for The Buchtelite student media outlet. Thank you Shananne!

Liv Ream

Liv Ream is a senior at The University of Akron, majoring in public relations. Liv is a veteran who enjoys writing, filmmaking, cultural criticism and being all-around awesome. She currently works with as a reporter, producing video interviews and writing stories. She is preparing for a career in journalism. Liv assisted with the editing of multiple student stories and wrote a guide spotlight on Mother's Day. She will be the 2024 summer intern for ZipsGuide. Liv was a member of the Fall 2023 Public Relations Writing class that piloted the ZipsGuide project and is currently the co-editor-in-chief of The Buchtelite student media outlet. Thank you Liv!

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