Kinkade 89#EngagedLearning Alumna Exemplar: Kinkade

Behind-the-scenes with Kinkade – supporter of multifaceted UCM PR opportunities

Who do you get when you add together PR program professional advisory board service, entertainment PR class host, UCM PR Pro Day participant, and UCM PR graduate employer? You get engaged alumni like Director of Public Relations at Pinnacle Entertainment Roxann Kinkade, that’s who! When she’s not pouring her dynamic professionalism into Pinnacle Entertainment PR efforts, she’s investing it in today’s public relations students.

Kinkade helps current public relations students imagine and launch their own successful careers. Recently joining the program’s PAB for behind-the-scenes-work supporting it’s PRSA certified curriculum and #EngagedLearning efforts, she and her Pinnacle colleagues also volunteered to host UCM’s one-of-a-kind Special Topics: Entertainment PR class onsite at the Ameristar Casino property. Students met with public relations and marketing staff, met those responsible for guest dining experiences, and heard from professional chefs. Of particular interest and novel learning to the students was the idea of culinary services and products as a form of entertainment. “Most people don’t think of a chef as part of the public relations effort of an entertainment,” said Adam Horn, associate professor and course instructor. “As the entertainment PR students discovered, chefs are very much part of it. The culinary feats they perform, relationships they build with food fans, and their ability to communicate well across many publics is vital to fan loyalty and media coverage.”

A repeat volunteer participant at UCM’s Robert Kendall Chapter of Public Relations Student Society’s PR Pro day, Kinkade enjoys the enthusiasm students bring to the panel and one-to-one discussions taking place at the event. “I just love the public relations students. Their passion and vision for the field makes me glad I can help them get started, even a little bit, down a path to success. They’re great!” Kinkade is one of many public relations professionals willing to travel to campus each year to work with current public relations majors. Typical university-hosted career fairs don’t bring many public relations professionals to campus, so the PRSSA group has redressed that for more than 10 years by sponsoring its well recognized PR Pro Day.

Kinkade doesn’t stop with PAB service, class hosting and PR Pro Day participation. She’s also employed multiple program graduates, (see Three generations of excellence in Spring 2014 issue including Celeste Burks of America Star Casinos Hotel, and Cara Mahon (previously of America Star in social media) who first served as an intern. “UCM PR graduates are among some of the best applicants and employees I’ve had join my team; I am proud of my alma mater,” Kinkade said.

Kinkade has provided oversight for the Ameristar Kansas City property since 2004. Prior to joining Pinnacle, Kinkade was the public information officer for Kansas State University Research & Extension in Johnson County. She graduated from UCM in 1981 with a bachelor’s in public relations.