Then MPT graduates Marhanda Keeping, Emma Phillips-Mosmann and Ashley Trampe recently received the Best Online Prescence Award from Shinerama Canada, for their social media and web campaigns, which helped raise awareness around cystic fibrosis. Photo by Kristen McEwen

Physical therapy students earn national award for successful online Shinerama campaign

When three master of physical therapy (MPT) students volunteered to work on the Shinerama campaign in 2018, their main goal was to revamp the social media campaign.

By Kristen McEwen

Ashley Trampe, Emma Phillips-Mosmann and Marhanda Keeping were recently recognized by Shinerama Canada with the Best Online Presence award for their fundraising campaign last year.

“For us, it was more about spreading awareness (about cystic fibrosis),” Ashley Trampe said. “Social media was an important platform for us.”

Shinerama is the largest national post-secondary fundraiser to support Cystic Fibrosis Canada. Since 1964, more than 40 post-secondary institutions across Canada raise money every year for cystic fibrosis (CF) research. CF is a genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. There is no known cure for the disease.

The three School of Rehabilitation Science (SRS) students took over the social media platforms from the previous SRS Shinerama representatives and got to work on establishing a cohesive look across Facebook, Instagram (@usaskshinerama) and their website.

They had help from their classmates and faculty members during the campaign. Their classmates posted photos on Instagram, featuring a message on a small whiteboard about how they shine, or stand out, and encouraged people to learn more about #whyweshine.

When promoting the Annual Shine Day in September, they ensured that their themes were unified across all social media platforms. The MPT class shined shoes, sold baked goods and played games across campus for Shine Day 2018, which raised more than $7,000.

The students worked with local businesses for donations and sponsorships, including a Ryde & Shine Day with a spin instructor from RydeYXE who donated their time.

The 2019 graduating MPT class, consisting of nearly 40 students, raised more than $22,000 during last year’s Shinerama campaign.

Trampe noted that she was humbled and excited by how many people the campaign was reaching on social media.

“It was nice to hear that people heard we were doing (this campaign) — and from people who weren’t from our school, or the university or the businesses we were working with,” she said.

The most important response the trio received was from members of the community living with CF, who recognized their efforts with the social media campaign.

“I don’t think people understand how intense (cystic fibrosis) can be for a family and it’s affecting such young people, and families are struggling with this across Canada,” Phillips-Mosmann said. “Getting validation from these families made us know that we were doing it right.”

Keeping added that while they did a lot of behind-the-scenes work, seeing the impact of raising awareness around CF was an invaluable experience.

“I had an idea of what cystic fibrosis was from kinesiology,” Keeping said. “But I know there’s a lot of people on campus, even in our class, that don’t really understand what it does to a person.

“We were able to minimize that unawareness — that was what made this campaign worth it.”