PRSSA wins Star Chapter Award fourth year in a row

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The 14 members of PRSSA Kent State sent to attend the national organization’s annual National Conference in Atlanta.

Alexis Wohler

Editors Note: An earlier edition of this article listed the wrong presenters at the Chapter Development Session. The corrections to this article have been made.

Earlier this month, 14 members from the Kent State chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) attended the organization’s national conference in Atlanta.

Some of the PRSSA Kent members who attended the conference included Gabrielle Woodard, president of the chapter; Brenna Parker, vice president of the chapter’s public relations and Meghan Caprez, vice president of the chapter’s professional relations.

Woodard and Parker presented a Chapter Development Session at the conference called, “We are Family: Becoming Part of Your University Community,” along with Jesse Gettemy, editor; Hanna Moore, vice president of membership and Erin Zaranec, co-vice president of fundraising and community outreach. 

The Chapter Development Session shared the chapter’s accomplishments on aspects including building a university community and collaborating with other organizations, students and staff at Kent State.

“Joining PRSSA Kent has been a truly rewarding experience,” said Parker, a junior public relations major. “Since joining, I have grown professionally and had the opportunity to learn more about the public relations industry and learn about what I want to do with my career.”

Parker said she is most proud of the work the chapter has done with students.

“Our chapter makes it a mission to get to know each and every member and really build strong relationships with our students,” Parker said. “We tailor our programming and events to truly benefit students and provide them the materials to learn and become successful.”

While at the conference, the chapter was recognized as a recipient of the Star Chapter Award, an honor given to 43 out of 300 chapters nationwide this year. This was the fourth year in a row PRSSA Kent received the award.

“It felt amazing to earn the Star Chapter Award,” said Caprez, a first-year graduate student studying global communication. “PRSSA Kent has a nearly 50-year tradition of excellence, and it is always nice to be recognized for it on a national level.”

Individual chapter members also received awards and honors, including Caprez and Woodard.

Caprez was awarded the National PRSSA Gold Key Award, which is the highest individual honor. This award recognizes a student who has excelled not only in the Chapter leadership itself, but also in academics and professional development.

“Earning the National Gold Key felt like the culminating experience of my career as a public relations student and as a member of PRSSA”, Caprez said. “I’m a huge nerd about all things public relations and to be recognized on a national level for both my academic achievements and my involvement in the Kent State Chapter means the world to me.”

Caprez said she knew that she wanted to be involved in PRSSA since she heard about it as a senior in high school.

“When I was researching PR as a major, I found out about all of the amazing professional development opportunities offered through PRSSA,” Caprez said.

Woodard, a junior public relations major, received the National PRSSA President’s Citation. This award was presented to students who exhibited exceptional leadership in PRSSA at the Chapter and national level.

Woodard said she enjoys being a part of the chapter and is proud of the growth the group has made since she first joined.

“I wanted to join an organization that would help me understand more about my major and would help me to network in order to find a job after I graduate,” Woodard said. “It is good to know that the chapter is continuing to grow and excel beyond the minimum requirements.” 

Alexis Wohler is the CCI reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]