SJMC’s PRSSA chapter honored with national award

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Petya Eckler
Petya Eckler, SJMC assistant professor and faculty adviser to PRSSA
Mary LaPlaca

Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is a professional group dedicated to training students to work in the field of public relations. Networking opportunities, real-world experiences and awards have helped UI-SJMC’s local chapter become one of the largest student groups in the school.

Earlier this year, PRSSA was recognized for all the accomplishments it had made in the last year and was presented the National Star Chapter Award. This award is given out once a year to PRSSA chapters for spectacular community service and involvement initiatives.

Out of 300 schools nationwide with PRSSA chapters, only 9 percent are offered the National Star Chapter Award. Out of the Big Ten, only two other schools received the honor.

“The award was well deserved,” said Petya Eckler, SJMC assistant professor and the faculty adviser to PRSSA. “Our chapter leaders worked hard to expand the chapter and making sure the sustainability of the chapter was going. We will continue to try for this success for years to come.”

Within the last year, the chapter saw an increase in membership and hosted a regional conference.

“2012 was a really strong year for us,” Eckler said.

PRSSA’s plans for 2013 and beyond are ambitious. They have events set up until the end of the school year, including a mock press conference on April 13. It will be an all-day event that will allow students to be either a journalist or public relations rep during a mock press conference. Students will be split into teams and will have to report about the conference or respond to the client about the conference.

The work done by students will be judged by professional journalists, and there will be a grand prize. It is an opportunity for students to explore the professional options in journalism as well as a great networking event with professionals.

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