The Public Relations Student Society of America recognized PRSSA Kent Immediate Past President and PRSA/PRSSA Liaison Cindy Deng with the National Gold Key Award at the White House Corresponding Awards Ceremony on October 13.
The national organization’s website notes the award is the highest individual honor PRSSA members can receive.
PRSSA chooses to honor a handful of students each year who meet stringent academic and professional requirements. These requirements include maintaining at least a 3.4 GPA and demonstrating PR leadership and internship experience.
“When I got the email about earning the award, I practically bawled,” Deng said. “Being the somewhat insecure person I am about my leadership potential, earning this award sealed the deal for me in giving me confidence that I’m meant for this profession.”
Now serving as a liaison between the Chapter and surrounding PRSA Chapters, Faculty Adviser Michele Ewing said Deng has been actively involved in the Chapter from the moment she set foot on campus.
“Cindy has dedicated countless hours to mentoring students, connecting PRSSA Kent with the professional community and elevating PRSSA Kent’s national reputation,” Ewing said. “This is such a well-deserved honor.”
Deng partially credits 2012-2013 PRSSA Kent Chapter President Christine Morgan and her mentorship for the award.
“Michele [Ewing] and I joke about this all the time, but I’ve unintentionally followed in Christine’s footsteps, and I’m glad I did,” Deng said.
Deng also applied for and was granted free registration for PRSSA National Conference. To win the grant, Deng composed a press release and personal essay detailing her thoughts on the future of the industry.
The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) inducted PRSSA Kent Faculty Adviser Michele Ewing, APR, into its College of Fellows at the 2014 International Conference in Washington, D.C.
Ewing joined an elite group of 300 professionals who have dedicated more than 20 years of excellence to the public relations industry. Less than two percent of PRSA members are accepted into the College of Fellows.
“I’m really honored to be joining such an elite group of PR professionals,” Ewing said. “I feel like one of the cool kids in the industry now.”
Ewing was inducted with 14 other professionals at a dinner Oct. 11, escorted by alumnus Rick Batyko, APR, president of the Regional Marketing Alliance (Cleveland Plus).
Ewing said the application process was extensive, taking her more than four months to complete. Throughout the process, she was asked to show the results of each of her jobs in the public relations industry.
“I had to track down clients I haven’t talked to in years,” Ewing said. “It was good to hear that I made a significant contribution to these organizations. It reminds me that my career has been a rewarding experience, and not everyone can say that after 20-something years.”
After working as an executive at Marcus Thomas LLC, an integrated marketing communications agency in Cleveland, Ewing decided to pursue a career in higher education.
“About 15 years ago, JMC Professor [Bill] Sledzik and a colleague encouraged me to teach an evening class at Kent State,” Ewing said. “I almost didn’t do it because I was a senior executive and my children were young. I was concerned about managing it all. Thank goodness I made time to teach that class.”
Ewing said working with her Kent State colleagues and students for the past 12 years continues to be an energizing experience. She is able to play a role in the future of public relations and contribute to it through her instruction.
“I see more growth and need for pubic relations compared to my early days in the field,” Ewing said. “Audiences are communicating 24/7 and expecting real-time communication today […] I’m also fortunate to work with young, aspiring public relations professionals every day, and the future of the PR industry is in good hands.”
With more than 31,000 members, PRSA is the largest organization of public relations professionals and students. PRSA is comprised of 111 local Chapters organized into 10 geographic Districts; 16 Professional Interest Sections that focus on issues, trends and research relevant to specialized practice areas, such as technology, health care, financial communications, entertainment and sports, and travel tourism; and the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which has more than 300 Chapters at colleges and universities in the United States and abroad. PRSA is headquartered in New York.
by Erin Zaranec
If you had 90 seconds in an elevator with the employer of your dreams, would you be able to sell yourself?
On Oct. 9 from 5 to 8 p.m., Blackstone LaunchPad’s second annual Elevator Pitch Competition challenges you to do just that.
Blackstone Launchpad Senior Marketing Manager Zach Mikrut says elevator pitches are needed to start a business.
“It’s all about pitching a concept or idea. But if you aren’t looking to start a business, you still need a pitch for talking to future employers, if you attend a career fair or any professional event,” Mikrut said.
Students will have 90 seconds to pitch themselves, a business or an organization. The winner will receive a $500 prize.
“We’ve had students who have just pitched themselves as being hard workers. You don’t have to come pitch a business,” Mikrut said.
Located on the fourth floor of the Kent State University Library, the competition also coincides with LaunchPad’s professional job fair, offering students a variety of professional services such as creating business cards, LinkedIn profiles, personal websites and resumes.
Students interested in participating can attend one of three pitch workshops on October 2, 6 or 7 at noon at the Blackstone LaunchPad office in the student center.
The competition and professional fair are both free. Launchpad will provide food and refreshments.
Students can visit www.ksuelevatorpitch.com or contact Zach Mikrut at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.