Kent State Public Relations major
PRSSA Kent DEI Co-chair
Michele Ewing, APR, Fellow PRSA
Professor/Public Relations Sequence Coordinator
PRSSA Kent Faculty Adviser
330-672-4288 / email@example.com
For Immediate Release
Kent State Public Relations Student Group Earns Seven National Honors
Kent, OH (Nov. 1, 2020) — Kent State’s Public Relations Student Society of America Chapter (PRSSA Kent) earned seven national awards for the work done throughout the 2020-2021 academic year. The national awards were announced during a virtual award ceremony at the International Public Relations Society Conference in late October.
For the first time in Chapter history, PRSSA Kent won two Teahan Awards, the highest Chapter honors:
Both categories were judged on creativity, featured content, design and overall appearance. The organization used its monthly newsletter and website to keep the community connected during the 2020-2021 school year, when everyone was apart due to the pandemic.
“As they work on the Chapter’s communication, we often discuss applying strategies and skills they’re learning in the classroom. Earning Teahan honors for the website and newsletter speaks to the students’ abilities to successfully master course concepts — that’s music to all their professors’ ears,” Faculty Adviser and Professor Michele Ewing says. “All programming and communication were virtually delivered the entire year. PRSSA played a key role in helping students feel connected and engaged learning about the public relations field.”
Two alumnae board members, Jada Miles, '21, and Samantha Farland, '21, were awarded the National Gold Key, PRSSA’s highest individual honor. This award recognizes outstanding academic excellence in public relations and leadership in PRSSA. Miles served as President and Farland as the Vice President of Communications during the 2020-2021 year.
Miles currently works at Ruder Finn, an independent global communications and creative agency in New York City, as an Assistant Account Executive. In her role, she finds herself using the skills and confidence she gained from the organization, every day. She says: “PRSSA helped me grow significantly and was a major factor in shaping me into the professional I am today, so receiving the Gold Key award meant a lot to me.”
Farland is now an Assistant Account Executive at Marcus Thomas LLC, an independent advertising and digital marketing agency in Cleveland. She says PRSSA Kent allowed her to see her coursework come to life. She says: “This organization was a big part of my college experience, and I'm so happy that all my hard work was recognized in the end.”
As Vice President of Communications for PRSSA Kent in 2020-21, Farland played a big role in the Teahan-winning newsletter.
“I was able to increase the open rate by 7.5 percent overall, compared to the year prior, and I did that with a more strategic approach to content and distribution timing,” Farland says. “I am so proud that our Chapter was able to win this award and very happy to see that the hard work of myself and others really paid off.”
PRSSA Kent also was recognized as a Star Chapter, and Kent State’s Bateman Blue team, which won an honorable mention in the 2021 PRSSA Bateman Case Study Competition earlier this year, was honored. Additionally, student Ray Bukhari, the Chapter's Special Events Coordinator, earned the PRSA ICON Conference Grant.
Current PRSSA President Zachary Zdanowicz, '22, says that these awards have become inspiration for the Chapter this school year.
“Winning these awards made it all feel worth it. Now, as this year's Chapter President, this recognition has driven me to make sure our Chapter is continuing on the path of success and continuously elevating our work.”
About the Public Relations Student Society of America
The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is the foremost organization for students interested in public relations and communications. Founded in 1968 by its parent organization, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), PRSSA includes more than 11,000 student members and advisers, and is active at more than 370 colleges and universities. For more information about PRSSA, visit www.prssa.org.
About PRSSA Kent
The Kent State Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA Kent) was established in 1968 as one of the 14 original Alpha Chapters of PRSSA. The student-run organization collaborates with its parent chapter, the PRSA Akron Area Chapter, to coordinate meetings and events that offer professional development and networking opportunities to Kent State students interested in the public relations and communications industry. The PRSSA Kent Chapter and the students who participate consistently win national awards, placing the Chapter in the top tier nationwide. For more information about PRSSA Kent, visit www.prssakent.com.
About Kent State University’s Public Relations Sequence
The public relations sequence at Kent State University is part of the School of Media and Journalism, a nationally renowned program that offers degrees in advertising, digital media, journalism and public relations. Kent State boasts the only public relations program in Ohio that is both certified by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC). For more information about Kent State’s School of Media and Journalism and its public relations sequence, visit www.kent.edu/mdj.