By Natalie Meek
Associate Professor Michele Ewing earned the Public Relations Student Society of America’s (PRSSA) highest honor for Chapter advisor at the organization’s national conference earlier this month.
Fifteen members of PRSSA Kent, along with Ewing, who has served as Kent State’s Chapter advisor for 14 years, traveled to Boston for the conference, where Ewing received the Teahan Faculty Advisor Award for outstanding service, guidance and contribution to the chapter. Along with Ewing’s honor, two Kent State public relations students were recognized with national honors, and the members had the chance to attend sessions with top-notch professionals covering everything from crisis communications to celebrity publicity management in the PR industry.
PRSSA Kent President Latisha Ellison, ‘18, was awarded the National President’s Citation, a special honor for students who have left a lasting impact on PRSSA through work in their Chapters and on a national level. Ellison, a public relations major, has been actively involved in PRSSA since her freshman year.
Public relations major Charleah Trombitis, ‘18, PRSSA Kent’s vice president of professional relations, earned the Gold Key Award, which is the highest PRSSA honor for individual students. This recognizes her academic excellence, ambitious professional development pursuits and leadership in the Chapter over her four years at Kent State.
PRSSA Kent is well known among the national organization for its consistent success and leadership. Each year it competes with hundreds of other Chapters for several awards. The Kent Chapter, once again, earned a Star Chapter award for continually exceeding its chapter and professional development goals. Out of more than 300 Chapters in the United States, Argentina, Colombia and Peru, only 15 percent of all PRSSA Chapters earn this distinction.
PRSSA continues enhance the leadership of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. It enables students to further pursue their passion and ensures that they are on path for professional success.
PRSSA Kent entered two teams into this year’s PRSSA National Bateman Case Study Competition, which tasked students to create public relations campaigns focused on mental health on behalf of Campaign to Change Direction. After months of hard work, both teams received honorable mentions.
Sixty-seven teams participated nationwide, fifteen were recognized with honorable mentions and three teams presented their campaigns as finalists.
Each year, ten PRSSA Kent members are invited to participate in the PRSSA National Case Study Competition. Tim Roberts, associate lecturer and undergraduate studies coordinator, advises both teams and is assisted by one professional adviser for each team.
The PRKent program has a great history with the Bateman competition, receiving second place in 2013 and an honorable mention in the past three out of four years. This is the first time in the history of PRKent that both Bateman teams have received honorable mentions.
The executive committee of the Kent State chapter of PRSSA is called the Darrow Committee, which is named after the former coordinator of Kent’s PR sequence, Ralph C. Darrow. PRSSA Kent elects a new Darrow Committee each year, which is made up of nine officers and two chairpersons.
The 2017-18 Darrow Committee is as follows:
President: Latisha Ellison, junior public relations major
Vice President of Professional Relations: Charleah Trombitas, junior PR major
Co-VP of Fundraising and Community Outreach: Holly Disch, junior PR major
Co-VP of Fundraising and Community Outreach: Samantha Ross, sophomore PR major
Intercampus Liaison: Ian Gillan, junior PR major
Treasurer: Francesca Barrett, freshman PR major
Secretary: Lauren Garczynski, sophomore PR major
Web and Social Media Manager: Alex Seibt, junior PR major
VP of Public Relations: Meghan McDonald, junior PR major
Editor: Natalie Meek, freshman PR major
VP of Membership: Sarah Heber, sophomore PR major
Congratulations to the new Darrow Committee!
Youtoo Social Media Conference Chair Latisha Ellison and Vice President of Public Relations Holly Disch recently took a trip to Seattle to represent PRSSA Kent at National Assembly.
During National Assembly national PRSSA bi-laws are voted on and national committee elections take place. Ellison represented Kent State University as a voting delegate and Disch represented Kent State as a Vice President of Advocacy candidate.
Along with elections, attendees were able to be a part of leadership and ethics sessions.
PRSA Cleveland named Latisha Ellison, junior public relations major and active PRSSA Kent member, as the 2017 Student of the Year.
This award was given in recognition of Ellison's dedication to PR practices, involvement in JMC and CCI, and academic achievements. She will also receive a $2,500 scholarship. Read more about Ellison's accomplishments and the PRSA Cleveland Student of the Year award at: http://www.prsacleveland.org/prsa-cleveland-announces-2017-student-of-the-year-award-winner.