By Natalie Meek
This semester four students in the school of Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC) joined the National Millennial Community (NMC), a group that works to change the conversation about the millennial generation and engage in meaningful dialogue with corporate, foundation, governmental and nonprofit leaders across the country.
Founded in January 2016 by Bill Imada, NMC has 36 member campuses in 35 states, ranging from Alaska to Florida and from Massachusetts to Hawaii, plus the District of Columbia.
Kent State’s chapter, a subcommittee of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), includes Bella Grossi, Natalie Meek, Ava Moss and Molly Spillman as the inaugural chapter members. Students actively participate in discussions and Think Tank conversations with key influencers in government, business and local communities.
“To me, being in the National Millennial Community is an opportunity to make my voice heard and know for a fact my opinions matter,” public relations senior Ava Moss, said.
NMC has met with more than 120 executives and more than 60 directors and managers from companies such as AT&T, eBay, Coca-Cola, Ernst & Young, Google, IBM, Lockheed Martin, McDonald's, Verizon, Walt Disney and Warner Bros.
Kent State is the only university in Ohio part of the NMC, so the students represent Ohio millennials during the nationwide discussions.
Public relations senior, Bella Grossi, said she has enjoyed the conversations with professionals and spoke to Susan Jin Davis, Chief Sustainability Officer at Comcast, last month.
“I answered a question about what millennials look for in the workplace and what values are important to us,” Grossi said.
Public relations junior, Natalie Meek, said she is excited to be a part of the National Millennial Community because of the amazing networking opportunities.
“Having a platform that encourages positive conversation about millennials is so important,” Meek said. “Speaking with professionals and students from across the country has been an amazing experience.”
The group operates as a faculty-appointed sub-committee of the school’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and is advised by JMC faculty members Associate Professor Stefanie Moore and Assistant Professor Luke Armour. Public relations alumnus, Chris Baldwin, founder and principal of True Digital Communications, also serves as a professional advisor for the group.
“I’m excited about the future of this community and how this group will evolve as our millennial students graduate and we usher in a new generation,” Moore said.
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.