Waynesburg University’s Public Relations Student Society of America Chapter has found major success for two years in a row. During the two years the award has existed, Waynesburg has been the PRSSA Chapter of the Year.
President of the chapter, Maura Fenske, also accepted the Bob O’Gara Student Scholar Award, making her the second Waynesburg
University student to do so in the past four years.
This is now becoming a precedent for a program that is still fairly new to campus.
The Renaissance Awards ceremony was held in Pittsburgh Jan. 25, where the students were able to connect with professionals in the public relations field of work.
“Eight out of ten PR speakers will say networking is the most important piece to getting a job,” said Faculty Advisor of PRSSA Richard Krause. “It’s not what you know, it’s to get people to know what you know.”
According to Krause, Waynesburg students were the first to volunteer for these types of award ceremonies, setting a precedent for other schools to follow their lead.
Even though it was a night meant for merriment, all of the students were
busy at work.
It’s from that kind of effort that allows students to be making a name for themselves, the school and the program.
“It’s really establishing us in the Pittsburgh market,” said Krause. “And I think it’s established us nationally as one of the better Public Relations programs in the country.”
Among Waynesburg students receiving awards, there were also Waynesburg
alumni who found similar success.
Jordan Mitrik graduated from Waynesburg in 2016 where he studied public relations and marketing.
This year, he won the PRSSA Member of the Year Award and he was a part of the group that won Renaissance PR Team of the Year.
Mitrik was the vice president of Waynesburg’s PRSSA Chapter when he won the Bob O’Gara Student Scholar Award in 2015.
He now sits on the committee as the Renaissance Awards Chair.
The program has proved its merit year after year, but it did not seem likely just a few years ago. When the chapter was established, the goal was to work at the local level.
However, Chairman of the Department of Communication Richard Krause has realized the goal has far been succeeded.
“We hoped to eventually tap into the regional level, but now we have cultivated a pretty good relation at the national level,” said Krause.
They received Star Chapter five years in a row, demonstrating not just the chapter’s recent success, but its consistency as well. The chapter has proved to still be very capable of winning even though a small school setting can have limitations.
“Typical chapters will have fifty to one hundred members, and we have nineteen,” Fenske said. “It leaves other chapters asking us how do we do that.”
Even though the chapter won an award, it came from the individual efforts of everyone involved in the Waynesburg program.
“The students get to practice what they learn in their PR classes and put that into some kind of context,” Krause said. “It’s all about professional development.”
However, the Public Relations Chapter is not finished yet. Their biggest event, dubbed “PR week,” is set for the week of April 9th. This will be the 8th time the school celebrates public relations for a whole week. It caps off the end of a tale of success for the spring semester for Waynesburg University PRSSA Chapter.