Waynesburg PRSSA wins chapter of the year

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For the fifth year in a row, Waynesburg University’s Public Relations Student Society of America chapter won PRSSA chapter of the year in the PRSA Pittsburgh Renaissance Awards. Pittsburgh Public Relations Society of America, Waynesburg University’s parent chapter, hosts the awards every year, according to PRSA Pittsburgh’s website. The awards honor local individuals and groups for their accomplishments in public relations. 

Adrian Barnhart, a business management major and president of Waynesburg University’s chapter of PRSSA, said that the awards honor several different kinds of organizations.

“Every year, they host the renaissance awards, which they call the Oscars of PR for Pittsburgh, and they recognize a bunch of firms, agencies, and organizations for their PR work for brands like Home Depot, Starkist and Kennywood and all these big people doing people things,” Barnhart said. “They also have a few awards for student organizations, which is where we come in.”

Barnhart said that there are other awards available to student organizations, in addition to PRSSA chapter of the year, 

“They have a few awards for student organizations, which is where we come in,” Barnhart said. “They have the PRSSA chapter of the year award, and a student campaign award, which we did not apply for this year, but we got an award of merit for last year. Then they have the student Bob O’Gara scholarship.”

Jacob Nicholas, a junior finance major and treasurer for Waynesburg University’s chapter of PRSSA, said that the chapter has won chapter of the year since the award was created. 

“From the inception of this award from Pittsburgh PRSA, Waynesburg PRSSA has been the sole recipient,” Nicholas said. “This is an award up for grabs amongst all schools in the Pittsburgh region, and for our chapter here at Waynesburg University to win this honor each year for five years speaks volumes about the quality of the work our chapter has been able to produce.”

Barnhart said that the award is given based on the strength of the chapter’s accomplishments, which are outlined in the application for the award.

“[The PRSA Pittsburgh PRSSA Chapter of the Year award] basically entails us submitting an application highlighting all the things that we did through the year that are aligned with PRSSA,” Barnhart said. “So networking, enhancing our education, going to professional events and expanding our networks, doing professional development, like resume tips and interview tips, and just learning more about PR and campaigns and the industry in general.”

Barnhart said that the applications for the award are sent to a chapter in a location other than Pittsburgh, where a winner is picked out. This year, the applications were sent to a chapter located in Colorado. According to her, this helps promote fairness.

“You don’t have people that you know judging people who they know. So that makes it even more special since these were people who don’t even know us but they just decided that we were the best.,” she said.

Barnhart said that the members of Waynesburg University’s chapter continue to do good work both in the classroom and in its work through the chapter itself. She said that the University’s chapter is special.

“Our chapter specifically here at Waynesburg is special because we have such great support on campus, in Waynesburg and Greene County itself, in the Pittsburgh area, and even close contact with our national committee,” Barnhart said. “For us to have that many resources from just our small campus and being able to do great things from there makes us really special.”