Waynesburg University PRSSA Awarded with sixth consecutive Chapter of the Year award

Photo courtesy of Waynesburg University’s PRSSA Chapter

For the sixth consecutive year, Waynesburg University’s Public Relations Student Society of America Chapter was awarded the Chapter of the Year Award by PRSA Pittsburgh. 

Last week on Jan. 27, the Public Relations Society of America hosted their first in-person Renaissance Awards Ceremony in two years, where Waynesburg’s PRSSA Chapter was awarded this prestigious honor.

When speaking to Professor Richard Krause, who acts as the faculty advisor to the organization as well as Chair of Waynesburg University’s Communication Department, he was filled with gratitude for all who made this award possible especially seniors Emma Herrle and Emma Hardacre.

Professor Krause attributes this success to the chapter’s “good leadership” and “culture of success.”  He also noted how proud he was ofHerrle  and  Hardacre, with them serving as President and Vice President of PRSSA respectively. 

Krause said that they have been “keeping the tradition going in the right order.”

Herrle and Hardacre were also quick to give credit towards others among Waynesburg’s PRSSA Chapter, such as Paige Livingston, who serves as Public Relations Director for the Waynesburg chapter of  PRSSA. 

Herrle also gave a special thank you to the aforementioned Krause, as well as his wife and fellow faculty advisor to PRSSA Marie Leichliter-Krause. Herrle said the two were vital in “driving recruitment and encouraging freshmen to get involved.”

In just a 13 year stretch since Waynesburg’s PRSSA Chapter originated in 2010, the chapter is responsible for six consecutive Chapter of the Year awards and  has been recognized with Star Chapter Status since 2013. Additionally, it has received the  Dr. F.H. Teahan Outstanding Chapter Newsletter Award in 2015, the National Affiliation for Red Brick Communications in 2016 and  2019, and far more nationally recognized awards given to the group, as well as individuals among the group for their submissions. 

According to Herrle and Hardacre, the chapter’s “Give Me Five” Campaign played a large part in winning this year’s Chapter of the Year Award.  

Due to the strains that the COVID-19 pandemic set on the entire campus, any meetings, outings and events were either cancelled or moved to a remote setting. This had the undesired, yet expected result, of lessening student involvement. The decrease in student participation put Waynesburg’s Chapter in danger of being shut down because each PRSSA Chapter must have at least ten members to be considered a chapter.

Ultimately, the “Give Me Five” campaign was made in response to the pandemic and the issues it created with student involvement. Aaccording to Herrle, the campaign was successful in increasing student involvement, which allowed the chapter to continue  operating and continue its success. 

Being recognized as Chapter of the Year, as well as Campaign of the Year was a noted honor for Krause, as he believes that the two awards, “highlight the successes that we’ve had, and highlights this individual group we have right now has continued the tradition of great work in PRSSA.” 

Waynesburg’s PRSSA Chapter has also been given another great honor, as they were recently selected to be one of the eight universities in the nation to host a District Conference. This conference is offered to anyone who desires to learn more about or possibly join PRSSA. It will be centered around Sports Media & Public Relations and will have several notable guests, including ones from all three of Pittsburgh’s professional sports franchises. 

For all who are interested, the conference will be done in a virtual setting, and will be hosted on March 25 and March 26. Contact Hardacre or Herrle for more information on the conference, or if you have any interests in joining Waynesburg’s PRSSA Chapter.