On Oct. 7, chapters of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) from across the country attended the PRSSA National Conference in Boston, Massachusetts. Public relations students attended the event to network, socialized and built their public relations knowledge.
The PRSSA is the largest national public relations organization allowing PR students to connect with each other and career professionals. It seeks to enhance the educational and professional opportunities their members will experience.
This year, Klein College's PRSSA team received two different awards. The team was awarded the Star award for the first time in the chapter's history. Additionally, former President Kim Leung was awarded the National Gold Key award for her academic and professional accomplishments.
"[These awards] increase the chapter's visibility on a national scale," said faculty advisor Gregg Feistman. "Beyond that, though, it's a validation of the work the chapter is doing."
The Star Award is given to chapters across the country who meet eight out of 10 chapter and professional requirements. Temple PRSSA successfully completed eight of the requirements, including a community service project, a high school outreach program and having members apply to individual awards.
"It was a great experience," said current Temple PRSSA President Marissa Piffer. "We did a student sweep volunteer cleaning event around Philadelphia ... we partnered with Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee ... with a goal to make the area more inviting."
The National Gold Key Award is given to PRSSA members who excel academically while continuing to grow and earn new professional accomplishments. Leung, a 2017 Temple graduate, was the first Temple student since 2006 to earn this award. She earned an internship with several companies, including Skai Blue Media and the Philadelphia Bar Association.
"I've always been quietly confident, but taking on leadership roles within Temple's chapter really challenged me to step out of my comfort zone," Leung said, later adding, "I truly believe Temple PRSSA helped me realize my strengths as a leader."
"It really is a testament to Kim's leadership," Feistman said.
In order to be considered for these awards, each chapter must apply. Piffer completed applications on behalf of the entire chapter, while other students completed individual award applications.
"You're not notified [if you win], we were so surprised," Piffer said regarding the organization's achievements.
Temple University's chapter of the PRSSA is the oldest in the region. Founded in 1969, the organization has provided leadership and experience opportunities to hundreds of students each year. The current chapter consists of 120 members and 11 board members.
"It was great to see everything we did last year come together. We did really great things. I want to get more national visibility for the things we do," Piffer said. "Being there made me excited to see what's in store for this year."