Waynesburg University’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Chapter president Megan Bayles recently received first place in a national public relations scholarship competition.
Bayles, a junior public relations major from Carmichaels, Pa., is the first student from Southwestern Pennsylvania to have received the Betsy Plank PRSSA Scholarship. The award is granted annually to three public relations students who demonstrate dedication to the field, practical experience, academic excellence and proven leadership.
“This scholarship award is one of the most distinguished student awards given by PRSSA,” said Richard Krause, chair of the Department of Communication, assistant professor of communication and faculty adviser to the PRSSA Chapter. “This award affirms all that Megan has accomplished in our chapter in a very short period of time.”
Winners were recently announced at the PRSSA National Conference in Washington, D.C. For first place, Bayles received a $5,000 award.
“The entire event felt surreal. I was happy, excited, proud and honored, all at the same time,” Bayles said. “Since discovering all of the PRSSA scholarship opportunities and joining Waynesburg's Chapter, it has been my goal to apply for and win one of these prestigious awards.”
Betsy Plank was the first woman to lead the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) President in 1973. She was chair of the U.S. Section of International Public Relations Association and co-chaired the 1987 commission to develop guidelines for the undergraduate public relations curriculum in U.S. colleges and universities.
“Betsy Plank is an inspiration to all aspiring public relations professionals, especially women,” Bayles said. “To have been awarded the opportunity to help carry on her amazing legacy is such a blessing.”
Upon graduation from Waynesburg University, Bayles hopes to work in corporate public relations and obtain a Master’s degree in a communication-related field.