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b2ap3_thumbnail_PRSSA-Teahan-Award.jpgWaynesburg University’s Public Relations Student Society of America Chapter was honored with the Dr. F.H. Teahan Award for best Chapter Newsletter November 9 at the PRSSA 2015 National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

Waynesburg University PRSSA’s newsletter, “Trending Topics,” is a monthly publication that was developed in 2012. Each issue includes professional development tips and officer updates, as well as summaries of all major Chapter events and initiatives. The content, design and overall development of each newsletter issue are completed by Waynesburg University students that make up the Chapter.

“Through the newsletter, I want to show all of the great things our Chapter is doing to expand and succeed,” said Natalie Gloady, junior public relations major and public relations director for Waynesburg University PRSSA. “It is important for those in our professional networks to witness our accomplishments. It shows them that we are serious about public relations and are working to make ourselves better and more productive future professionals.”

The Dr. F.H. Teahan Award for Outstanding Chapter Newsletter is presented to one PRSSA Chapter each year, naming its newsletter as the organization’s best chapter publication. Since the award’s inception in 2004, Waynesburg University is the only institution in Pennsylvania to have received this honor.

“We made a number of significant changes to the newsletter about a year ago that we thought greatly improved its overall quality,” said Richard Krause, chair of Waynesburg University’s Department of Communication and faculty adviser to its PRSSA Chapter.  “After only three years of publishing a newsletter, we are now recognized as having the most outstanding Chapter newsletter. It's been a really exciting year.”

According to prssa.prsa.org, each publication submitted for the Dr. F. H. Teahan Award for best Chapter newsletter is judged by the quality of its writing, content, design and creativity. Judges may also consider distribution efforts, length of publication cycles and newsworthiness of stories when making their decisions.

“Now that our Chapter has received this honor, it will only make us work harder,” said Gloady. “I am proud to work with a staff that puts significant time and effort into making our newsletter and Chapter great.”

To view the latest issue of “Trending Topics,” please visit www.wuprssa.wordpress.com.

For more information about Waynesburg University PRSSA, please contact Megan Bayles, president of the Chapter, at bay2547@student.waynesburg.edu.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_StarChapterwithMegan.jpgWaynesburg University’s Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) was honored as a Star Chapter for the third consecutive year Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, at the PRSSA National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

PRSSA is present in four countries and oversees approximately 344 Chapters and 11,000 members. This year, only 43 of the organization’s chapters received Star Chapter status, placing Waynesburg University PRSSA in the top 13 percent.

“Receiving this recognition from PRSSA National is such an incredible and rewarding accomplishment,” said Jordan Mitrik, vice president of Waynesburg’s Chapter of PRSSA and firm director of Red Brick Communications. “This award means that our Chapter is among the best of the best and we are creating an innovative working environment for public relations students. It also reflects the overall strength of the public relations program at Waynesburg University.”

The Star Chapter recognition is awarded to PRSSA chapters that meet at least eight of 10 requirements set by the organization’s national headquarters. Requirements include attending a PRSSA national event, completing a community service initiative, conducting a high school outreach program and earning Chapter media recognition.

“We are very pleased to have received Star Chapter status for the third consecutive year. This award recognizes the diligent work of our students and staff,” said Richard Krause, chair of Waynesburg University’s Department of Communication and faculty adviser to Waynesburg’s Chapter of PRSSA. "Our student leaders have done a wonderful job with the Chapter. The accomplishments of the past year have been simply amazing!"

Waynesburg University’s PRSSA Chapter plans to apply for Star Chapter status again in 2016. As of November 18, 2015, the Chapter has met six of the ten requirements for next year’s award.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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Waynesburg University’s Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) was chosen to participate in Ketchum’s global initiative, Mindfire!

Ketchum is a full-service public relations agency with more than 130 offices in 70 countries that specialize in brand management, corporate communications and public relations. The company, which was named as one of the world’s top five public relations firms, is globally headquartered in New York City, and represents 19 of the world’s top 50 brands.

Mindfire! is Ketchum’s exclusive, award-winning initiative, driven by the advice of Thomas Edison, “to have a great idea, have a lot of them.” Mindfire! acts as a crowdsourcing platform, allowing both undergraduate and graduate students to work directly with the organization’s prestigious clients, including Polaris, 7-Eleven, Delta, Cottonelle and IKEA.

“Working with Ketchum and its well-known client list is an amazing opportunity for Chapter members to gain real-world public relations experience and exposure in the field,” said Richard Krause, chair of Waynesburg University’s Department of Communication and faculty adviser to Waynesburg’s Chapter of PRSSA. “Being chosen to participate in Mindfire! is a true honor, and I am excited to see where this partnership will lead.”

Each year, 40 of the world’s top colleges and universities are chosen to participate in the Mindfire! initiative. Students at the chosen colleges and universities are provided with challenge prompts via an online profile system. After reading each prompt, students can submit ideas and solutions for review. For each challenge, one winner is chosen and issued a prize.

In return for their ideas, students participating in Mindfire! are provided with points, which lead to incentives, including career counseling, gift cards, job and internship postings, workshops and webinar access. Points are issued for various actions, such as winning a challenge, submitting an idea, and commenting on and promoting others’ ideas.

“Beyond exposure and prizes, Mindfire! positions students to create fresh and original ideas without boundaries or fear,” said Ronald Tolson Jr., manager of Mindfire! “Sometimes what we may deem as a crazy idea, could be the best solution. We tell students that it just takes one unique idea to change the world.”

For more information about Waynesburg University PRSSA and its participation in Ketchum’s Mindfire! iniative, please contact Megan Bayles, president of Waynesburg University’s PRSSA Chapter, at bay2547@student.waynesburg.edu.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_IMG_0063-2.jpgMegan Bayles, senior public relations major from Carmichaels, recently earned the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) National Gold Key Award.

The National Gold Key Award is the highest individual honor bestowed upon members of PRSSA, and is given annually to seniors that excel in their academic study of public relations, have pursued ambitious professional development opportunities and are leaders in their PRSSA Chapter.

“I feel extremely honored to be a recipient of the National Gold Key Award,” said Bayles. “As one of PRSSA's highest honors, I feel as though all of my hard work is being rewarded; however, the notoriety and prestige of this award not only celebrates my hard work, but it also represents the amazing public relations program Waynesburg University has to offer.”

To be eligible, applicants must have held a PRSSA leadership position, completed at least one public relations internship, have a GPA of at least 3.4 in their major and intend to become a PRSA Associate Member within one year of graduating.

Bayles, Waynesburg University’s first recipient of this award, met all of the requirements for this award. She serves as Waynesburg University’s PRSSA Chapter President and has interned at the Intermediate Unit 1, a regional educational agency located in Coal Center, as well as at Elias/Savion, a marketing and public relations agency, located in Pittsburgh.

“Megan is very deserving of this recognition,” said Richard Krause, chairperson of the Department of Communication and faculty adviser to the Waynesburg University PRSSA Chapter. “She is a very effective leader who invests so much time in the Chapter.”

This is not the first time Bayles has received national attention for her work as a public relations student. Last fall, Bayles received first place in the Betsy Plank PRSSA Scholarship competition, an award granted annually to students that demonstrate dedication to the field, practical experience, academic excellence and proven leadership.

Bayles’ award is indicative of Waynesburg University’s PRSSA Chapter’s continued success amongst other chapters.

“Megan's receipt of this award is another acknowledgement of the rapid development of the chapter from a local entity to one that now receives national recognition,” said Krause. “It indicates that we are certainly competitive with other larger, successful national chapters, and it should encourage other members of the Chapter to pursue their dreams and aspirations with renewed vigor.”

Bayles received a plaque in recognition of her award and was honored at the PRSSA National Conference in Atlanta November 7.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail_headshot.jpgJordan Mitrik, a junior public relations major from Pittsburgh, Pa., recently won the Bob O’Gara Student Scholarship from the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). He accepted the award at the 2015 PRSA Pittsburgh Renaissance Awards Thursday, Jan. 29. 

This is the first time that a Waynesburg student has received the award, which is given annually to one outstanding public relations student in the Pittsburgh region. Mitrik met all of the scholarship requirements including high standards of achievement in academics, involvement in extracurricular activities, evidence of personal character, leadership and citizenship and demonstrated knowledge of and interest in the profession and practice of public relations. 

“I am truly honored to represent western Pennsylvania and the participating PRSSA Chapters as the scholarship recipient,” Mitrik said. “When people mention big names in the Pittsburgh public relations market, Bob O'Gara's name is always in the mix. He is a true advocate for students and a leader in the industry. He is a role model to me and I could not be more humbled to receive this type of recognition.”

Mitrik serves as the vice president of Waynesburg’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Chapter and as the director of Waynesburg University’s public relations student-run firm, Red Brick Communications. He works in the Office of University Relations as a student writer and as a recruiter for the University’s Department of Communication. 

In addition to his public relations responsibilities, Mitrik is president and captain of Waynesburg University's Men's Club Volleyball team, is a Leadership Scholar and is a member of Lambda Pi Eta, Waynesburg’s communication honor society. 

During his acceptance speech, Mitrik thanked God, his family, the Renaissance Awards Committee and Waynesburg University for his success. 

“It took determination, motivation and lots of coffee to bring me here today,” said Mitrik. “During moments of doubt, God was always involved. He placed me at Waynesburg University to experience these things and to bring me to this moment.” 

Eight members of the Waynesburg University PRSSA Chapter traveled to the event to volunteer and network. The annual ceremony celebrates the brightest stars and best work in Pittsburgh’s public relations community. 

The students arrived before the event began and assisted with set up, schedule review and prep work. During the ceremony, students managed the registration table, communicating with more than 150 public relations practitioners from the Pittsburgh area. Members were also responsible for handing out the awards to the winners. 

This is the third consecutive year the Waynesburg Chapter sent members to work the event after establishing a close connection with its parent Chapter, PRSA Pittsburgh.  

Chartered in 2010, the award-winning Waynesburg University Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America strives to prepare members for their future profession through experience, opportunity and achievement.

Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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