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b2ap3_thumbnail_ConferenceLogoJPEG.jpgWaynesburg University’s Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) will host a regional conference Friday, April 8, through Saturday, April 9, 2016. The event, which will take place on Waynesburg’s campus, will afford attendees the opportunity to network with public relations professionals and expand their knowledge of the field.

“Caffeinate Your Career,” the slogan defining Waynesburg PRSSA’s regional conference, symbolizes stimulating your career to ensure success in the professional world.

“It [the theme] is intended to play off of the running joke in PR: that we all run on coffee due to the demands of our positions,” said Samantha Peer, senior public relations major and co-director of the regional conference. “Within the event, we plan to incorporate coffee-themed speakers and favors, as well as a community outreach initiative centered around coffee.”

PRSSA chooses approximately 10 of its chapters to host regional conferences each year. Chapters interested in hosting a regional conference must submit a bid form to PRSSA Headquarters outlining the conference’s budget, logistics, promotion plan, schedule and theme. Bid forms are reviewed and chapters are chosen by PRSSA Headquarters, as well as its national president and vice president of regional conferences.

“The process of bidding for the regional conference was challenging and nerve wracking, but exciting at the same time,” said Peer. “Basically, when bidding, you are planning everything, start to finish, so that your Chapter presents itself as though it is prepared to take on this large responsibility.”

Richard Krause, chair of Waynesburg University’s Department of Communication and faculty adviser to Waynesburg’s Chapter of PRSSA, expresses his excitement to host a regional conference, as it will recognize the hard work and dedication of the institution’s public relations students.

“Hosting a regional conference has been one of our Chapter’s goals since its inception, and now, just five short years later, we are fulfilling that objective,” said Krause. “This is a large feat, especially since we are the smallest university that was chosen to host a conference. However, I have confidence in our students and their abilities to execute a well-planned, professional event.”

For more information about Waynesburg University PRSSA’s regional conference, “Caffeinate Your Career,” please visit

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

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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

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b2ap3_thumbnail_communication.jpgThe Waynesburg University Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Chapter will host its fifth annual Public Relations Week from April 13 to 17. The week will consist of 12 programs, all of which will be held on the main campus of Waynesburg University.

Public Relations Week includes a series of professional development events and workshops intended for students pursuing communication-related fields. Prominent industry professionals will address audience members about the ever-changing field of public relations.

“PR Week is designed to provide our current students with knowledge of the public relations industry,” said Richard Krause, adviser for Waynesburg's PRSSA chapter and assistant professor and chair of the Department of Communication. “We scheduled a very diverse list of speakers in order to give students insight into as many fields of public relations as possible.”

This year’s programs feature speakers such as Elizabeth Bacheson, senior public relations and social media specialist at Elias/Savion Advertising, and Brian Price, assistant account executive at Edelman.

Public Relations Week will also include an alumni panel, a sports information panel presentation and an induction ceremony for new Chapter members.

The Chapter cordially invites all Waynesburg University students, faculty and staff interested in the fields of public relations, advertising, business or marketing. The event is also open to the general public interested in the field or networking with professionals.

Public Relations Week is sponsored by Waynesburg University’s PRSSA Chapter. PRSSA is an international, professional organization for students in communication-related fields. The organization strives to serve students, to enhance their educations, broaden their networks and launch their careers.

Most recently, the University’s PRSSA Chapter was awarded Star Chapter status for the second consecutive year. Out of PRSSA’s 350 plus chapters, 31 received Star Chapter status for the 2014 academic school year. This recognition is given to only the most prestigious of Chapters, categorizing them as the organization's top performers.

For more information, contact Megan Bayles at

Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

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11-12-megan-bayles.jpgWaynesburg 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.

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

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b2ap3_thumbnail_Screen-Shot-2014-10-23-at-10.44.40-AM.pngWaynesburg University’s Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) was awarded the Star Chapter Award for meeting specific chapter and professional development goals for the second consecutive year.

“It is especially gratifying to achieve this accomplishment in consecutive years given we have just begun our fifth year as a chapter,” said Richard Krause, chair of the Department of Communication and faculty adviser to Waynesburg’s Chapter of PRSSA. “We are well ahead of the long-term goals and objectives that we established for the public relations major and the PRSSA chapter when we first started the process.”

The Public Relations Student Society of America National Committee evaluates the performance of PRSSA chapters and awards the recognition to chapters that meet at least eight of the following 10 requirements:

  • Conduct a high school outreach session and/or promote Affiliate membership to a nearby community college
  • Confirm attendance by at least one Chapter member at National Conference, National Assembly, a Regional Conference or Leadership Rally
  • Confirm that at least 10 percent of graduating seniors applied for PRSA Associate Membership
  • Confirm that at least one Chapter member applies for an individual National PRSSA scholarship or award
  • Confirm that the Chapter applied for at least one national PRSSA award
  • Extend an invitation to students/faculty from other disciplines to attend at least one Chapter meeting
  • Gain positive attention for the Chapter in at least one campus or community publication or other media
  • Give attention to ethics in at least one chapter meeting
  • Initiate and complete at least one community service project
  • Strengthen the Chapter’s relationship with its Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) sponsor chapter

In just its fifth year of existence, Waynesburg’s Chapter of PRSSA is one of 328 schools nationally associated with PRSSA, the student counterpart of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

Waynesburg’s Chapter was one of 31 from around the country honored with Star Chapter status.

“This recognition means that our Chapter is one of the best in the nation,” said Megan Bayles, junior public relations major and the president of Waynesburg’s Chapter of PRSSA. “This award shows that we are doing things right, and we are offering our members all of the opportunities needed to succeed in the fast-paced world of public relations.”

Bayles added that receiving the Star Chapter Award reflects the hard work and dedication of the Chapter’s members and executive board.

“Gaining the honor of Star Chapter is not an easy feat to accomplish,” said Bayles. “It takes motivated members with innovative ideas and strong work ethics as well as strong and active leadership from advisers and our executive board. I feel so blessed to be part of a chapter with such great potential and such amazing members.”

The Chapter’s next goals are to apply for the Dr. F.H. Teahan Chapter Awards sponsored by PRSSA as well as to obtain National Affiliation for the Chapter’s student-run firm, Red Brick Communications.

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Ashley Wise, Senior Writer/Editor

724.852.7675 or

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