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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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With an office overlooking the busy streets of Fifth Avenue in New York, N.Y., Rebecca (Lewis) Caruso, a 1979 alumna, has traveled a long way from her days as an English major at Waynesburg College. Her experience at Waynesburg has led to a highly successful public relations career and her position as the Executive Vice President for Corporate Communications at L'Oreal USA.

 

The Waynesburg University Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Chapter invited Caruso to speak to students as part of the Chapter's third annual PR Week. Caruso happily accepted the invitation to speak about her career, her passion and her role as a vice president for a large company.

 

In her current role, Caruso oversees all external communications efforts, including media relations, government relations, sustainable development, philanthropy and crisis communications for L'Oreal USA. She also manages two L'Oreal programs that recognize women researchers in the field of science and advocate career opportunities in science to young women.

 

“Our programs recognize and help advance women and girls in science,” Caruso said. “As the mother of two daughters, I certainly appreciate the importance of the roles that women play in science but science is also a strong part of L'Oreal's DNA. We're all about science and over half of our scientists are women. We really walk the talk.”

 

After graduating from Waynesburg College with a bachelor's degree in English, Caruso went on to receive her graduate degree in corporate communications in 1984. Caruso started her first job as the assistant director of public relations for a Pittsburgh college. It was in this position that Caruso discovered her passion for working with the media.

 

This new found passion led Caruso to a variety of positions in the Mid-West. She worked for a number of companies in communication roles, including Coldwell Banker Commercial Real Estate; the world's largest public relations firm, Edelman; American Motors; Chrysler; and McDonald's. She moved back to the East Coast after joining Toys “R” Us as Vice President of Corporate Communications for six years where she built the company's first corporate communications department before ultimately accepting her current position with L'Oreal.

 

“One of the things I have liked best about my career is that I moved around a bit and have had lots of opportunities that were completely out of my comfort zone,” Caruso said. “It's been a wonderful experience.”

 

Looking back, Caruso acknowledges that her involvement and studies at Waynesburg helped prepare her to take the path to where she is today.

 

“I always think back fondly on my Waynesburg experience,” she said. “The education I received has served me well for as far as I've come.”


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Excited to make a 1,700 mile journey across the country to benefit Waynesburg University's Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter, two students packed their bags and set out for Albuquerque, N.M., this spring.

 

Molly Winters, a sophomore public relations major from Beaver Falls, Pa., and Brittany Semco, a sophomore public relations and design major from Jamestown, R.I., attended the 2013 PRSSA National Assembly Thursday, April 4, through Sunday, April 7, hoping to bring valuable skills back to Waynesburg's Chapter.

 

The PRSSA National Assembly gathers every year to make influential, long-term decisions about the future of the Society. During this three-day conference, a new National Committee is elected, bylaws of the Society are reviewed and attendees are given the chance to participate in leadership training and networking.

 

Seeing their involvement with the National Assembly as a valuable resource for the Waynesburg Chapter, both Winters and Semco were eager to travel to the conference and experience everything the National Assembly had to offer.

 

“I was very honored to be able to represent Waynesburg University at a national event,” Winters said. “The opportunity left me with valuable ideas that I can share with our Chapter to better it and continue its growth. I made a lot of new friends in Chapters across the country that I can continue to share ideas with throughout the semester.”

 

Winters and Semco currently hold the positions of President and Public Relations Director, respectively, in the Waynesburg PRSSA Chapter, which was designed to enhance the education of public relations students.

 

“We are currently in only our third year as a Chapter, and we have become recognized by the PRSA Pittsburgh Chapter as one of the more aggressive and active Chapters in the region,” said Richard Krause Jr., chair of the department of communication and faculty adviser to Waynesburg University's PRSSA.

 




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