by Breanne Andersen, 2012-13 President, GVSU PRSSA
Recently Grand Valley State University’s PRSSA Chapter (GV PRSSA) had the opportunity to travel to San Francisco for the PRSSA 2012 National Conference. The trip offered our chapter a host of opportunities.
This year’s theme, “Bridging the Gap,” was about connecting our pre-professional self to experts in the public relations industry. We had the chance to network with other student chapters from across the country and with professionals from own West Michigan PRSA chapter. We also had the chance to reflect and gain insight on our present and post-graduation goals.
Last year at National Conference we were chosen to present a Chapter Development Session for the first time. This year we found our Chapter presenting again. Not only is presenting at National Conference a large accomplishment both personally, professionally and for our university, but we were awarded the Star Chapter Award for the first time in years.
Throughout the summer our chapter spent many hours prepping for our Chapter Development Session in San Francisco. This year, we presented on the close relationship we have with our parent chapter, WMPRSA. We discussed the mentorship program we have which is where members of GV PRSSA are paired with professionals from WMPRSA who share the same interest in the public relations field. A few other topics that were touched on included sponsorships from WMPRSA and volunteering. After the presentation we were proud to say “that’s one national initiative accomplished!” That was not the only thing we crossed off the “to-do” list at National Conference.
This award is a distinction that chapters can earn through meeting specific chapter and professional development goals. Chapters must meet eight of 10 requirements which include initiating and implementing at least one community service project, give attention to ethics in at least one chapter meeting and strengthen your relationship with your parent chapter, just to name a few. The Star Chapter Award signifies more than just an “award”–it’s a reminder and symbol of how hard our chapter has worked over the years and how we continue to work harder every year. We could not do it without out the support from members, our professional advisor (Katie Woodruff) and faculty advisor (Dr. Tim Penning) and all of the other professionals who put their faith in our chapter and help make chapter meetings meaningful and beneficial.
As president of GV PRSSA, I am more than pleased to see our chapter setting, accomplishing and exceeding the goals set by myself and the rest of my executive board.
[Check the GVSU PRSSA blog soon for posts from each student about what they learned in San Francisco].