PRSSA founding chapter at CLU

California Lutheran University is setting out to become the host to a new chapter of an organization called the Public Relations Student Society of America. Dr. Jean Sandlin, assistant professor of communication, has been working for years to bring public relations professionals together to start a sponsorship for student chapters in the area, and was finally approved this August to start a regional chapter.

PRSSA is a sector of a national organization called Public Relations Society of America. PRSSA, while open to all students of Cal Lutheran, is an organization that focuses on informing students about the roles and uses of public relations to better prepare them for careers after graduation and beyond, especially for those who are looking to go into a public relations career.

“[PRSA] is the largest organization of public relations professionals in the nation,” said Sandlin, faculty adviser of the Cal Lutheran PRSSA chapter and founding president of the PRSA California Gold Coast chapter. “It’s a great place to find internships, jobs and for networking.”

The California Gold Coast chapter was founded this summer and includes the Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. Even though the chapter is brand new, Cal Lutheran is well on its way to become one of the first schools to have a PRSSA chapter sponsored by them. In fact, Cal Lutheran already held its first PRSSA interest meeting earlier this October and is currently in the process of trying to elect student board members.

“One of the things this type of chapter offers is an opportunity for students to grow while they’re still in college,” said junior Madison Leonard, who is interested in becoming the first vice president. “My goal is to create a foundation for students.”

Sandlin also emphasized building a foundation and carving a path for future students at the interest meeting in October. The founding board will be in charge of creating many of the guidelines by which the future members will follow, such as creating a constitution for the Cal Lutheran chapter.

“The fact that [PRSSA] is new to CLU is what draws me into it,” senior Dalee Jungsaid. “I decided I need to be more involved before I graduate.”

While Leonard said she is interested in taking on a leadership role to help this new chapter navigate its way through the first year of establishment, Jung said she is interested in learning more about the public relations industry and being surrounded by students with the same interests as herself.

Sandlin said she hopes this chapter will help students, both undergraduate and graduate, learn more about the industry and help them to make connections with professionals in the public relations realm whether they hope to go into the industry.

“[PRSSA] offers professional development,” Sandlin said. “With PRSA, you’ll always have a place to go to find the answers.”

Sandlin encourages all students and staff who would like to get involved with the Cal Lutheran PRSSA chapter, or simply get more information about PRSSA, to contact her at [email protected] for more information.

Sophomore Sydney Dawn is involved in the startup of PRSSA. For more information you can contact her at [email protected]

 

Sydney Dawn

Staff Writer

Published October 22, 2014