Ben Butler - Geneva’s PRSSA President
After persevering through a two-year process, Geneva College was granted charter by the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) on May 1, 2012. The PRSSA is recognized as the foremost organization in the country for students interested in public relations and communications. The group advocates rigorous academic standards for public relations education, the highest ethical principles and diversity in the profession.
In order enhance the communications program and further their growth as public relations professionals, students worked alongside communications professor, and PRSSA faculty advisor, Jeffrey Schindel. Together, they successfully addressed the requirements necessary to be granted chapter status.
“It took a lot of work,” says PRSSA president Ben Butler, “but it was definitely worth it. The public relations students here are very passionate about what they do and I’m glad the elite, academic community will get to see that as we contribute.”
Geneva College is pleased to be a part of the PRSSA, and will now be able to offer variety of new opportunities to Geneva students. The students involved with the PRSSA celebrated when they heard the news and are looking forward to participating in the chapter’s activities.
“I am very excited about having a PRSSA chapter here at Geneva,” says vice president Kati Campbell. “I see this opening up many opportunities for our public relations department, as well as the chance for us to connect with other chapters in the surrounding areas.”
As a PRSSA chapter, Geneva has access to a variety of high quality benefits and experiences for its members. “This national pre-professional organization offers our students access to scholarships, national case study competitions, internships, regional conferences and career networking opportunities,” says Schindel.
The chapter currently has 13 members. In addition to Butler and Campbell, the other officers are Judith Campbell, secretary; Julia Schademan, treasurer; Erica Shaffer, historian; and Pamela Matteo, media manager.
Geneva’s chapter has already begun it’s planning process and looks forward to involving more members as it starts hosting events in the upcoming fall semester. Chapter leaders expect to bring in speakers, facilitate professional development events, tour local public relations agencies and more.
“Our regional involvement in the PRSSA will enhance our PR program in the communication department,” says Schindel. “It is my hope that this affiliation will assist Geneva to recruit academically strong students who are interested in learning PR from a Christ-centered perspective and to be servant-leaders who are used by the Lord to transform society for the Kingdom of Christ.”
Several members of the Geneva community have suggested that the group choose John 3:30 as its theme verse, since Geneva is the 330th chapter of the PRSSA: “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Schindel feels that the verse seems to capture the essences of the chapter’s identity. He also feels that it clearly communicates how public relations is taught and practiced at Geneva.
~Ben Butler ’14
Psychology students present work at regional conferences annually.