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Elon PRSSA co-hosts regional conference

The two-day event, attended by more than 100 students, professionals and scholars, was organized in partnership with the PRSSA chapter at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Associate Professor Naeemah Clark presented the keynote address at the “Diversity in PR: Embracing Culture and Change” conference, co-hosted by Elon University’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. Photos courtesy of Vanessa Bravo

​Nearly 100 college students from North Carolina, as well as several from Florida and Ohio, attended the “Diversity in PR: Embracing Culture and Change” conference, co-hosted Feb. 19-20 by Elon University’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).

The executive board members of Elon’s chapter organized the regional conference in partnership with Carolina PRSSA, the local chapter at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Following a Feb. 19 meet and greet in downtown Chapel Hill, the conference’s Feb 20 events were held in Carroll Hall, home of UNC’s School of Media and Journalism.

In the months leading up to the conference, Elon strategic communications majors Meghan Windle (PRSSA president), Jeremy Eisengrein (vice president), Lea Silverman (treasurer), Jessica Long (public relations director), Caitlin Phelan (secretary) and Victoria Labenberg (historian) coordinated the event with their Carolina PRSSA counterparts.

The conference’s extensive lineup of guest speakers and panelists included Lindsay Priester (Rick Rountree Communications), Valerie Fields (V.K. Fields & Co.), Holly Millet (Capstrat), LaToya Evans (Bank of America headquarters), Josh Young (Capstrat), Kelly Williamson (APCO Worldwide), Livis Freeman (4ourfans, Inc.), Katelyn Dramis (Nebo), Stephanie Llorente (Prep Communications), and Victoria Lewis (PRSSA Nationals).

Denise Hill (second from right), an instructor in the School of Communications, participated in a panel discussion titled “Women in PR.”

​Additionally, Elon and UNC professors were on hand to share their expertise with attendees. Associate Professors Naeemah Clark and Bill Anderson, Assistant Professor Jessalynn Strauss and Instructor Denise Hill were among the Elon School of Communications faculty members who participated. Clark provided the event’s keynote address.

Susan King, dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, and Assistant Professor Joe Cabosky represented UNC at the conference. King presented a morning welcome message and attended the Feb. 20 sessions and panel discussions.

“I am very impressed by how well it was organized,” said Assistant Professor Vanessa Bravo, Elon PRSSA’s faculty adviser, who attended the conference. “Elon and UNC students coordinated all the logistics, found great speakers, attracted almost 100 peers from several states, promoted the conference online and offline, and delivered a flawless event.”

​A pre-professional society, PRSSA has more than 11,500 members clustered in more than 340 chapters, both in the United States and abroad. The Elon PRSSA chapter has about 40 members and has won several accolades, including the Star Chapter Award.

Tommy Kopetskie,
Staff
2/23/2016 1:50 PM