Elon senior elected PRSSA national president

Heather Harder will oversee the Public Relations Student Society of America's national committee and lead the organization’s 11,500 members and 338 chapters.

Heather Harder (in pink) with the newly elected PRSSA National Committee.
Elon University senior Heather Harder was elected to serve as 2014-15 national president for the Public Relations Student Society of America during the 2014 PRSSA National Assembly held March 13-16 in Charleston, S.C. 

Harder currently serves as national vice president of member services. In addition to running for national president, she led a public relations presentation for Charleston high school students, ran a day competition with Warner Bros. Television and led a leadership development session for 160 PRSSA members.

“PRSSA has helped launch my career and provided some of my best friends. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue leading this Society at the national level,” Harder said. “Elon’s professors were great support in preparing for the election. I am excited to see how this will help the already strong Elon PRSSA chapter grow.”

Heather Harder, new PRSSA president, with the immediate past PRSSA president.
This is the first time an Elon University student will lead PRSSA at the national level. This Society is the premier pre-professional organization for students interested in public relations and communications. Harder will oversee its national committee and lead the 11,500-member organization, which has more than 338 chapters nationwide and in Argentina.

Assistant professor Vanessa Bravo, who serves as Elon PRSSA’s faculty adviser, said Harder’s election is an honor for Elon and a well-deserved recognition.

“Heather is where she is now thanks to a journey of hard work, leadership, and positive attitude,” Bravo said. “She started in our chapter as a regular member in freshman year, became our chapter’s secretary during sophomore year, and was elected chapter president in her junior year. She also became engaged with PRSSA at a national level by attending two national conferences, two national assemblies, one leadership rally and, of course, by last year becoming the national vice president of member services.

“In other words, she is strongly prepared now to lead PRSSA as its president.”

During Harder’s term as Elon PRSSA’s president in 2012-13, the campus chapter grew its membership from 60 to 100 members. The chapter was recognized with the Chapter Pacesetter Award and, during the national conference in Philadelphia last fall, was one of a select few to receive the Star Chapter Award.