The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter at The University of Alabama was honored with multiple chapter and individual awards at the recent PRSSA International Conference in San Diego.
In addition to being named a PRSSA Star Chapter, UA’s PRSSA chapter also received the Teahan National Chapter Awards for Chapter Diversity and Outstanding Faculty Adviser to C&IS faculty member Tracy Sims.
“Our executive board has actively worked to seamlessly integrate diversity and inclusion into our organization’s mission and activities since adding a vice president of diversity and inclusion officer position in 2017-18 and forming a Diversity and Inclusion committee in 2018-19,” Sims said. “It’s wonderful to have those efforts recognized with the Chapter Diversity Award.”
According to the Public Relations Society of America, the Chapter Diversity Award recognizes outstanding commitment to diversity within the PRSSA Chapter, and is judged on activities performed to promote, generate awareness and encourage diversity within the chapter. The Outstanding Faculty Adviser Award is given each year to the faculty adviser who shows outstanding service to the PRSSA Chapter through dedication and creative chapter guidance, effective student motivation, exceptional contributions to public relations education, supportive chapter advocacy and representation within the academic department and with the local PRSA chapter sponsoring chapter and its members.
“I am both proud and honored to be at the helm of this amazing department, talented and giving faculty, and exemplary students,” said Dr. Damion Waymer, Advertising and Public Relations Department Chair at C&IS. “This recognition is external validation for the hard work and investment we put into ensuring that our curriculum is current, rigorous and prepares our students adequately for work in the public relations industry.”
In addition to the chapter awards, three C&IS students were awarded scholarships through the PRSSA/PRSA Foundation: Gabrielle Sirois received the John D. Graham Scholarship; graduate student Gloris Trujillo received the Neumeier Family Leadership Award; and Kathleen McManus received the Lawrence G. Foster Award. These scholarships all carry over $1,000 worth of funding.
“Serving as the UA PRSSA faculty adviser since 2008 has been a true pleasure,” Sims said. “I get to work with some of our best students — such as our three scholarship recipients — as they develop their leadership skills and knowledge of the profession.”
UA’s PRSSA chapter was founded in 1970 and currently boasts over 180 members. This marks the third time that UA’s PRSSA chapter has been named a Star Chapter.