Tuscaloosa, Ala. – The University of Alabama’s (UA) chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) received a Star Chapter Award from national PRSSA. UA was one of 38 schools chosen for the award.

The UA PRSSA chapter earned the distinction for its contributions to Tuscaloosa, the University, national PRSSA and for having at least one professional client. The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Foundation selected the PRSSA’s award recipients that met eight out of 11 possible contributions.

After completing various required activities, the student organization wrote an application outlining its work. The chapter completed and applied for the following eight categories during the 2022-2023 academic year: 

  • A high school outreach session.
  • Building relationships with a sponsoring PRSA chapter.
  • Attention to ethics.
  • An application for a national chapter award.
  • A community service project.
  • Attendance to at least one PRSSA conference.
  • Positive media exposure for the chapter.
  • A pro bono project for a client.

Given annually, the Star Chapter Award covers each academic year. UA’s PRSSA chapter has earned the award seven times: 2015, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Current UA PRSSA president Katie Croft said, “A Star Chapter designation means that we have gone above and beyond for our members. We have not only provided them a space where they can learn and network, but somewhere they are encouraged and pushed forward. I believe that other schools will see our designation as a Star chapter and expect more from our students than the standard. This award sets UA apart; while many colleges and universities have a PRSSA chapter, not all have a Star PRSSA chapter. The University and its faculty and staff have encouraged us students to push ourselves and expect more of ourselves, and that has translated into our extracurriculars.”

All Star Chapters will be recognized at the international ICON PRSA/PRSSA conference, scheduled for October in Nashville, Tennessee. They may receive other chapter-level honors there, as well.

UA’s PRSSA applied for six awards this year, including Outstanding Chapter, Chapter Firm, Community Service, University Service, Chapter Diversity and Chapter Website.

The organization’s faculty adviser, Tracy Sims, said, “It’s wonderful to see our chapter’s commitment to providing a quality experience for our members recognized in this way. It challenges our board members to seek opportunities to further the public relations industry and the professional development of all our members through community service, ethical leadership and relationship building.”

Sims is a senior instructor in UA’s Department of Advertising & Public Relations (A+PR), where she also serves as an undergraduate program coordinator and a co-faculty adviser for Capstone Agency. Croft is an A+PR student and a member of Capstone Agency.