Dr. F.H. Teahan Award for PRSA/ PRSSA Relationship

Courtesy of Belmont University PRSSA

The Dr. F. H. Teahan Awards in PRSSA honor Chapters for outstanding performance in various categories. These are considered some of the most coveted awards by PRSSA Chapters. The Dr. F.H. Teahan Award for PRSA/PRSSA Relationship is no different.

I had the opportunity to talk to the current Chapter Presidents of the 2016 and 2017 winning Chapters — Ohio Northern and Belmont University.

The 2016 winner of the PRSA/PRSSA Relationship Award, Ohio Northern, can set an example for all Chapters. They’re excellence in communication and partnership with their PRSA sponsor Chapter is superior. The PRSA extension has been created to serve the PRSSA Chapter. Taking advantage of this is crucial to the Chapter as a whole because of the abundant resources they provide. These resources include things such as connections to professionals, recommendation letters, internships and mentor/mentee opportunities. I had the opportunity to discuss with Shannon Jack, current Ohio Northern PRSSA Chapter president, about how her Chapter was so successful in their relationship with their PRSA sponsor Chapter.

Q: What does your Chapter do to strengthen your relationship with your sponsor Chapter?

A: “Our Chapter strengthens our relationship with our sponsor Chapter by frequently attending Central Ohio PRSA (COPRSA) luncheons. These monthly luncheons serve as an opportunity for students to connect and network with COPRSA members. This month, several ONU PRSSA students attended Match Day, where they were able to shadow and learn from COPRSA professionals in the Columbus, Ohio area. We followed up with a handwritten letter to show our appreciation and solidify a strong relationship.”

Q: How has this relationship benefited your Chapter members?

A: “Our relationship with COPRSA has been invaluable. Many of our graduates go on to work in the Columbus area thanks to the pre-existing network they’ve built. COPRSA members are always very generous and willing to speak at our weekly PRSSA meetings. Learning from seasoned professionals has undoubtedly helped us grow in our careers.”

Q:What does winning the Dr. F.H. Teahan Award for PRSA/PRSSA Relationship mean to your Chapter?

A: “Winning the 2016 Teahan Award for PRSA/PRSSA Relationship was a very proud moment. Whenever we’re fortunate enough to win something, we see it as a token of our hard work and competitive mentality. It’s reassuring to know we’re doing something right, especially when it comes to PRSA relationships!”

Q: Why do you encourage other Chapters to connect with their PRSA sponsor Chapters?

A: “Our Faculty Adviser, Dr. Alisa Agozzino, has continuously instilled in us the importance of building a strong PRSA/PRSSA relationship. We encourage Chapter members to attend COPRSA events because a strong network will lead to a successful future.”

The 2017 winner of the PRSA/PRSSA Relationship Award, Belmont University, is no different. They have excelled in their efforts with their PRSA sponsor Chapter, and truly showed their love and appreciate for them. They took advantage of this relationship to the fullest and they can be seen as an example to all. I also had the opportunity to talk to Belmont University PRSSA Chapter President, Cayli Allen, about how her Chapter interacts with its sponsor Chapter.

Q: What does your Chapter do to strengthen your relationship with your sponsor Chapter?

A: “Our Chapter is very fortunate to have a very strong PRSA sponsor Chapter whose members are always looking for ways to get involved with our students. Our Chapter regularly has PRSA Nashville members speak at events, our members often attend PRSA luncheons and our Chapter volunteers at PRSA’s annual awards banquet. We also have many PRSA Nashville members serve as mentors in our Chapter’s mentorship program.”

Q: How does your Chapter focus on this relationship on its programming?

A: “Many of our monthly alumni spotlight speaker series guests have been PRSA leaders, including Kia Jarmon, who spoke about diversity in August and had more than 85 students come listen to her speak. PRSA Nashville President, Lauren Reed, recently celebrated relationship month with our Chapter, where she spoke and encouraged students to go “all in” in their desired career field. She also encouraged students to get involved with PRSA even before graduation and then transition into it down the line.”

Q: How has this relationship benefited your Chapter members?

A: “By having students attend PRSA luncheons, hosting PRSA speakers and having PRSA members as mentors, students are able to benefit by creating these relationships, learning how to network and for some students, eventually leads into a job or internship. PRSA Nashville helps us financially by providing us with funds to attend PRSSA National Conference every year which we are very grateful for.”

Q: What does winning the Dr. F.H. Teahan Award for PRSA/PRSSA Relationship mean to your Chapter?

A: “Since being chartered in 2005, Belmont PRSSA has received this award three times. Staying connected with our sponsor Chapter is a huge priority for us. I am so thankful for PRSA Nashville and the support they have given and continue to give to our Chapter. I believe that we truly have a unique relationship with our “parent” Chapter thanks to people like Lauren Reed who constantly help our Chapter as speakers, mentors and some of our biggest cheerleaders.”

Q: Why do you encourage other Chapters to connect with their PRSA sponsor Chapters?

A: “By connecting with your PRSA sponsor Chapter, your membership is able to grow professionally and see what a career in public relations could be like first hand. This also enhances the profession and helps inspire students to join professional organizations after college because they learn the benefits of them.”

Developing their relationship with their PRSA sponsor Chapter has allowed Ohio Northern and Belmont University to not only be highlighted on a national level by receiving this award but also on a local level. They have been able to take full advantage of their PRSSA experience and continue making those connections with their PRSA affiliates that have promoted their use of mentors. They have also been able to stand out from other Chapters by remaining strong in their relationship with PRSA.

Laurie Vazquez is a senior at Indiana University Northwest. She is IU Northwest’s Intern Queen Campus Ambassador and a member of PRSSA National’s industry news and current events subcommittee. She is also a part of Phi Theta Kappa and the National Society of Leadership and Success. 

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