UWO PRSSA brings home Star Chapter Award

Jessica Johnson

Eight members of UW Oshkosh’s Public Relations Student Society of America went to Atlanta, Georgia and received a Star Chapter Award for their work on Nov. 9. Public relations director Madeline Fisher said PRSSA is a pre-professional club for college students interested in the field of public relations. The Oshkosh chapter is known as the Dr. Julie Henderson PRSSA Chapter, named after a recently retired PR professor. According to PRSSA President Megan Klamrowski, the Star Chapter Award goes to a PRSSA chapter recognized for going above and beyond in working with the community, campus and alumni. Klamrowski said the chapter worked extremely hard in the past year to work with the community and the alumni. “It is very important that we work hard to build strong relationships with those around us,” Klamrowski said. PRSSA member Mallory Radney said the club has to meet eight out of 10 requirements in order to receive the award. According to the PRSSA website, a few of these requirements include completing community service projects, strengthening relationships with the Public Relations Society of America sponsor chapter, giving attention to ethics in at least one meeting, gaining positive attention for the chapter in at least one campus or community publication and conducting a high school outreach session. Fisher said she was very excited to win the award because she was an active member of the club last year and participated in many projects that helped win the award. “While I was surprised, I also wasn’t surprised because UW Oshkosh PRSSA has an outstanding record of success at the national level,” Fisher said. Klamrowski said she is very proud of her chapter for receiving the Star Chapter Award. “We have all put a lot of time into making sure our chapter does everything possible to stay active,” Klamrowski said. While in Atlanta, the members also attended professional development sessions to learn and expand their knowledge of PR. According to Radney, the sessions focused on teaching students about what skills are necessary to market yourself as a PR professional and gave students tips to prepare them for applying for jobs and how to succeed in those jobs. Radney said the various topics included how to make a portfolio stand out to employers, growing writing skills, rebuilding resumes, networking tips and how to create meaningful connections. Klamrowski said the professional development sessions were amazing, and with so many topics to choose from, there was something for everyone. “Each of the sessions were relevant to present times [and] events,” Klamrowski said. “PR is a field that keeps you on your toes, and this conference definitely gives you a sense of the real world.” Fisher said one of the main things she learned from the sessions is the importance of putting in the time and effort not only behind the scenes to build skills, but also to develop an outward reflection. “You can’t have a great personal brand without great experiences and work, but you also can’t easily move forward in your career without a great personal brand,” Fisher said. Klamrowski said the best part about the trip was networking with professionals and students who will all be in the same field once graduated. “Everyone is on the same page as you, and they are willing to help you and give you ideas to be the best you can be,” Klamrowski said. Fisher said her favorite part about the trip was relationships that were built amongst the members from her own chapter. “We were able to learn and grow together as both professionals and individuals,” Fisher said. “In my opinion, the success of any club or team relies heavily on the relationships you form between members.” Klamrowski said the chapter is happy with the award and strives to do better every semester. “With the help of our amazing members, we have accomplished a lot this year and plan on continuing to grow and learn,” Klamrowski said.