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April 15, 2011
By Misha Ray
The Public Relations Student Society of America, PRSSA, is a national organization for students studying public relations. The Associated Students of the University of Nevada PRSSA chapter, a recognized club in the Donald W. Reynolds School of Journalism, recently sent one member to the PRSSA National Assembly to vote on national bylaws, elect a new national committee and participate in various competitions and workshops.
Lindsay Panko, a 21-year-old journalism student, applied to be the University of Nevada, Reno’s PRSSA delegate through an application process and was selected by a student and professional panel. As the current vice president for the University’s Theodore Conover chapter, Panko left for Seattle last month, anxious and excited about going alone.
“Not only was I taken out of my comfort zone by not knowing the city, I didn’t know anyone when I arrived,” Panko said. “But it was a great way to test my adventurous spirit. The people I met that weekend are now people I know I can talk to about our individual chapters and love for PR throughout my life.”
The conference started unofficially with a competition. The client for this year’s competition was Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative, a program to help eliminate childhood obesity. Panko’s group suggested a school field trip event called “Let’s Move with the Mariners,” including Seattle’s Major League Baseball team and inviting Seattle’s Public School District fourth graders to participate.
Panko’s group presented a comprehensive PR plan and was selected the winner of the competition for having the most creative and best overall campaign for the client. Each member of the group won $50 and bragging rights.
Following the day of competition, there was a chapter development day where “we learned about national initiatives that our chapters can be a part of and were able to share individual problems our chapters face and learn ways that others have overcome them.”
Panko has returned to the University of Nevada “excited to help make PRSSA Nevada even better than it already is,” she said “I would like to hold a regional conference next spring showcasing the amazing professionals we have in our unique area. I would also like to see more members attend the national conference, this year held in Orlando, Fla. in the fall. I would also like to see PRSSA Nevada recognized through national awards offered through PRSSA National. We are lucky to have a great relationship with our professional chapter, the Sierra Nevada Chapter of PRSA, and that deserves recognition.”
“I honestly believe anyone who has the chance should attend a national event. It motivates you to be your best self and encourage your fellow students to be their most excellent. My energy has been renewed and I’m excited that I can share that with my chapter and fellow PR students at UNR.”