USI Public Relations Student Society of America

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2008 attendees of 'Half Day with a Pro' in Indianapolis

What is PRSSA?

PRSSA, the Public Relations Student Society of America, is a pre-professional organization that helps students network with PR professionals, because it's not only what you know, but who you know, too.  We're a student public relations organization with chapters on college campuses throughout the United States. The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), an organization of professional public relations practitioners, formed PRSSA to help students develop better public relations skills and network with professionals in their field.

USI's chapter was formed in 1996 and has grown rapidly since. During the 1999-2000 school year, USI awarded the chapter with the Outstanding Campus Contribution Award for its selfless service to campus clubs and community organizations.  The Program of the Year award was presented to the club during the 2000-2001 school year for the annual ARK Crisis Nursery Toy Drive.  To learn how you can get involved, check out How to Join.

Each year, we have the opportunity to work on a national case study, network with our PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) chapter in Indianapolis, and have speakers at our meetings to help our members understand the different aspects of PR and help them decide which field they would like to go into.

Official Membership dues are $72 for 2 semesters. These dues, which you may pay either in the Fall or Spring Semester, make you eligible for scholarships, conferences, and give you a discount membership when you make the jump from PRSSA to PRSA. Your membership runs for a full 12 months.

PRSSA Membership Benefits

PRSSA provides opportunities for students to practice the skills they have learned in class in real-life situations.  Many public relations firms look for recent college graduates to have PRSSA membership on their resume because it indicates experience and their initiative to get involved.  Following are other ways PRSSA can work for you.

Membership in PRSSA gives you the opportunity to meet professionals in your field and create a network of contacts. These people can include members of your chapter, other chapter members within your region, PRSA members, and other professionals who support PRSSA.  When meeting these individuals, you have a chance to showcase your talents and make important contacts for future jobs, internships or job recommendations. This year members attended the Hoosier Pro Chapter's "Half Day with a Pro" job-shadowing event. USI students not only made valuable contacts with pros, but also got to see public relations in action!

Professional Development
Hands-on experience working with extracurricular activities such as a canned food drive or toy drive gives valuable experience in special event planning, media relations, writing, and design.  It is an excellent opportunity to develop items for your portfolio.

Academic Competition
PRSSA has competed for and won awards at USI.  PRSSA plans to compete for campus and national PRSSA awards during this school year.

Scholarship Opportunities
Members can apply for national scholarships offered through PRSSA.

Professional Publications
By joining PRSSA, students can receive copies of professional publications such as Forum and Tactics. Forum is PRSSA's national publication which provides tips on writing, job hunting, career planning, local and national PRSSA events, the professional development of members and other topics of concern to students.  Articles are written by PRSSA members, faculty advisors, and public relations professionals.  Forum is published three times a year by a PRSSA chapter chosen annually by the National Committee. Tactics is PRSA's monthly newspaper that is mailed to chapters across the nation each month.  It brings you the latest ideas, trends and techniques in media relations, employee communications and dozens of other vital areas within the public relations discipline.

October 2008 -- Ten members of the USI Chapter of PRSSA (some shown here with advisors Dr. and Mrs. Gael L. Cooper), attended the 40th annual PRSSA Convention, this time held at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan. National and Regional Conferences
Members have the opportunity to travel to national or regional PRSSA conferences. Conferences allow students to meet hundreds of public relations students, listen to renown speakers, and run for national office. In October 2008, ten members of the USI Chapter of PRSSA (some shown here with advisors Dr. and Mrs. Gael L. Cooper), attended the 40th annual PRSSA Convention, this time held at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan. The center is the home of General Motors, one of the sponsors of the PRSSA and PRSA conventions. Our national conference is always held in tandem with the professional one. In 2009, we're gearing up to go the National Conference to be held in San Diego, California. Conventions have been held in Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Boston, Anaheim, Chicago and Atlanta, just to name a few.

How to Join PRSSA at USI

Dues are $72 per year and can be paid either in the Fall or the Spring.  Dues can be paid to any PRSSA officer or Dr. Gael Cooper. When paying dues, please complete the form available by clicking here :Membership Form. Anyone who is a PRSSA member at the time of graduation, can receive a low rate to join PRSA as an associate member, more than a 50% discount on the regular PRSA associate membership fees. For more information about joining PRSSA, contact Dr. Gael Cooper at

PRSSA\USI Leadership

The list of officers will be posted shortly.

Coming Events

Holday Party - RSVP by Tuesday, Dec. 2 to Heather Richey.
Hacienda - West Side at 6 p.m.
National PRSSA / PRSA Convention
San Diego, CA
Gary Yoshimura Scholarship applications due to PRSSA
The following items are due to PRSSA Headquarters for the National Assembly:
Registration forms
Candidate nomination forms
Room assignment forms
National dues to PRSSA
PRSSA 2009 National Assembly
New Orleans
Bateman Competition entries due to PRSSA
PRSA Multicultural Affairs Scholarship applications due to PRSSA
Internship Applications due to PRSSA Headquarters
The following National Scholarship Applications due to PRSSA Headquarters:
Betsy Plank/PRSSA Scholarship
Gold Key Award
Hall of Fame Award
Lawrence G. Foster Award
National President’s Citation
Professor Sidney Gross Memorial Award
Stephen D. Pisinski Memorial Award
Teahan National Chapter Awards
The following National Scholarship Applications due to PRSSA Headquarters:
Altschul/Champions for PRSSA Internship Award
Codispoti PRSA Technology Grant
Norman S. Fenichel, APR Scholarship
National dues to PRSSA
National PRSSA / PRSA Convention
San Diego, CA


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Meeting Schedule

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