Becoming Part of Your University Community [National Conference Session Recap]

Students taking notes and tweeting quotes at a National Conference session.
Students taking notes and tweeting quotes at a National Conference session.

Event: We Are Family: Becoming Part of Your University Community

Presenters: Kent State University PRSSA

Gabrielle Woodard, Chapter president

Jesse Gettemy, editor

Erin Zaranec, co-vice president of fundraising and community outreach

Brenna Parker, vice president of public relations

Hanna Moore, vice president of membership

Recap: Kent State University discussed the topic of extending the PRSSA family to the surrounding school community in their Chapter Development Session on Friday, Nov. 6. They proposed that this can be done using the community development model. This model had three parts: building relationships, doing a needs assessment and creating student involvement. They advised students to think about the community and think strategically.   

Building mutually beneficial and strategic relationships on campus with similar organizations was another tip Kent State offered. Assessing the needs of students and trying to meet them is vital in this process. Kent State asked, “Who adds value to your students and who can you add value to?” They also suggested adding a student liaison position to the Chapter executive board. This person would be responsible for fostering relationships between similar organizations on campus, researching them and recruiting more students to get involved. Helping the members gain experience and helping students start to work together was the key message Kent State shared.


  • Look for mutually beneficial partnerships in other organizations at your school.
  • Look for opportunities and focus on benefits for your members.
  • Ask your advisers for help.
  • Use the community development model.

Brooke Burlingame is a sophomore public relations major at Northern Michigan University where she works for the university’s Marketing and Communications Office. She hopes to work with social media and photography after graduation. Follow her on Twitter @bburling96.

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