National Committee Spotlight: Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion

This article is part of our National Committee Spotlight series. This series features our current National Committee reflecting on their experience and offering insights into their respective roles as we approach National Elections and Leadership Assembly. To learn more about running for National Committee, click here.

What is your role? Please give a brief overview of your role and responsibilities.  

As the vice president of diversity and inclusion, I’m responsible for overseeing DE&I efforts that directly impact PRSSA students. For instance, I do outreach for scholarships that are targeted at diverse students. I also gather information on upcoming holidays and events that PRSSA students may be interested in, so we can be prepared to provide as much information as possible. Outside of that, I do research and talk one-on-one with students to learn more about how PRSSA can best represent diverse students, including our international Chapters. 

What does a typical day in your position look like? 

A typical day in my position includes speaking to students from around the nation and from our international Chapters. I also assist HQ with any questions or support they may need for diversity initiatives such as the recent Finn Partners program. 

What has been your favorite part of serving on the National Committee?

THE NATIONAL COMMITTEE. Every single person on the team is dedicated to helping each other be successful. We have supported each other from day one. I know I can ask anyone on the Committee for help and they will. It’s truly been a blessing to work alongside my fellow committee members. 

What has been the most challenging aspect of your position?

D&I is a relatively new area of public relations. People have varying perspectives on what successful application of D&I is. Understanding criticism, taking it in and applying it to my next project has been crucial to feeling more confident in this role. 

What is something you are most proud of achieving in this role? 

I’ve had the opportunity to speak to students from all over the country. I love meeting new people so that in itself was a huge achievement to me. 

What advice would you like to share with your future successor? 

D&I is a marathon, not a sprint. Prioritize your mental health. Be patient with your projects and ideas. Sometimes the stories you hear or problems you face will be difficult but know that you are making a difference. 

Lightning Round

Favorite social media platform? 


Dream job? 


Favorite TV show/movie/book at the moment? 

TV show: Ink Master, How I Met Your Mother

Book: Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin

Favorite quote?

My favorite quote/excerpt is a gay one from a book called La Guera: And yet the truth of the matter is that I have sometimes taken society’s fear and hatred of lesbians to bed with me. I have sometimes hated my lover for loving me. I have sometimes felt “not woman enough” for her. I have sometimes felt “not man enough.” For a lesbian trying to survive in a heterosexist society, there is no easy way around these emotions.

Rayna van Beuzekom is a third-year public relations student at the University of Florida with a minor in women’s studies. She serves as the 2021–2022 vice president of diversity and inclusion for the PRSSA National Committee. Follow her on Twitter and connect with her on LinkedIn.

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