Belmont’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America scored significant acclaim this week with numerous national awards at the parent organization’s national conference, held Oct. 10-14 in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Bonnie Riechert, associate professor and chair of Belmont’s Department of Public Relations, was honored for her work as faculty adviser to the Belmont Chapter of PRSSA. Riechert received the national PRSSA Outstanding Faculty Adviser Award, based on service to the PRSSA Chapter through dedication and creative chapter guidance, effective student motivation, exceptional contributions to public relations education, supportive chapter advocacy and representation within the academic department and with the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) sponsor Chapter and its members. The award includes an engraved trophy and a cash prize. Accredited in Public Relations and a member of the PRSA College of Fellows, Riechert has served as the Belmont PRSSA faculty adviser since coming to the faculty in 2006. She is the current president of the PRSA Nashville Chapter.
Belmont PRSSA was announced at the conference as one of 10 Chapters selected nationally to host a PRSSA Regional Conference in 2015. The Chapter will hold its conference March 20-22 with the theme, “NASHvantage: Entertainment PR Beyond the Music Industry.” Belmont PRSSA also received a PRSSA Star Chapter Award, continuing its distinction as one of only two Chapters to receive the national award each year since it was established in 2009. The Chapter was chartered in 2005.
Three Belmont PRSSA members received National Gold Key Awards, recognizing chapter leadership, academic excellence and professional promise. These were Makenzie Albracht (a senior from Amarillo, Texas, majoring in public relations and double minoring in Spanish and corporate communications), Mary Anna Davis (a senior from Hohenwald, Tennessee, majoring in public relations with a minor in design communications) and Arielle Schrader (a senior from Southaven, Mississippi, majoring in public relations and minoring in design communications). Albracht and Schrader also received PRSSA Presidential Citations. Schrader also received a national PRSSA scholarship covering registration to the conference.
Belmont PRSSA is one of more than 300 Chapters in the United States, Argentina, Colombia and Peru. PRSSA has 11,000 members and is the foremost organization for students interested in public relations and communications. Riechert and 10 Belmont PRSSA members attended the conference Oct. 10-14. Next year’s PRSSA Conference will be Nov. 8-10 in Atlanta.