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Belmont PRSSA Takes National Honors

Chapter Honored for Excellence and Organ Donation Awareness

Belmont University Chapter of PRSSA received a 2011 Star Chapter Award at the recent PRSSA National Conference in Orlando. Only a handful of the 300 chapters of the Public Relations Student Society of America are designated as a Star Chapter. The annual award was established in 2009 and recognizes chapter excellence in 10 criteria; the Belmont Chapter received the award in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Belmont PRSSA also received a national third place award for organ donation awareness, recognizing the work of Susan Barnes’ event planning class in Spring 2011. The award is sponsored by the National Organ Donation Awareness Campaign and Rowan University.
“These awards recognize the excellent leadership and service of our student officers and members, as well as the creative and effective promotion by Professor Barnes’ class of the importance of organ donation,” said Bonnie Riechert, director of the public relations program.

Faculty advisor for Belmont PRSSA, Riechert was one of six advisors honored at the national conference for distinguished service as a faculty advisor. Riechert has served as Belmont PRSSA advisor since 2006, and she was faculty advisor to the University of Tennessee Knoxville Chapter from 2001-2005.

Belmont was represented at the national conference by 12 students and two faculty advisors. Students attending were Carrie Chalker, Andy Cole, Caroline Crozier, Lynn Deal, Allie Durfee, Lexi Ferrell, Olivia Gagnon, Matt Maher, Katie Siklosi, Susannah Thompson, Abby Wiggins and Stephanie Winn. Barnes and Riechert attended, also participating in the Public Relations Society of America National Conference, where Riechert served as one of two delegates for the Nashville Chapter of Public Relations Society of America in the PRSA leadership assembly.

The Belmont Chapter was chartered in 2005 by PRSSA, the world’s largest pre-professional society, with 10,000 members nationally. The society advocates for rigorous academic standards for public relations education, the highest ethical principles and diversity in the profession. The society was established in 1968 by the Public Relations Society of America, the parent professional society. PRSSA helps students enhance their education, broaden their network and launch their career in public relations. The Belmont chapter of PRSSA was selected to host one of 10 PRSSA Regional Events in spring 2012.

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