UVU PRSSA recently returned from a national public relations conference in Boston. Sixteen students were selected to represent UVU at the conference. In order to be considered to go, PRSSA members were required to submit a cover letter, resume and be interviewed by the communications board. During the week-long conference, each student could learn from top professionals in the public relations world, see local professional public relations companies and tour the city of Boston.
The PRSSA chapter was awarded the Star Chapter Award, which goes to the school that best exemplifies professionalism in the public relations industry. Each university’s chapter must do specific activities that promote the PRSSA program in the community. Wade Draper, UVU’s chapter president, was also awarded National President’s Citation for his outstanding work expanding the chapter and exceptional leadership.
“I was extremely happy to receive the Star Chapter Award.” Draper said. “The UVU chapter has received this prestigious award every year since the chapter was organized, and I’m thrilled we could continue that tradition.”
In preparation for the trip, each of the students were required to take a three-credit class where students created personal blogs where they wrote about each day of the conference. The students also created business cards and an extensive briefing book that had personalized research detailing each keynote speaker, sponsor and exhibitor that would be at the conference and three questions to ask them, all while reading through 1776 by David McCullough.
Even though the class is shorter than regular semester classes, it had an intensive workload. Many of the students spent at least three hours a day creating their briefing book before the trip.
Stephen Whyte, communication field experience professor and assistant VP of university marketing and communication, wanted to make sure each student was fully prepared before the trip for the best learning experience while in Boston.
“The trip provides an incredible engaged learning opportunity where the students can apply what they learn in the class into the real world,” Whyte said. “The students that get to go on these trips get to bring that knowledge back into the classroom. They have better experience learning about public relations to prepare them for their careers.”
The conference wasn’t only a great learning opportunity, it was also an opportunity for the students to see the city of Boston. They visited some of the historic sites like Bunker Hill, Plymouth Rock, Paul Revere’s home and Concord. Once home, the students created a video showcasing the many places they were able to visit.
“Meeting other students from around the world who are passionate and motivated to achieve greatness and help others was inspiring,” communication major senior Kate Simpson said. She is currently serving as VP of PR in UVU PRSSA. “The conference was a life-enriching experience and one that I will always cherish.”