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50 Years of Temple PRSSA


This is a special year for Temple University’s Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society (PRSSA), as the chapter is celebrating its 50th anniversary. During the past 50 years, Temple PRSSA has been dedicated to helping members learn about the public relations field through mentorship, leadership and networking. Temple PRSSA’s charter was signed on June 13, 1969, just two years after the founding of PRSSA itself. Celebrating 50 years makes Temple’s PRSSA chapter the oldest standing chapter in the Philadelphia region and one of the oldest in the country. With more than 120 members this year alone, Temple PRSSA is also the largest chapter in the region.


Temple's PRSSA chapter has been fortunate enough to have dedicated members and faculty who have kept the chapter striving forward for the past five decades. Many past members who have gone on to successful careers after graduation. Part of the chapter’s longevity is due to the past dedication and hard work they put in while they were at Temple. I am extremely grateful for all the past leaders and members of this organization who helped it grow and thrive throughout the years so today’s members, like myself, can take advantage of all the opportunities PRSSA has to offer. I know there are also many promising members who will help Temple PRSSA grow even more in the many years to come.


Previous members of Temple PRSSA have left big shoes to fill as they received many awards and achieved accomplishments over the years. Two recent past chapter presidents, Kim Leung and Marissa Piffer received the Golden Key Award from PRSSA National for their outstanding leadership. Chapter President (2006) Meredith Avakian was named Rising PR Star by PR News in 2012. Former member Paige Knapp (2015) was also named Rising PR Star by PR News in 2018. Several previous members have also won the Philadelphia PR Association’s prestigious Dr. Jean Brody Award. Past chapter presidents Jessica Lawlor (2010), Mackenzie Krott (2013), Alissa Steele (2016) and past Vice President Marissa Reale (2018) were all recipients. Chapter President (2007) Julia Nietsch won the Lew Klein Alumni Excellence in Media Award in 2016.


In 2018, our student-run firm PRowl Public Relations celebrated their tenth anniversary after being founded in 2008 by Natalie Prazenica Herr. The chapter also hosts a student-run conference each year where members are given the opportunity to network with professionals in the Philadelphia area. Past and present Temple PRSSA members have competed in the national Bateman competition. This competition allows PRSSA students to run a public relations campaign for a client in their respective locations. The chapter has also participated in smaller activities and events held throughout the years, such as fundraising and community service initiatives to support the local area. Our mentorship program has matched mentors and mentees, creating lifelong friendships and connections among members. The chapter's list of accomplishments and achievements could go on and on. This long list is one of the many things which has made our chapter successful.


As the chapter begins 2019, we continue to help our members develop and grow as public relations professionals. Along with our normal events and meetings, Temple PRSSA will be hosting the Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference on March 22 and 23 on the main campus. Other events and activities will be planned throughout this year to honor and commemorate the many accomplishments of the chapter.


This year is about more than just celebrating the 50th anniversary of Temple PRSSA. This year is about celebrating past, present and future members of an amazing organization. 2019 is about all the achievement Temple PRSSA members have accomplished throughout the years. This year is also about looking towards the bright future of Temple PRSSA. As chapter president, I’m excited to celebrate as Temple PRSSA turns 50 and look forward to seeing what the future holds.


This blog post was written by Chelsea Seidel, President.

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