Public Relations Student Group Wins Three National Awards

Kent State’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA Kent) Chapter won three national awards, including the prestigious Dr. F.H. Teahan Award for University Service. The national award was announced during the Awards Ceremony Brunch at the International Public Relations Student Society Conference in Dallas on Nov. 14, 2022.

Kent State won the University Service award for the second time in Chapter history. The University Service award recognizes voluntary projects PRSSA Kent initiated during the 2021-2022 school year that benefited the university and regional community, including:

  • Campus collaborations with Kent State Women’s Center, Student Multicultural Center and First Star Academy
  • Peer mentoring program to guide younger students studying public relations
  • Partnership with Akron PRSA on hosting the YouToo Digital Strategy Conference
  • Participation in the PRSSA Bateman Case Study Competition to build awareness for Lymphoma Research Foundation
  • High school student outreach to give students a glimpse into the Kent State college experience

“This national recognition speaks to the caliber of our students’ leadership and talent,” said Michele Ewing, faculty adviser for PRSSA Kent and professor in the School of Media and Journalism. “Earning recognition in the service category also shines a light on our students’ genuine commitment to collaborate and serve others. We’re so proud of these PRSSA students and alumni.”

PRSSA Kent was also recognized as a Star Chapter for outstanding leadership and programming. This is the 11th consecutive year PRSSA Kent has earned this designation. Public relations major and Chapter President Kayla Polansky, '23, emphasized how nice it was to receive the award in person.

“We are so elated to receive this year’s University Service Award from the 2022 ICON PRSSA Conference,” she said. “This award shows the hard work and dedication of our previous members who continue to inspire our current students to constantly strive for better.”

Alongside the Chapter winning a National Award, alumnus and former PRSSA President Zachary Zdanowicz, '22, won the National Gold Key Award, PRSSA’s highest individual honor. The National Gold Key Award recognizes students with outstanding leadership qualities and academic excellence in public relations within their PRSSA Chapter.

“I am honored to be recognized through PRSSA by earning the National Gold Key award,” Zdanowicz said. “This organization provided me so many tools and resources that not only helped me through my academic career, but have helped me in the professional world. If it weren’t for PRSSA, I don’t believe I would be where I am today, and for that, I am proud to hold this award.”

The Kent State Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA Kent) was established in 1968 as one of the 14 original Alpha Chapters of PRSSA. The student-run organization collaborates with its parent chapter, the PRSA Akron Area Chapter, to coordinate meetings and events that offer professional development and networking opportunities to Kent State students interested in the public relations and communications industry. The PRSSA Kent Chapter and the students who participate consistently win national awards, placing the Chapter in the top tier nationwide. For more information about PRSSA Kent, visit

POSTED: Monday, November 21, 2022 03:51 PM
Updated: Monday, December 12, 2022 02:10 PM
Katherine Masko, '24