If you want to be inspired about the future of the public relations profession, spend some time with active members of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).
At the annual PRSSA awards dinner last night in Orlando, I met dozens of young people who are destined to become leaders of our profession. And I had the honor to present the innaugural Ron Culp Scholarship for Mentorship (a.k.a. Culpwrit) to one of those future leaders–Joe Clarkson, a senior at Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio.
Joe is an impressive young man, who is highly regarded by his ONU professors and fellow students. Long-time ONU PRSSA advisor Steve Iseman says, “Joe’s personality is large size and his enthusiasm for public relations–in fact for life in general–is contagious. Students seek him out for guidance and direction–something that provides lots of mentoring opportunities.”
Joe plays leadership roles in ONU’s PRSSA chapter and this past spring he was elected to PRSSA’s National Commmittee as Vice President for Internships and Jobs Services where he’ll help provide leadership to the more than 10,000 PRSSA members. Joe is a member of Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communication Association honorary and earlier this year he was inducted into ONU’s chapter of Motar Board, the national collegiate honor society. Joe also is co-captain of his university’s nationally ranked men’s club volleyball team.
Joe excelled in three summer internships, most recently serving at Hunter Public Relations in New York where CEO Grace Leong describes him as having a “roll up your sleeves and ‘do whatever it takes’ mentality to get the job done.” Grace and her colleagues observed Joe’s passion about the profession, and they praise his sincere desire to help fellow students and interns grow both personally and professionally.
ONU PRSSA co-advisor Alisa Agozzino also witnessed Joe’s mentorship skills in and outside of the classroom. Dr. Agozzino notes that Joe isn’t a mentor that leaves in May and returns in the fall. He helps incoming freshman during orientation sessions and leads tours of campus for students and thier parents.
Citing Joe’s mentoring skills, Renee LeGendre, immediate past president of ONU’s PRSSA chapter, says “undergraduate students model his professional skills, recent graduates apply his positive attitude and can-do-spirit to their professional lives, and seasoned professionals continually admire his fearlessness and enthusiasm.”