PRSSA IONA COLLEGE CHAPTER: ACCOMPLISHMENTS 2000-2002
Chartered in 1988 by the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).
After several years of inactivity, the Iona College Chapter was reinstated early in 2000, growing from ZERO students as of February 2000 to 24 paid members by the end of March 2001.
Two Iona students (President [senior] and Secretary [junior]) attended the PRSSA 2000 National Assembly in Houston, Texas to become involved with the national organization, meet its national leadership and become aware of its national issues and opportunities.
Two Iona students participated in the PRSSA Northeastern Regional Conference (Crisis Communication Simulation) at Syracuse University in April 2000. Their performance at this conference, in addition to fighting a blizzard on their return to Iona, earned them recognition as the “Chapter, which overcame the greatest number of obstacles.”
Eleven Iona students participated in the annual PRSA-New York Chapter “Intern Match-Making Event” in New York City in late April 2000. All eleven departed the event with job offers.
In September, the Chapter organized a uniquely successful senior-level “Public Relations Pathfinder” Lecture Series for the Iona campus community and the general public. It featured nationally recognized public relations leaders as speakers: management consultant and PRSA Gold Anvil Winner Chester Burger; senior-level corporate vice president, agency executive and PRSA Gold Anvil Winner John F. Budd, Jr.; nationally recognized minority practitioner Terrie Williams; internationally recognized crisis communications expert James E. Lukaszewski; PRSA President and Chief Operating Officer Catherine Bolton; and PRSA 2001 National Chair Kathleen Lewton. This series garnered considerable publicity for the Chapter, and served as an effective fund-raiser for future Chapter activities.
Four Iona students participated in the 2000 PRSA/PRSSA World Conference on Public Relations in Chicago (one senior, two juniors, and one freshman). They not only participated in a number of PRSSA Conference activities, but also joined Iona’s Faculty Advisor at the PRSA-IPRA International Dinner, an event that brought together several hundred of the world’s leading public relations leaders.
In November, the Iona PRSSA Chapter managed the campus-wide “Midnight Run” charitable event, which took items donated from the Iona campus community and distributed them to needy organizations in New York City. The Chapter also helped publicize this event.
Three Iona students (two junior and one freshman) participated in the 2001 PRSSA National Assembly in New Orleans, with one of them, junior Michael Dennehy, running for national Vice President of Professional Development. While not winning that position, Dennehy has since been elected Iona College PRSSA President where he will continue Iona’s strong resurgence and work on PRSA Associate Membership. He will also continue attending United Nation’s NGO symposiums with fellow PRSSA members.
Fifteen Iona students were set to participate in the annual PRSSA Northeastern Regional Conference (Crisis Communications simulation) at Syracuse University in April 2001, when they were informed one week prior to the event that Syracuse would be unable to sponsor this highly regarded annual event due to funding problems. The Iona Chapter unanimously stepped forward to arrange a substitute regional event on one week’s notice, holding it at Iona College’s New Rochelle Campus on April 7th. Entitled “Public Relations – Perceptions and Reality,” the event was open to Iona students and the local community. It featured Iona alumni in public relations, journalism and corporate management, and proved to be a resounding success.
Iona’s PRSSA Chapter will also participate in this year’s PRSA-NY “Internship Match-Making Event” in late April and the Iona Founder’s Day celebrations in early May 2001.
Iona’s PRSSA Chapter has applied and now selected to organize and run a session at the upcoming PRSSA National Conference in Atlanta this coming October on Professional Development, using the “P.R. Pathfinder Lecture” series as an example for PRSSA chapters nationwide.
The Iona PRSSA Chapter plans to continue bringing in some of the PR professions finest professionals to speak to the Iona Community.
Iona’s PRSSA club plans to continue doing community service such as midnight runs (December 2000), United Nations Volunteer Symposiums (February 2001). We plan to continuing volunteering at Homecoming, Open House, and Founders Day.
Iona’s PRSSA club now is representing PRSSA in the United Nations NGO Section.
Iona’s PRSSA President Michael Dennehy is the first Iona PRSSA student to serve the PRSA Westchester/Fairfield Board of Directors as an Academic Liaison.
We plan on continuing to generate funds through our limited corporate fundraising project. We also plan to continue our raffle donation system at our Pathfinder Lectures.
Michael Dennehy, 2001-2002 Chapter President became the first Iona College student to receive the PRSSA National President’s Citation Award at the 2001 PRSA/PRSSA National Conference in Atlanta in October of 2001.
At the conference, the chapter received raved reviews for giving a wonderful Chapter Development Presentation focusing on Professional Development using the Iona College PRSSA Pathfinder Lecture Series as the model.
The Chapter successfully continued their Pathfinder Lecture Series in the fall of 2001 bringing in renowned speakers such as: P. Michael McDermott-International Public Relations, John Paluszek-Public Affairs/Agency, John Kessling-Hi-Tech PR, and Virgil Scudder-Media Training.
The Chapter has also remained very instrumental in assisting students in finding Internships and Jobs upon graduation.
Immediately after the start of the Spring Semester, Mr. Michael Dennehy-Chapter President announced that Mr. Brad Frank was joining the Chapter as the Webmaster. Within a short period of time, the Chapter unveiled a dynamic website, which has garnered praise from many who have used it.
In February of 2002, the Chapter continued its volunteer work by cooking a Hospitality Dinner for the Iona College Community. This dinner took place at the Montgomery House and was coordinated through the Campus Ministries Office.
In March of 2002, the Chapter continued its highly regarded “PR Pathfinder” Lecture Series when Harold Burson, Founder-Chairman of Burson-Marsteller, the world’s largest public relations agency spoke to the college community. Mr. Burson is also recognized as the “PR Person of the Century.” Mr. Burson spoke about the evolution of the public relations profession and where he sees the industry heading in front of a standing room only crowd.
After the huge success of the Harold Burson lecture, Mr. Michael Dennehy-Chapter President was asked to write a feature story on the lecture for O’Dwyer PR Daily.
After several months of preparation, five members of the Chapter completed a campaign for Contiki Holidays, a full-service Travel Company as part of PRSSA’s Bateman Case Studies Competition.
Also in March of 2002, the Chapter received a very informative agency tour from Porter-Novelli based in New York City. The agency tour gave students a chance to see how an agency functions daily and allowed them to pick the brain of the professionals.
Later in March of 2002, PRSSA held its annual National Assembly in San Diego California. At this years Assembly, Miss Kelly Albanese from the Iona College PRSSA Chapter won National Vice President of Chapter Development for the 2002-2003 Academic Year. Kelly became the first Iona College student to win a National Office. Along with Kelly who was a junior, Miss Emily DeLizza who was a sophomore and the Chapter’s Treasurer, attended the Assembly with Emily serving as the Chapter’s Delegate.
In April of 2002, the Chapter elected new officers for the 2002-2003 year. They are as follows: Rick Genett-President, Michael Dennehy-President Emeritus, Emily DeLizza-Vice President, Jessica Pujia-Treasurer, Kiera McGowan-Secretary, Ken Seferi-PR Director, Camille Suttles-Historian, and Brad Frank-Webmaster.
The Chapter continued its recruitment campaign gaining several new faces that are looking forward to becoming very active in the Chapter in the fall of 2002.
In late April, Mr. Michael Dennehy-Chapter President was one of seven students invited to the prestigious black tie Board of Trustees Annual Dinner Dance at the Waldorf-Asotria in New York City.
The Chapter held its annual end of the year dinner in late April at Virgil’s BBQ in New York City. A surprise guest named Mr. Dirk Munson-PRSSA National President joined the Chapter at this dinner to celebrate the year’s accomplishments.
Most Recently, the Chapter has applied for and been selected to give a Chapter Development Presentation on How to Effectively Communicate Through a Website using the Iona Website as a Model. The Chapter will present this at the 2002 PRSSA National Conference in San Francisco California next November.