Liberty’s Public Relations Student Society of America Chapter Receives Star Chapter Award

Liberty University’s chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) proved that they are small but mighty by winning PRSSA’s Star Chapter Award.

Chapters that received the award had to meet eight of 11 required professional development goals between July 1, 2020 and May 31, 2021, according to the award’s guidelines. Some of these mentioned on the Star Chapter Criteria Checklist include completing a community service project and inviting students and faculty outside of PRSSA to an event. 

According to Liberty’s website, PRSSA is a student-run club that hosts workshops and allows students to hear from a variety of speakers. They also organize events such as a charity 5K and a business etiquette dinner. 

Students in the chapter learn how to build professional portfolios, pitch ideas and other skills that are beneficial in public relations-related careers.

Last year, PRSSA hosted an Adobe workshop for students partnering with Adobe Ambassadors from Liberty and other schools as well. They’ve also invited Dr. Bruce Kirk, a professor in the School of Communication and the Arts, to speak on ethics at one of their meetings, both of which met requirements to win the Star Chapter Award.

According to PRSSA’s website, the award is becoming the “gold standard for chapters trying to achieve excellence.”

“This award is a product of hard work and collaboration from the board,” Cecilia Lederer, Liberty’s PRSSA’s president said. “I am personally very proud to have been a part of the team that this award was given. It feels good to be recognized for the dedication we put into everything we produced as a club.”

According to the Liberty chapter’s mission statement, “Our mission is to help communications students by enhancing their education, broaden their network and launching their careers.”

“PRSSA has given me real experience in the field I am interested in,” Lederer said. “Through my time in PRSSA, I have created a diverse portfolio of writing and graphics that will prepare me for my career.” 

Lederer said her involvement in the program has helped her develop professional skills in writing, public speaking, leadership, event planning and more. 

According to Lederer, winning the award legitimizes the chapter, allowing it to be recognized as successful for all the work that it has done over the past year. Lederer credited the win to the leadership of Katelyn White, the former president of Liberty’s PRSSA Chapter. 

“Winning this award was one of the first things I set out to achieve when I took the position in 2020,” White said. “With the many obstacles we faced due to the pandemic, I was so proud of my team for crushing every goal we set and walking away with something tangible to show for it. I could not have done it without them, and they made being a virtual president so rewarding and so much fun.”

White said the PRSSA has shown steady improvement since she joined the club in the fall semester of 2019. She said that in addition to getting more members, their ideas and the events they’re planning are growing as well. Currently, White estimates that the chapter has around 30 members. 

White has high hopes for the future of the chapter.

“This award certainly puts us on the map as a chapter to watch, so hopefully we can collaborate more at the national level in the near future,” White said. 

White said that winning the award also reflects well on Liberty as a whole, strengthening credibility in the public relations industry. 

“It is more important than ever to have a strong, biblical foundation set (as) an example of Christ’s love in the communications field,” White said. “We may not always be able to share our faith in this industry, but I think our chapter is proving what a great education Liberty provides us and that we are equipped to enter the PR industry with the skills and confidence we need.”

PRSSA’s next free event is Matcha & Marketing. The group is partnering with La Vida Coffee + Market on Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. in the Scholars Lounge in the Jerry Falwell Library. 

Students interested in joining or learning about PRSSA can follow the Chapter’s Instagram account @libertyprssa or send an email to

Seiler is a news reporter. Follow her on Twitter at @SeilerMadalyn.

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