Student-led PRCA/PRSSA at UAB earns national Star Chapter recognition from PRSA

Acclaimed award-winning organization PRCA/PRSSA at UAB, a valuable extension of the public relations program, continues to prove itself statewide and nationwide.

PR StreamPRCA/PRSSA Board 2023-24 with Jacque Shaia, J.D., Ph.D.The Public Relations Student Society of America at the University of Alabama at Birmingham has been named a Star Chapter by the Public Relations Society of America for the fourth consecutive year — a testament to the public relations program’s growing excellence. The award recognizes the outstanding programs, networking and professional development opportunities, and community service of the members.

The student-led PRCA/PRSSA at UAB chapter is an extension of the academic public relations program in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Communication Studies, through which students put their classroom learning into real-world practice.

“The students go above and beyond in their quest for academic excellence,” said Jacquelyn S. Shaia, J.D., Ph.D., director of the Public Relations curriculum and faculty advisor to PRCA/PRSSA at UAB. “That commitment extends not just in this wonderful recognition from the Public Relations Student Society of America but in their service to the community in the Greater Birmingham area. This curriculum requires them to represent nonprofits and design campaigns to help each organization reach its goal. The students represented Ann’s New Life Center, Better Basics, Hand in Paw, Red Mountain Grace and Will Bright Foundation.”

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PRCA/PRSSA at UAB continues to prove itself as a well-rounded, award-winning organization statewide and nationwide. Earlier this year, the UAB chapter received Dr. F.H. Teahan Chapter Awards from PRSA in two categories, Community Service and Chapter Website. It was named Chapter of the Year by the Public Relations Council of Alabama, and students in the program won 29 individual awards, including Medallion Awards — the highest award given — as well as awards of Excellence and Merit. 

Additionally, the Alabama Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America awarded UAB prizes in every category submitted: Chapter of the Year, Outstanding Campaign, Outstanding Community Service, Outstanding Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiative, and Outstanding Chapter Website. UAB senior Dylan Baggiano made the most of the program, winning both of Alabama PRSA’s individual awards, the Public Relations WordSmith Award and the Public Relations Strategist Award. His student group, which included Ann Marie Stephens and Anaya Yoakum, also received recognition for the campaign they designed and delivered for Better Basics.

PRCA/PRSSA at UAB was also recognized institutionally as 2023’s Outstanding Student Organization at UAB by the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership.

“UAB is an outstanding school and offers these students the opportunity to not only learn their field but put what they have learned into practice. These students will help make our world a better place as ethical, committed and skilled professionals,” Shaia said.

To learn more about membership opportunities for PRCA/PRSSA at UAB, visit the chapter's website. 

PRCA/PRSSA at UAB conducts workshops, hosts networking events and guest speakers, and offers service-based learning in the community. The organization introduces members to versatile public relations areas, including professional development skills such as resume building, portfolio creation, working with clients, designing graphics, using social media efficiently and navigating internships.