PRSSA establishes new chapter at Oakwood University, becoming the 20th HBCU to join

by | Oct 30, 2020

Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama has established a PRSSA Chapter at its School of Arts and Sciences, it was announced during PRSA’s Multicultural Scholarship fundraising concert. PRSSA is the foremost organization for students interested in the public relations and communications fields and is comprised of nearly 375 Chapters worldwide, including 20 Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

“PRSSA has always been an advocate for a more diverse and inclusive profession, which starts with our talented roster of students,” said Jeneen Garcia, Executive Director, PRSSA. “We could not be more excited to have Oakwood University join our organization, and what better moment to announce the addition of an HBCU Chapter than at an event designed to help endow our scholarship program, which will ensure funding for communications students from underrepresented backgrounds.”

The mission of Oakwood University, a historically black, Seventh-day Adventist institution, is to transform students through biblically-based education for service to God and humanity. The university in Huntsville, Alabama was founded in 1896 to educate the recently-freed African-Americans of the South. The Communication Department is housed in the School of Arts and Sciences, the university’s largest and most diverse school. The academic core of Oakwood, the School of Arts and Sciences fosters educational excellence, intellectual inquiry, discovery and unmatched access through its unique collection of programs in the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities.

Dawnette Chambers, Assistant Professor of Communication at Oakwood University, will serve as faculty adviser to the PRSSA Chapter at her alma mater. As the program coordinator of the public relations program, she is responsible for preparing students in the program to receive every opportunity to learn and develop the necessary skills to be excellent communication professionals. Chambers is also a graduate of Roosevelt University in Chicago with a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications.

“It has always been a goal of Oakwood University’s Communication Department to start a PRSSA Chapter,” said Chambers. “As an alumna of the PR program my mentor Patti Conwell established, I am grateful for the opportunity to make the dream a reality. By launching our Oakwood University PRSSA Chapter, our students will have the national support of PRSA to truly be students that enter to learn and transform into professionals departing to serve.”

The Oakwood University Chapter will be supported by the PRSA Alabama Chapter, helping foster student and professional connections by providing speakers, networking opportunities, career mentoring and other benefits.

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