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USM PRSSA networks with Local Professionals, Wraps Up Planks of Thanks Campaign

May 9, 2016

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (May 9, 2016) —The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) welcomed students and professionals to the College Hall Patio for an annual networking mixer on Tuesday, April 26.

The spring 2016 program continued the celebration of Betsy Plank Day through the “Planks of Thanks” Campaign. In addition to socializing over light refreshments, attendees were encouraged to show appreciation for people, opportunities and resources through thank you notes, social media posts and art illustrations.

USM PRSSA members recognize the importance of networking and are thankful for opportunities to connect.

“The best part of PRSSA at USM is not just about student leadership and tips for my profession; my favorite part is collaborating with local professionals,” said Karie Moonie, USM PRSSA secretary.

Chelsea Eytel, USM PRSSA Member and graduate student, enjoyed “mingling with fellow students and professionals in the area.”

“Getting to be crafty is always a plus,” she added.

Although there are no PRSA Chapters in Mississippi, the USM PRSSA Chapter shares a strong relationship with the Pine Belt Chapter of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi.

“PRSSA and PRAM on the Patio” was developed to provide opportunities for students to connect with local practitioners and for professionals to share advice, insights, internships and job opportunities. Due to its success in the fall semester, the mixer was extended and will continue to take place bi-annually in the future.


Attendees interact on the College Hall Patio. Pictured left Karie Mooney, USM PRSSA Secretary, Jim Coll, USM Chief Communication Officer, and Imani Harris, freshman public relations major share news and information. Right Dr. Cindy Blackwell, USM PRSSA Facutly Adviser, and Chelsea Eytel, USM PRSSA Member greet Hanna Knowles, Vice President of Programs for the Pine Belt Chapter of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi and marketing and public relations professional in the USM School of Kinesiology. Photo by D’Anthony Jackson


Kaisha Brown, USM PRSSA Vice President of Professional Development, pens a thank you note during the mixer. Photo by D’Anthony Jackson

About Betsy Plank Day

Betsy Plank is known as the Godmother of PRSSA and the First Lady of Public Relations. In honor of her legacy and contributions to the organization, Betsy Plank Day is celebrated each year on her birthday, April 7. The 2016 celebration extended throughout the month of April. The USM PRSSA Chapter encourages continued expressions of appreciation on social media using the hashtag #PlanksOfThanks.


The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) was founded Oct. 30, 1980. The School of Mass Communication and Journalism, our parent organization PRSA and local practitioners offer members professional development and networking opportunities. The resources help students enhance their education and broaden their network to launch their careers. Membership is open to students of all classes and majors.



Jasmine C. Tate

USM PRSSA President