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PRSSA Establishes New Chapter at Oakwood University

Oct. 28, 2020

The Addition Marks 20th HBCU to Join PRSSA

NEW YORK, October 28, 2020 Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama has established a PRSSA Chapter at its School of Arts and Sciences, it was announced last night 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.

About the Public Relations Student Society of America
The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is the foremost organization for students interested in public relations and communications. Founded in 1968 by its parent organization, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), PRSSA includes nearly 9,000 student members and advisers, and is active on nearly 375 colleges and university campuses, including in Argentina, Colombia, Peru and Puerto Rico. For more information, please visit www.prssa.org.

About Oakwood University
Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama, was founded as an industrial school by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1896, with an initial enrollment of 16 students. The institution’s current name was adopted on January 1, 2008, when the school achieved university status. U.S. News & World Report has consistently ranked Oakwood University among top-tier, private liberal arts colleges and universities in the South. Oakwood has an outstanding record of preparing successful applicants to graduate and professional schools.

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Media Contacts:
Vinica Weiss
(212) 460-1479
vinica.weiss@prsa.org

Cheri Wilson
(256) 726-7201
cwilson@oakwood.edu

Oakwood University

Contacts

Karen Mateo  
Chief Communications Officer
(212) 460-1454

Rod Granger  
Director, Content and Integrated Communications
(212) 460-0307

Vinica Weiss  

Communications Associate

(212) 460-1479