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PRSSA To Launch New Chapter at University of Missouri

Nov. 10, 2022

NEW YORK, Nov. 10, 2022 – PRSSA today announced it will be establishing a new Chapter at the University of Missouri in the Missouri School of Journalism. The Chapter will launch with more than two dozen students with a demonstrated interest in the study of public relations and/or strategic communications and be advised by PRSA members and School of Journalism faculty members Luke Capizzo (Ph.D., APR) and Jon Stemmle (M.A.).

Support for the Chapter will be provided by PRSA St. Louis and PRSA Board of Directors member Jacqueline Clark, APR, Fellow PRSA, who will serve as professional advisor.

PRSSA, the foremost organization for students interested in the public relations and communications fields, was founded in 1968 by PRSA, the nation’s leading trade and business association serving the communications community. PRSSA is represented globally on nearly 380 campuses, including in the United States, Argentina, Colombia, Peru and Puerto Rico. With the addition of the University of Missouri, PRSSA will operate nine Chapters in the state.

“PRSSA is continuing its chapter expansion, catering to a growing class of communications majors and students pursuing a career in public relations,” said Dr. Felicia Blow, APR, 2022 PRSA Chair. “We are very excited to forge this partnership with the Missouri School of Journalism to further demonstrate our commitment to invest in the next generation of ethical, diverse and highly skilled communications professionals.”

Within the School of Journalism, students can choose an emphasis in strategic communication. The curriculum includes focused study and hands-on experience, known as the Missouri Method, within a variety of subject areas and specializations. Course offerings include PR writing, research and strategy and implementation, and a capstone experience with real-world clients, among others.

Stemmle is a professor and the chair of Strategic Communication, where he teaches classes in public relations, health and science communication and integrated marketing campaigns. Additionally, he is a core faculty member in the School of Health Professions and the former director of the Health Communication Research Center. In his career, he has led a variety of grant projects on topics dealing with health and science communication from local to international and everything in between totaling more than $30 million.

”Founding this chapter has been a dream for a long time,” said Stemmle, who has been at the School of Journalism since 2003. “It’s something the students have wanted for years and we got close right when the pandemic hit and everything got put on hold. So, when we hired Dr. Capizzo, who has such a long history with PRSA, we got him on the case and he was pivotal in making this happen.”

Capizzo is an assistant professor of strategic communication and public relations. A PR researcher, educator, and practitioner, his scholarly interests include social issues management, corporate social advocacy, and professional public relations ethics. He has been a PRSA member since 2007, practicing in agency and in-house settings in Michigan where he was involved in PRSA Central Michigan and PRSA Detroit, where he was APR co-chair. While earning his Ph.D. in communication at the University of Maryland, he was a member and APR committee volunteer with the PRSA National Capital Chapter.

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. Since 1968, PRSSA has served hundreds of thousands of student members, offering educational programs, resources, scholarships, and mentorship opportunities that prepare students for a successful career in communications. For nearly 50 years, the organization has hosted the Bateman Case Study Competition, which challenges student teams to implement a public relations campaign for an actual client. With nearly 375 Chapters globally, PRSSA is active on college and university campuses across the U.S., as well as Argentina, Colombia, Peru and Puerto Rico. For more information, visit www.prssa.org.

About the Missouri School of Journalism
The Missouri School of Journalism was founded in 1908 on the principle of the Missouri Method, which emphasizes hands-on learning through practical newsroom experience. Today, as an international leader in journalism education, the School provides that career-ready experience through six professional newsrooms — including an NBC affiliate, an NPR-member station and a digital-first community newspaper — and two advertising agencies with paying national clients. Students and faculty regularly earn more than 500 top awards and recognitions at all levels, including from international and national organizations.

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