The members of the Public Relations Student Society of America chapter at West Virginia University are no strangers to community service. From collecting canned food for the Boys & Girls Club to raising awareness for local businesses to participating in Relay for Life and the Alzheimer’s Association’s Memory Walk, the organization’s impact has been felt throughout campus and the local community.

“Our chapter takes pride in all of our community service,” said Nicole Riggleman, PRSSA’s 2008-2009 community service director. “Morgantown is our home away from home. It is an honor to be recognized on a national level for giving back to the community that has embraced us during our college career.”

In recognition of the chapter’s efforts, it was recently awarded the Dr. F.H. Teahan Outstanding Community Service Award by the national organization during its annual conference in San Diego last month.

The award recognizes the chapter that has successfully implemented projects that directly benefit the local community.

As one of the organization’s founding chapters, WVU PRSSA has worked hard to bring the national spotlight back to Morgantown.

“I am so proud of what our members have accomplished,” said Dr. Rita Colistra, chapter adviser and assistant professor at the P.I. Reed School of Journalism. “Through all their hard work and dedication, the School of Journalism and WVU are being nationally recognized for preparing future leaders in the public relations field. More importantly, we’re doing things to improve our community and state.”

One of the six founding chapters, WVU’s PRSSA chapter is a student-run organization that helps students access professional development opportunities and prepare for a career in public relations. The organization’s mission is to serve members by enhancing their knowledge of public relations and providing access to professional development opportunities and to serve the public relations profession by helping to develop highly qualified, well-prepared professionals.

For more information about PRSSA, contact Chapter President: Justin Hough at or visit



CONTACT: Kimberly Brown, School of Journalism
304-293-3505 ext. 5403

Photo Caption:
PRSSA team members receive their award. From left to right: Shannon O’Brien, Tina Gnozzo, Meg Puglisi, Ashley Pruitt, Caitlyn Kish, Melinda Griser, Justin Hough, Shay Miller, Erica Deibel, Lauren Maochi and Brandon Thomas.