OU Public Relations Students Elected National PRSSA President, VP of Digital Communications
For the first time in the history of the University of Oklahoma’s Public Relations Student Society of America chapter, two students, Rachel Meltzer and Claire Gilpin, have been elected to the PRSSA National Committee for the 2021-2022 term, which begins June 1, 2021.
Made up of nearly 7,000 students and advisers, PRSSA is the foremost organization for students interested in public relations and communications. Through the organization, students gain the experience, network and practical knowledge employers are seeking.
Meltzer, a senior majoring in public relations with a minor in arts management and entrepreneurship, will serve as national president. In this role, she will help develop and enact the strategic vision of PRSSA nationally, as well as serve as liaison between students, PRSSA advisers, the PRSA senior vice president of programming, the PRSA Board of Directors and staff. Previously, she served as the national vice president of events and fundraising.
“My experience on the National Committee as vice president of events and fundraising really spawned my interest to run for national president,” Meltzer said. “I knew it was something I wanted to pursue because of all of the people I had met and the connections I saw being formed, which is what PRSSA is all about.”
To help cultivate her skills, Meltzer is involved in a variety of activities on and off campus. She currently serves as stage manager and technician for Class Act Productions, a nonprofit in The Woodlands, Texas, that provides arts and arts education to students and families; as research director and for Lindsey + Asp, a student-run public relations and advertising agency; and as incoming president for the OU Ad Club.
After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school for advertising or entrepreneurship, eventually working for an adverting/public relations agency.
Gilpin, a junior majoring in public relations with a minor in art history, will serve as the national vice president of digital communications. She will be responsible for promoting and managing PRSSA digital communication activities to both internal and external audiences.
“My incredible support system within Gaylord College and the OU chapter of PRSSA encouraged me to run for the National Committee,” Gilpin said. “My biggest motivating factor for running for PRSSA National Committee has been wanting to share the same passion that I have for public relations and PRSSA with PRSSA members and chapters across the Americas.”
Gilpin uses her passion for story-telling by serving as Gamma Phi Beta Psi chapter alumnae relations chair and as digital coordinator for the OU PRSSA chapter. She is also active with the OU Art History Departments and with the PRSSA Social Media Committee.
Upon her graduation in May 2022, she plans to move back to Texas and work within the public relations and advertising agencies, ideally with a local Dallas organization in the arts and entertainment sector.
“I'm extremely proud of Rachel and Claire for this accomplishment,” said Bob Pritchard, OU professor and PRSSA faculty adviser. “This is the first time in the Chapter's 52-year history that one of our members was selected as national president. It's also the first time two of our members will serve on the National Committee at the same time. I have no doubt these two young professionals will serve the nearly 7,000 PRSSA members in more than 350 Chapters in the U.S., Argentina, Peru and Colombia with flair and distinction. They are wonderful examples of the quality students in Gaylord College and truly epitomize the Gaylord Edge.”
By Mackenzie Scheer
Article Published: Wednesday, May 5, 2021