#UDcommPR: 7 PRSSA-UD Representatives Will Attend PRSSA 2014 National Conference

The following blog post was written by Natalie Hines, senior mass communication major and current president of PRSSA-UD. Read further for exciting news!


Hi, my name is Natalie Hines and I am the president of the Public Relations Student Society of America Chapter at the University of Delaware, an award-winning and nationally recognized Chapter throughout the organization.

We are pleased and fortunate to announce that we will be sending seven members of our Chapter to attend the PRSSA 2014 National Conference from October 10 to October 13 in Washington D.C. The conference’s theme this year is titled, “Intersections: The Meeting Place of Communications and Culture.” PRSSA-UD representatives include:

Natalie Hines, Senior, Mass Communication (President)

Keri Betters, Senior, Interpersonal Communication (Public Relations Director)

Laura Hepp, Junior, Mass Communication (VP of Professional Development)

Allison Lane, Junior, Interpersonal Communication (Meetings Coordinator)

Allie Kory, Junior, Mass Communication (Operations Director)

Katherine Bartell, Sophomore, Communication Interest (Finance/Fundraising Director)

Julie Millisky, Sophomore, Communication Interest (General member)

The National Conference is the largest annual event gathering public relations inspired students from an array of colleges and universities. Students arrive ready to network not only with public relations professionals from across the country, but with their future colleagues; other PRSSA members.

Professionals lead a variety of sessions tailored to several types of public relations including sports, healthcare, restaurant and corporate communications. Other leadership workshops, career exhibitions and celebrations bring the brightest public relations students together for a weekend of a lifetime.

PRSSA-UD and our generous sponsors have allowed me to attend two national events; PRSSA 2014 National Assembly and PRSSA 2013 National Conference. These experiences have truly shaped my professional and personal career goals. I have witnessed the personal success students achieve when they arrive in a new city, meet other PRSSA students and make connections with professionals. To say National Conference has changed my life would be a sincere and honest statement.

We would like to thank our sponsors who provided scholarships for seven young professional women attending National Conference this year. They include:

Please view our sponsor video from last year! To follow the event, join the conversation via social media with the hashtag, #PRSSANC, and follow our Chapter on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or visit our website, www.prssaud.com.

Tell Your Story: Jamie Lawlor, UD Communication Class of 2014

Everyone loves stories. Learning from others, gaining insight, and sneaking a peak into someone’s life is all a part of the fun in Communication! We learn from others, whether it be through a blog post, a Tweet, a photo, or a face-to-face conversation. We constantly tell our stories and today, Jamie Lawlor, UD mass communication alumna from the Class of 2014, shares her’s.

Interested in telling your story? Email our independent study student, Keri Betters, today: kbetters@udel.edu


What year did you graduate from the University of Delaware?

I graduated from UD in May 2014 with a major in mass communication, concentration in public relations and a minor in advertising! UD Comm photo

Where are you currently employed? 

I’m currently employed at AstraZeneca as Manager, External Communications in their Fort Washington, Pa. office (but their US headquarters are just a quick drive from UD in Wilmington, Del.)!

What are some of your every-day responsibilities?

This is actually only my first week on the job! I’ll be working with the company’s U.S. Diabetes business specifically and supporting the delivery of public relations strategy for the portfolio of diabetes brands. Just like any public relations job, there’s really no “typical day” and my responsibilities will range from developing external communications (like blogs or press releases), creating social media content, coordinating internal communications (such as Town Halls and videos), and supporting various other tasks to enhance the overall reputation of AstraZeneca’s diabetes franchise.

How did the University of Delaware prepare you for the workforce?

Starting out at UD, I really had no idea what I wanted to do. Ultimately, the plethora of diverse opportunities at UD helped me narrow it down to figure out what I wanted to do. I was exposed to so many activities and areas of study and when I discovered PRSSA, I realized that communication was the major for me. From there, I discovered my passion for the industry and was inspired to get internships and grow as a professional. The combination of UD’s education, variety of extracurriculars and the comm. department’s emphasis on internships really prepared me for the workforce.

As a longtime PRSSA-UD executive board member and last year’s PRSSA-UD president, what is one skill and/or experience that you’re thankful for post-grad? 

I’m so grateful that PRSSA-UD allowed me to emerge as a leader. Prior to getting involved with the organization, I was pretty timid and never saw myself as someone who could lead others. Through the opportunity to lead a group of peers, serve as a mentor to other members and be responsible for overseeing the success of a professional organization, I really discovered my ability to be assertive, accomplish goals and ultimately found out who I really am and what I want in life. Leadership is a valuable skill in any workplace and that experience will translate into every opportunity I pursue in my career.

From one Blue Hen to another, do you have any advice for current COMM students?

Do things outside of the classroom to supplement your education! The communication program is so amazing but it really helps when you add to that by getting involved in extracurricular activities, being a leader in an organization and having internships. It’s not enough to just have a degree – do something to set yourself apart.

What is one piece of advice you received that has helped you get to where you are today?

NETWORK! Building connections is one of the most important things you can do. The relationships I created through PRSSA led me directly to where I am today in my career – through that connection, I landed my internship at AstraZeneca, which led to my position now as a post-grad.

UD PRSSAWhat is a favorite memory from your college years? 

There are so many… But I’d say one of my favorites is when a group of us from PRSSA-UD traveled to Philadelphia for the PRSSA 2013 National Conference. It took endless hours of determination to raise the money to go and being able to finally get there showed me how our hard work paid off. We got to meet students from all over the country, attend amazing professional development sessions and even got to present about our Chapter to more than 200 peers. I felt really lucky to experience that and will never forget it!

What is a favorite memory from a Communications class you took and who was the professor?

Any day in Professor Bartoo’s Intro to Public Relations class! She brings such a fun energy to class, always keeps you on your feet and really challenges you to take what you learn in the classroom and apply it to the real world.


‘Like’ The Department of Communication on Facebook

Celebrating 40 years as a Department.

Join the conversation: #UDcommFUN          

Tell Your Story: Dr. Danna Young Speaks at Drexel University

Dr. Danna Young, an Assistant Profesor at the Department of Communication, visited and spoke at Drexel University on Tuesday, May 6. Her talk, entitled “Satire, Citizenship, and the Strong Case of Irony,” was a part of the Drexel “Great Works Symposium.”

In her talk, Dr. Young specifically discussed satire and parody, focusing on Colbert’s SuperPAC and his coverage on the Citizen’s United decision. Dr. Young also referenced the recent drama of the Twitter “#CancelColbert” trend and how irony is a dangerous rhetorical device.

danna young drexel u


‘Like’ The Department of Communication on Facebook

Celebrating 40 years as a Department.                                                                        Join the conversation with the hash-tag: #UDCOMM40

Tell Your Story: Communication Student Wins 2014 Broadcast Pioneers Scholarship

Congratulations to Communication student, Briella! She recently won the Broadcast Pioneers Scholarship. Check out her post below to find out how she won.


I discovered the Broadcast Pioneers Scholarship while scrolling through my emails. I came across an email from my COMM345 professor, Dr. Juliet Dee. She sent me the link to the entry form on the committee’s website and I filled it out. The entry form was very simple and required basic information such as my name, major, GPA, and campus involvement.

A few weeks later, I received another email informing me that I was selected one of 40 finalists out of almost 300 applicants! As a finalist, I was required to write an essay about where I envisioned myself in 10 years, send in my official transcript, and send a letter of recommendation (written by my adviser, Dr. Signorielli).

I found out that I was one of 20 winners (the largest number of scholarships the Broadcast Pioneers has ever awarded) when the committee chairman, Gerry Wilkinson, called me personally. He called me on April Fools’ Day when I was laying out by the pool in Florida, so I was skeptical at first and thought it was a prank from my friends.

I met many connections in the radio and television industry on Wednesday, April 16th, at the scholarship recipient luncheon in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I mingled with current broadcasters, as well as, some veterans in the industry from whom I gained some great advice. I even had the opportunity to walk up to the podium and formally accept my award. I have a great interest in the field of meteorology, so I am looking forward to gaining an internship in the TV industry and am very excited for what lies ahead!

broadcast pioneer

Brittany Berger: Fellow Blue Hen, Proud Communication Alum, and eZanga’s Content Marketing Coordinator


As a Department, we love to hear from alumni; as communicators, we are story tellers. What’s the best way to combine the two? Interview the alumni! Our first alum we interviewed is Brittany Berger, a proud Communication graduate from the Class of 2012. Read on to learn more about Brittany’s experience, how the Communication major helped her land a job at eZanga, and what advice she has for current Communication students.


What year did you graduate from the University of Delaware?

I graduated from the University of Delaware in May 2012. In addition to majoring in Mass Communication, I minored in Interactive Media and English.

Where are you currently employed?

I’m currently employed as the Content Marketing Coordinator at eZanga.com, an online advertising company in Middletown, Delaware.

What are some of your every day responsibilities? ezanga

My job is to plan, manage, and execute all of eZanga’s content marketing, from email marketing to our company’s marketing blog and social media channels. Most of my time is spent developing our editorial calendars, writing and promoting content, measuring the success of said content, and coordinating with guest contributors and other sites that I contribute content for myself. I also assist with other marketing and public relations duties, so from time to time I’ll put aside those tasks to write press releases, pitch stories to journalists, apply for business awards on the company’s behalf, and work with the CEO on getting the company’s name out there.

What is one thing someone would be surprised to know about you?

Most people (that don’t know me, at least) would be surprised that I have a crazy tendency that my friends call “IMDB Brain.” Way too much of my brain is filled with who guest starred on what show, which 1950’s actor had a cameo in that new movie, and what TV show that stranger over in the corner just quoted. On top of all that, I truly and honestly can’t remember the last time I went an entire day without quoting a sitcom.

How did the University of Delaware prepare you for the workforce?

I was involved with a lot of RSOs at UD, and I feel like getting such a variety of experience outside of class prepared me really well. You might learn about something in a class, but it’s a really different feeling to be part of a team where you’re the one held accountable for doing it, and you may be the only one who knows how to do so. The speakers at PRSSA meetings also prepared me specifically for what it was like to have a career in public relations and marketing, and taught me about social media back when there weren’t many professors talking about it in my classes.

From one Blue Hen to another, do you have any advice for current Communication students?

I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but build the heck out of your personal brand! One of the first things my previous supervisor said to me when I interviewed with eZanga was how impressed she was with my personal blog. Starting my sophomore year and through to the present, I’m active on as many websites and social networks as possible and don’t post anything I wouldn’t want my coworkers or peer to see. But I still have fun and show people what my personality and hobbies are like.

During the day, you’ll find most of my tweets are career-oriented. At night, you’ll find me tweeting back and forth with my friends, talking about television, music, etc. I’ve always tried my hardest to show my entire personality to anyone who could find me online, whether that may be a new friend or a potential employer. Ideally, you want to be able to have someone Google your name and be proud of the “version of yourself” shown on every single one of those blue links on the first page of results.

Will you be attending Alumni Weekend 2014 (#UDCOMM40)? 

I’m going to try my hardest to attend Alumni Weekend! My extended family usually gets together for a barbeque at the end of May or early June, and I’m hoping they don’t overlap like they have before. Other than that, I live about three miles from campus, so I really have no other excuse not to be there!

brittany berger


‘Like’ The Department of Communication on Facebook

Celebrating 40 years as a Department.                                                                        Join the conversation with the hash-tag: #UDCOMM40

Fall literacy community project launched by public speaking students


This fall the students enrolled in Communication 212 Public Speaking will again create, launch and lead a support campaign for a local Delaware non-profit organization. This year, Dr. Tracey Holden’s students will work with Success Won’t Wait, which advocates for increased literacy among Delaware’s under-served children.

These energetic public speaking students will expand outreach and increase donations of the programs base location in Wilmington, Delaware. The overall purpose of the project is to connect students in the community.

Dr. Tracy Holden aims to connect students to the community through communication, “Comm 212 includes students from all majors, from freshmen to seniors.  No matter what background a student has, this project develops essential skills and civic experience.  It also offers the partnering agency the creativity and  energy of our dynamic students  – it’s a win-win!”


For more information on the project, contact: Dr. Tracey Holden tqhold@UDel.edu