The Grand Valley State University Public Relations Student Society of America (GVPRSSA) was recognized by the PRSSA National Board as a Star chapter for the eighth time. The Star Chapter award is earned by chapters demonstrating excellence in providing programming and relationship building opportunities for students. GVPRSSA’s commitment to setting the bar higher each year defines the integrity and professionalism of the award-winning chapter. 

These accomplishments were recognized due to GVPRSSA’s ability to host outstanding speakers, workshops, and agency tours, to create biweekly podcasts and to support their student run firm, Grand PR through campaign creation and volunteering events. 

Outstanding Speakers

GVPRSSA hosted fifteen speakers this year, including the “Beyonce of Branding,” Brandi Boatner, Social and Influencer Communications Lead, from International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) located in New York. She offered tips on corporate and personal branding, while sharing personal experiences and lessons learned as a young, black female professional in the ever changing public relations industry. 

Agency Tours

The chapter continued their successes by hosting ten agency tours in the Greater Grand Rapids area, the West Michigan area, Chicago and Detroit. Reflections of these tours were in the form of blogs and podcasts. GVPRSSA will start virtual agency tours in the future with utmost regard to safety, understanding the importance of being an adaptive chapter.

BiWeekly Podcasts

PR Hangover is GVPRSSA’s podcast that captured these insights, discussing topics such as influencer marketing, career advice, diversity and more. PR Hangover was awarded Top 25 PR Podcast due to its popularity.

Current Chapter President, Allison Canter, says she is, “So proud of our chapter for never failing to offer our members a variety of different opportunities to advance their careers in the Advertising and Public Relations field. We were lucky to be able to work with so many gracious PR professionals and agencies that gave us the opportunity to have these experiences.” 


GVPRSSA adapted quickly to the global pandemic, utilizing their voices and recording abilities to successfully implement their High School Outreach initiative. Recognized for its success, GVPRSSA members created videos for their younger peers pushing information about increasing communication and marketing skills, while sharing about their personal successes due to involvement with GVPRSSA.

GVPRSSA was able to host twelve members at the 2019 PRSSA International conference in San Diego. The Star Chapter was awarded University College Service, Outstanding PRSA/PRSSA Chapter Relationship with West Michigan Public Relations Society of America (WMPRSA), faculty advisor Dr. Adrienne Wallace, Ph.D. was awarded Outstanding Faculty Adviser of the Year; and the organization was also awarded the Star Chapter Award. 

The proud former PRSSA President, Delaney Mackenzie says,  “While this school year didn’t end how we had anticipated, our chapter still worked diligently all year to provide our students with excellent programming, networking and professional development opportunities, high school outreaches and more.”

Not only is this achievement humbling, but it’s gratifying and inspiring. The students of GVPRSSA and GrandPR are career driven and passionate about their studies, no matter what obstacles they face

Hannah Grant is a senior at GVSU majoring in advertising and public relations, with a minor in Writing. Her creativity and social spirit make her very excited to serve on the GrandPR Executive Board as the Firm Editor. Hannah is currently working as a marketing intern at the Kids’ Food Basket headquarters in Grand Rapids. She is ready to bring her experience and passion for all things communication to this year’s GrandPR team.

Twitter: @hgranttt