Executive Board Candidates

Election season is here! Click here to cast your vote for the 2018-2019 PRSSA Executive Board. But first, read up on the candidates below.

Note: In case you are unsure, find out what the Executive Board does, and how elections work.

Jump to a specific candidate:

President

Vice President

Director of Internal Communications

Public Relations Director

Director of Finance

Digital Media Director

Publications Editor

Director of Member Relations

President

Brooke Hamil

Brooke Hamil, Senior

How long have you been a member of PRSSA?

3 years

What personal qualities and previous leadership experience make you best suited for the position(s)?

I believe my experience as a Student Event Coordinator in Event Services at the University of Georgia, as current member of the Executive Board of PRSSA, interest and experience in leading groups, strong communication skills and passion make me an excellent candidate for this position.

Working as a Student Event Coordinator has primed me for this position. I communicate with clients daily, and have experience working quickly and thinking on my feet to ensure a successful event regardless of circumstances. I work alongside many other faculty and staff members and student employees, so I am experienced and comfortable working as a team and as an individual.

My time on E-Board this year has really allowed me to gain a new perspective on the organization and they ways in which it can succeed in the future. I have seen new fundraising initiatives develop as well as PRSSA begin to change its identity as an organization that includes many fields and views of Public Relations instead of simply one perspective. In the upcoming year, I hope to continue that growth as president.

Why do you want to serve on the PRSSA Executive Board?

I am most interested in this specific position because it provides me with the unique opportunity of immersing myself into this organization and helping PRSSA to grow on campus as I learn and grow as a young professional. I have loved getting to watch the organization grow and develop an identity, and over this year, I have been able to grow and gain new perspectives as a student.

I believe that I can bring new ideas and opportunities to the club and members throughout the year. I am interested in continuing the yearly plan that Riley created to incorporate as many different aspects of PR and perspectives from political PR to fashion PR.

All of that being said, I want to be on E-Board to ultimately help the club to reach its full potential on campus and to make it the best possible organization for its members. I personally believe I am the most equipped candidate for the president position, but I am also willing and able to assume any position on the board that the members and organization will best fit my skills. Personally, I believe being on E-Board is more important than being in a specific position.

Back to top ^

Vice President

Jake MacCracken

Jacob MacCracken, Senior

How long have you been a member of PRSSA?

3 years

What personal qualities and previous leadership experience make you best suited for the position(s)?

I believe that my overall desire to deliver the best with everything I am apart of, the passion that drives me to do so and the ability to hold effective conversations with those I am speaking with make me a perfect candidate for the positions. I also have been a student leader with over three different organizations and have been able to provide consistent and impactful work.

Why do you want to serve on the PRSSA Executive Board?

I believe that PRSSA offers a unique opportunity for students in the advertising & PR fields to connect with other students and professionals that few networking organizations are able to offer. With networking, personal growth opportunities and more, I want to be an integral part of the planning and execution process.

Back to top ^

Anna Alyssa McKoy

Anna Alyssa McKoy, Senior

How long have you been a member of PRSSA?

3 years

What personal qualities and previous leadership experience make you best suited for the position(s)?

My excellent organizational skills, enthusiasm, perseverance and strong work ethic are the qualities that will best serve me as Vice President. As Director of Member Relations, I have established relationships with my fellow members and guest speakers. Additionally, I found that my organizational skills helped ensure the membership process ran smoothly. Through implementation of a more efficient system of adding new members immediately, PRSSA communications were facilitated to the new members. I found that it was important to maintain continuous contact with my fellow Executive Board members, the committee head of Member Relations and fellow PRSSA members. This year I have enjoyed the opportunity to oversee the Member Relations Committee, serve the committee head, and develop relationships with committee members.

Another leadership experience that has prepared me for this position was my year as Colonnade Chair of my sorority. I learned how to professionally communicate with venues, musicians, businesses and our national advisors when planning our fall and spring Parents’ Weekend events. Furthermore, I enhanced my public speaking skills through presentations for chapter meetings. I presided and directed the festivities of Parents’ Weekend for an attendance of 300. For each event, I managed a committee of 20 people, including the delegation of tasks to each committee member through effective communication.

Why do you want to serve on the PRSSA Executive Board?

I want to continue to serve on the PRSSA Executive Board for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, I have enjoyed the opportunity to foster personal relationships with my fellow members this year as Director of Member Relations. I wish to continue my efforts to further the career passions of PRSSA members as Vice President. Several ideas I wish to implement would include a voluntary mentor program; a guest speaker panel composed of former PRSSA members sharing their career experiences with current members; and greater promotion of the annual DC agency tour as a membership benefit. It is important that PRSSA is focused on meeting the goals, objectives and plans of its members. PRSSA has given me so many wonderful and unique opportunities, and I aspire for our members to gain access to those same opportunities. My desire is to see that PRSSA be the stepping stone for incredible careers in public relations for all members.

Back to top ^

Director of Internal Communications

Aya Maruyama

Aya Maruyama, Junior

How long have you been a member of PRSSA?

1 year

What personal qualities and previous leadership experience make you best suited for the position(s)?

I am a perfectionist, a problem-solver and a people person. My color-coded planner is one of my best friends for that very reason. Not only does it keep me sane, but my extreme organizational skills ensure that I have allotted enough time to get everything I need to do and everything I want to do done efficiently and effectively. I find that planning ahead resolves many common problems you encounter when collaborating with multiple different parties, such as anticipating delays in communication or issues with scheduling. Addressing these challenges early then gives me time to solve more spontaneous complications in a less stressful manner, should they arise closer to deadlines.

These are all lessons I’ve learned throughout my two years as the Alumnae Relations Chair and Special Events Chair for Pi Beta Phi where lots of interpersonal communication, administrative work and organization/planning skills were crucial to success. I have also served as a liaison in leadership organizations such as Sophomore Leaders’ Circle and Freshman Greek Leaders, where I have practiced the importance of taking initiative, managing my time, and communicating thoroughly with everyone from peers to administrators and even outside professionals.

Why do you want to serve on the PRSSA Executive Board?

I didn’t know about PRSSA until the beginning of my sophomore year, but these past eight months of membership and involvement with the organization has solidified my desire to learn, practice, and work in the field of public relations.

Being a member of the social media committee and ADPR Connection’s marketing committee has given me real-world, hands-on experience that has supplemented and enhanced my coursework and broadened my network of peers and professionals in mass communication. I’ve also seen and heard about internships and jobs that other students have gained from PRSSA meetings and events, and I want to be part of the team that nurtures and continues that success. As the largest PRSSA chapter in the nation, we are capable of making a huge impact in the PR world and I want to give back in the biggest capacity possible.

Back to top ^

Will Salter

William Salter, Junior

How long have you been a member of PRSSA?

1 year

What personal qualities and previous leadership experience make you best suited for the position(s)?

The reason that I was drawn to this position is the amount of organization and detail that is required of it. My best quality is how detailed I am, and it is displayed in everything that I do

I currently intern year around with a production company called Without Limits Productions. The company produces the ATP World Tour’s weekly TV show, ATP World Tour Uncovered. Over the summer through this internship, I was flown to Newport, Rhode Island, where I acted as the media manager for the company at the International Tennis Hall of Fame. My main responsibility was communicating with the staff and crew and making sure that all of the daily footage wad logged and organized in detail.

I also was flown to Delray Beach, Florida last month to act as a producer on the ground. Here, I had to make sure that the ATP’s daily footage was captured, along with communicate with the ATP’s PR person in order to work out times and schedule interviews for the players. I found myself under immense pressure to get these things done, because I alone was responsible for the content that would air in over 150 countries.

Why do you want to serve on the PRSSA Executive Board?

I have been a part of PRSAA for almost a year now and have found it extremely rewarding. I look forward to coming to our meetings and getting to interact with our speakers and other members. I am someone who always like to move up and take on a bigger role in order to get more involved and have a bigger impact. I currently am on the member relations committee where I have been able to meet so many people through the committee, and by greeting and talking to everyone at each meeting.

Through my interactions with people, I have found that many of them, myself included, feel that the executive board is so far above us, that we cannot really have an input or talk to them sometimes. Experiencing this myself, and hearing that it is not just me has made me want to step up and be a part of the executive board so that I can change this and ensure that future members of PRSSA will not feel this distance. Along with this, I just generally want to serve my chapter and have a greater impact on it.

Back to top ^

Ivy Smith

Ivy Smith, Senior

How long have you been a member of PRSSA?

1 year

What personal qualities and previous leadership experience make you best suited for the position(s)?

During the last four years of my college experience, I have been involved in many clubs and held leadership positions. I have had the opportunity to attend many leadership conferences such as; the Georgia Collegiate Leadership Conference and the L3 Leaving a Legacy Leadership Conference. At these conferences, I learned skills on how to be a better leader for my organization, school and community. I have learned how to communicate with other members that have leadership positions, advisors, members and people outside of the organization to maintain community relations. I have learned that in order to get things to run more smoothly, keeping a detailed list and getting things done in an efficient manner, is extremely important. I have always worked well individually and in teams to get tasks done. I am always willing to learn and step in to help any members whenever needed.

Why do you want to serve on the PRSSA Executive Board?

Serving on the PRSSA Executive board has been a goal that I have had, from the moment I joined PRSSA. Being involved in clubs and organizations has always been a passion of mine. The things that you learn while serving in organizations translate into professional and personal development. When I transferred into UGA, I felt overwhelmed and lost until I joined PRSSA. Then suddenly, I got my spark back. I want to help other members like PRSSA has helped me. I want to be able to experience what goes on in the chapter and help make it a success. While continuing to help make it a place that our members and future members want to come and be a part of. Serving on the executive board will give me the opportunity to serve as a greater level and contribute to the growth and future success of our PRSSA chapter.

Back to top ^

Public Relations Director

Ashley Lollar

Ashley Lollar, Senior

How long have you been a member of PRSSA?

1 year

What personal qualities and previous leadership experience make you best suited for the position(s)?

I am a person who wants others to succeed and I want PRSSA to succeed. I am organized, easy-going and I care about PRSSA. These personality traits would allow me to succeed in the position of PR Director because the position require someone who is organized enough to effectively operate in multiple areas of the organization, friendly so that they can communicate with all of the members and fellow e-board members and dedicated to the success of this organization to the point where they are willing to make personal sacrifices for the good of the organization.

I have been fortunate enough to serve as the co-president of UGA Habitat for Humanity, networking committee head within PRSSA, and hold multiple PR internships at companies like New West Records and Choice Communications. My leadership experience has prepared me to serve PRSSA by allowing me to familiarize myself with the organization, learn the qualities of a good leader and work with companies similar to ones that speak to us at PRSSA meetings. I would use all of my previous experience to communicate effectively with other members, lead a team effectively whenever applicable, and keep the chapter organized and close to its mission.

Why do you want to serve on the PRSSA Executive Board?

I want to serve on the PRSSA Executive Board because I have gotten so much more than I ever imagined out of this organization and I want to help others take advantage and prosper with the resources given to them from PRSSA. I have already found one internship from PRSSA and I have developed several industry contacts that have already been useful to me even though I am in school. This organization is such a unique opportunity to gain valuable insight and connections before entering the workforce and I think every single member of PRSSA should know the potential that it has to jumpstart their career. I want to be on the e-board because I want to help members get the most out of the organization and show them how valuable this experience is.

Back to top ^

Kayla Nichols

Kayla Nichols, Junior

How long have you been a member of PRSSA?

2 years

What personal qualities and previous leadership experience make you best suited for the position(s)?

My time-management skills, thorough communication and collaborative leadership skills allow me to help organizations and businesses run smoothly and effectively. I have been on the publicity committee for two years, and I have improved my ability to work with others to create the best possible outcome. In my management position at the Ramsey Aquatics Center during the past year, my confidence as a leader has grown. My internship at the Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau has given me opportunities to work with others in a creative yet professional environment. My time-management skills have allowed me to successfully take part in all three of these positions. The publicity committee and my internship have improved my communication skills through writing and graphic design. Managing in a risk environment requires thorough communication so that emergencies and everyday tasks are properly handled. In all of my leadership positions, I must collaborate with my peers and supervisors to create the best course of action for each scenario and task. My skills have strengthened through these positions, and they will allow me to be successful in the Public Relations Director role.

Why do you want to serve on the PRSSA Executive Board?

Since I have been on the publicity committee for two years, I have learned the ins and outs of what needs to happen to ensure PRSSA is effectively publicized. I have gained experience and helped improve PRSSA, and I would like to continue to do both through this role. The more I put into PRSSA, the more I get out of it. This role will allow me to utilize my skills as a communicator, leader and collaborator in order to lead the publicity committee in the right direction. I would not have the opportunities I currently do without the help of PRSSA meetings and members. PRSSA has helped me build the foundation for my career as a public relations professional, and I want to have the position to help members build theirs. I also want the opportunity to work closely with other members who share my passions and interests in public relations. The relationships built through PRSSA are invaluable, and so are the opportunities and experience gained through the organization.

Back to top ^

Director of Finance

Kat Blanchard

Kat Blanchard, Junior

How long have you been a member of PRSSA?

2 years

What personal qualities and previous leadership experience make you best suited for the position(s)?

I believe that my years of experience in coaching swimming, as well as my experience on the fundraising committee provide me with ideal qualities for these positions. Through coaching I have learned to work with swimmers of all ages, often adjusting teaching plans to fit individual needs. I have taught children as young as four and adults as old as 44 to swim. This experience has taught me how to change my communication to best reach my audience. From working on the Fundraising committee and coaching I have developed a way of motivating others to achieve a goal; whether that is beating a time in swimming or getting a percentage night set up for fundraising. I also believe that I am a very organized person who would be able to keep track of all of the finances very well. I currently manage 5 different email accounts all which receive emails daily. With so many emails I am able to respond within 2 hours most days and I also am able to keep track of all the different calendars and topics that are discussed. For years I have balanced school and work and I believe those experiences would allow me to add Executive board to the list without a problem.

Why do you want to serve on the PRSSA Executive Board?

I would like to serve on the Executive Board because I believe it will give me the skills and experience needed to be the most successful I can be in my future career. I also feel that being on Executive board would give me the chance to expand my professional network not only with our speakers but also with our members. I also am truly passionate about making PRSSA available to all students and I believe that while on Executive board, I can help to create ways for that. I want to continue the idea of membership scholarships and make PRSSA accessible to all. I also want to continue to grow my skills and feel that with Director of Finance, I would be able to learn so much about how the club runs from a finance perspective I also know that this role would provide better understanding of how the finance aspect ultimately determines the services a club can offer. In order to help make PRSSA accessible too all understanding where we have extra money would allow for me to help create new opportunities for members.

Back to top ^

Maria Stagliano pic 2

Maria Stagliano, Senior

How long have you been a member of PRSSA?

1 year

What personal qualities and previous leadership experience make you best suited for the position(s)?

For several years, I worked with my co-founder on an unofficial cupcake business. I managed the majority of the finances via budgeting, purchasing and pricing. In addition, my creative nature gives a fresh perspective when looking for solutions to problems. I offered a variety of possibilities to my fundraising committee for new ways to raise money without having to spend any of our own. My organizational skills and attention to detail would serve me well in a position where I would have to manage finances. My interpersonal communication skills are strong amongst both peers and professionals, so I would feel very comfortable working with groups such as the business department in solving problems and discussing our organization’s needs.

Why do you want to serve on the PRSSA Executive Board?

I want to make a difference in PRSSA. As a transfer, I have not had many opportunities to prove myself in the past year. However, I know I would be an invaluable asset as a member of the executive board. I work well with others, usually see solutions to problems that no one else does, and I genuinely care about the organization. PRSSA was my priority when I transferred here last year. The group has exceeded all my expectations. I am amazed at the number of opportunities PRSSA offers its members, and by the connections I am able to make with others. As a member of the executive board, I feel I could make a real difference in improving the already amazing organization. I want to discuss with previous E-board members their frustrations and future hopes for PRSSA, so I can do my part to make the organization even better. Finance is an essential aspect of any group, and I know that PRSSA needs a person who is willing to push the boundaries yet work well within them. My commitment to the organization is strong, and I hope to be able to make a real difference by being elected.

Back to top ^

Digital Media Director

Lottie Smalley

Lottie Smalley, Junior

How long have you been a member of PRSSA?

1 year

What personal qualities and previous leadership experience make you best suited for the position(s)?

When I was a Girl Scout, my mom told me to stop being bossy and let the adults delegate. As COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, says, “That little girl’s not bossy. That little girl has executive leadership skills." Scouts was my first experience with leadership, and I admired the "bossy" women I encountered on a daily basis. As I grew older and gained a greater understanding of what it means to be a leader, I began to look for ways to serve. I’m excited about this opportunity because it’s truly a perfect fit for me: I’m organized, I’m detail-oriented, but most of all, I’m passionate. I am confident in my capabilities as a result of a variety of my past experiences. First, my role as an active PRSSA member, serving on the social media committee, has taught me about teamwork and helped me understand the responsibilities of the Digital Media Director. Additionally, I am a Tate Leadership Scholar. In this role, I meet with a team of campus leaders where we discuss leadership theory and development, and grow together as effective leaders. Finally, I have a genuine interest in the PR field and a zeal for all things digital, design, and social media.

Why do you want to serve on the PRSSA Executive Board?

The brilliant cellist, Yo-Yo Ma, once said, “Passion is one great force that unleashes creativity, because if you’re passionate about something, then you’re more willing to take risks.” Public Relations is a field I have been passionate about for as long as I can remember. When I returned from my first trip to New York City, where I attended the International Makeup Artist Trade Show, I told my parents, “this is what I want to do.” I feel so lucky to have found such a home in PRSSA at UGA. I’ve bonded with people who share interests, but, more importantly, have grown as a woman, a leader, and a professional. I want to serve this chapter and help it thrive so that it may provide even more benefits for others. Leadership is not a cult of personality or popularity. For me, leadership is both about service to others but, also, about bold ideas and gathering consensus. My philosophy is that we lead to serve with energy and imagination, and I want to do just that for our chapter on the PRSSA Executive Board next year.

Back to top ^

Publications Editor

Gustavo Cervantes

Gustavo Cervantes, Junior

How long have you been a member of PRSSA?

2 years

What personal qualities and previous leadership experience make you best suited for the position(s)?

At UGA, I've presided over committee meetings for the Model United Nations Club's annual high school conference for two years. In these meetings, I have moderated debate in rooms of up to 100 high schoolers, keeping order in the room and steering them towards productivity. I have been active in other organizations and events as well - I volunteered under hospitality for ADPR Connection 2017, where I worked with a committee to ensure that we could distribute gifts that we had received from sponsors throughout the event.

As a leader, I like to really listen to what those I am leading have to say and take their feedback and viewpoints into account. I am a fan of clear communication and I like to befriend those who are part of any team I am a part of. I believe that making real, human connections with those around you are crucial for a successful, productive environment because becoming real friends with the people you work with leads to a more comfortable and positive working atmosphere.

Why do you want to serve on the PRSSA Executive Board?

I want to serve on the PRSSA Executive Board because it be a great opportunity and a perfect fit for me. I have been a part of the organization for two years now, and I have enjoyed my time and all the benefits that I have reaped. I am interested in seeing the organization continue to do well so that PRSSA members can continue benefiting from such a great resource.

I am most excited for the work that the publications committee does. The publications club is a fantastic opportunity for incoming PRSSA members because it builds their portfolio rapidly by practicing the highest valued skill in PR - writing. I am excited to emphatically market the committee, because the work I have done for it has helped me become marketable; it is a fantastic opportunity within our organization.

I also would like to improve the distribution and readership of the PRecedent. By streamlining the publication cycle and timing of the PRecedent, it could be more about what is actually going on within the club and at UGA. Campus-related stories are a little more work, but they would be more relevant to students, and make the publication more read.

Back to top ^

Director of Member Relations

Mary Kelly Coughlin

Mary Kelly Coughlin, Senior

How long have you been a member of PRSSA?

3 years

What personal qualities and previous leadership experience make you best suited for the position(s)?

My most impactful leadership experience has been with ZTA’s recruitment executive board, where I was responsible for educating my chapter on the recruitment process and helping form the future of our chapter. In this role, I learned about the providing longevity for the chapter. I understood that who we recruited were going to be the next leaders of our organization and that it was important to get to know who they truly are as people. As Director of Member Relations, you are responsible for keeping track of membership information, this starts from knowing who your members are. I believe we could start those relationships by making our exec more accessible. PRSSA leadership should be readily available to their members because they need know that this organization is going to be past down to strong leaders.

I have built myself on a brand of being a strong communicator with the ability to communicate to any audience. This is crucial for leading with transparency and respect. Additionally, I am well organized and can stick to a schedule. I understand the importance of submitting paperwork on time and keeping updated information on our members in order to do this role efficiently.

Why do you want to serve on the PRSSA Executive Board?

I would enjoy the opportunity to serve because I want a chance to make a bigger impact in my college. PRSSA is a staple organization in Grady and to be a part of leading the club would be a big honor and responsibility. It provides students with a way to leave their legacy on a college that has given them so much. I want an opportunity to foster the relationships both internally and externally to create an even bigger foot print of PRSSA in our community. Also, as a senior I want to push myself to lead by example for other younger members of Grady to look up too. My goal for PRSSA would be to create an environment and relationships internally that could last a life time. I want our members to be able to reach out to each other down the road and know that they have a solid support system. As an executive board, we are responsible for building a strong foundation within in and pairing it with the knowledge that our speakers provide, so that when we go out into the real world we have the given our members the best tools to succeed.

Back to top ^

Carolyne Eith

Carolyne Eith, Junior

How long have you been a member of PRSSA?

2 years

What personal qualities and previous leadership experience make you best suited for the position(s)?

I’m incredibly detail-oriented and work very well (if not at my best) with deadlines. My planner is my life, and to-do lists are what get me out of bed in the morning. My room is always clean, my email folder is always organized, and I cross out each day on the calendar with a sharpie when it's done. I would be perfect for the Director of Member Relations position because I love all of the tasks the job entails such as organization, writing, sending out emails, creating google docs/forms etc. I have experience with sending out weekly emails and keeping in constant communication with lots of individuals at once, as I am currently Director of Career and Personal Development for my sorority. I have learned how to keep an entire chapter constantly updated on events, use a listserv, submit forms, maintain records, etc., which are many of the requirements listed for Director of Member Relations.

Why do you want to serve on the PRSSA Executive Board?

I joined PRSSA last year to begin learning more about Public Relations and what different jobs look like for this major. PRSSA has given me opportunities to learn about my field and gain valuable experience and first-hand insight from professionals who have been in my position. I would love to give back to the club and help enrich it to properly serve current and future members so that they may experience everything PRSSA has to offer. I would also love to get to work alongside and get to know other members better on the executive board. I have the time and dedication to do this job properly, and would love the ability to do so.

Back to top ^