STUDENT GROUP FINDS NATIONAL RECOGNITION AS PUBLISHER OF TRADE NEWSPAPER
Members of the Syracuse University chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) were not exactly shoo-ins to win a bid for the honor of publishing Forum,the national organization's newspaper. But their skills and professionalism made quite an impression at last year's national convention.
With the support of Professor Pattijean Hooper, their faculty advisor, PRSSA members put together a strong presentation and won the bid. "We looked at things we wanted to do to make Forum better, and we just went with it," Hooper says.
At the national convention each spring, PRSSA chapters vie for publishing rights the following academic year. Forum is published thrice annually and has a circulation of about 6,000. The PRSSA chapter from Brigham Young University, which has a long-standing association with Forum, was heavily favored to win. "They are a wonderfully active and strong chapter. Then along comes Syracuse," Hooper says, savoring the accomplishment.
While Hooper may have provided the necessary encouragement, it was the students who put together the successful presentation. Gina Pesko '00 says the goals of the chapter were to make slight improvements to the design, and to run more stories that addressed the current interests of public relations students nationwide.
Hooper says seeing her students win the Forumcompetition was the kind of accomplishment that reinforces her enthusiasm for teaching. "As a professor, it is exciting to see people reach another level professionally," she says.
For Pesko, that presentation was just the beginning. She is editor-in-chief of Forumthis year, and is flourishing in her affiliation with PRSSA. Pesko says her first issue as editor demonstrated how well her Newhouse classes had prepared her for the role. "I had one graphics class and I had to lay out a whole 12-page paper by myself-and I'm no computer expert," she says. "I found out how good that one class really was."
Hooper's strategy, as PRSSA chapter advisor and in the classroom, is to let the students take the initiative. Indeed, Pesko says she learned a great deal about publishing in putting together that first issue.
Pesko's experience with Forumand the national contacts she has made in the process have built her confidence. As Forumeditor, she is a member of the PRSSA national executive committee. A former broadcasting major, Pesko now looks forward to a career in public relations and plans to join the professional version of the public relations society in the future.
"With Forum,you get hands-on technical experience, and help shape how other students view the organization," Pesko says. "It's an important one and a great networking tool. Because you are in contact with people across the country, it puts you on a different level."
INTERIM DEAN MULVEY SEES HERSELF AS A CATALYST FOR MEETING NEW CHALLENGES
When College of Nursing professor Cecilia Mulvey retired in 1996, she looked forward to devoting more time to professional organizations. She serves on the boards of the American Nurses Association and the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and is president of the American Nurses Foundation.
But when Vice Chancellor Gershon Vincow asked her last fall to be interim dean of the College of Nursing, she didn't think twice before accepting. "This college is very important to me," Mulvey says. "I've spent a lot of my professional life here, and I have a great deal of commitment to our students."
Mulvey has worked in nursing for 42 years. She was a public health practitioner and administrator for several years before joining the College of Nursing faculty in 1970. Mulvey was also the college's associate dean for six years.
Interim College of Nursing Dean Cecilia Mulvey says faculty and students are committed to meeting challenges.
The college has had a strong influence on nursing in Central New York and beyond, she says. "Every place I go I run into graduates who are making contributions in all kinds of health care systems. It's important to me that students and graduates feel the college gives them values and skills that really enable them to have successful and productive careers in nursing."
During her tenure as dean, Mulvey wants to work with faculty members to continue developing state-of-the-art curricula that prepare students for the changing health care environment. "Our practice is science based, so our faculty members need to be increasingly involved in research," she says. "At the same time, because we are a practice profession, they need to be involved in practice settings to show students what expert nursing is."
Mulvey is inspired by the words of Edith H. Smith, founding dean of the College of Nursing, who said in 1963: "The future lies ahead with all its opportunities for adventurous growth. There will always be conflicting issues to be resolved, arresting problems to be met, and seldom will there be peace or time for complacency. Such is the nature of nursing education."
"We will always have challenges ahead of us," Mulvey says. "We will always need to look into ourselves for energy, commitment, and vision to grow and develop. I am committed to being a catalyst for that. And I have full faith the faculty and students have that commitment too."
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