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September 21, 2023

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PRSSA goes to Washington, D.C. for workshops

Members of the University’s Public Relations Student Society of America attended the PRSSA 2014 National Conference in Washington, D.C. during fall break.

The PRSSA members participated in public relations workshops and listened to guest speakers while in D.C.

“As part of the conference, they assigned each student with a site visit so everybody went to a different location,” said Julie Hagenbuch, program adviser for PRSSA. “Alexis Martinez got to go to the Pentagon and got to see their PR staff as part of the conference.”

Lucas Stall, chapter president of PRSSA, attended a luncheon for all the chapter presidents participating in the conference.

“We had a public relations agent from General Motors,” Stall said. “She was an incredibly interesting speaker who was very inspiring. She talked about how all agents working now started as student interns, which was cool to hear.”

In addition to the conference, the group took a tour of the White House press room, thanks to Jackie Calmes, a former White House correspondent for the New York Times.

“When Jackie Calmes was on campus in April, I asked her if there was any chance we could take a press room tour,” Hagenbuch said.

Calmes, a Toledo native, visited the University this past spring and gave a speech titled “Inside the White House Press Corps.”

“It was an unbelievable experience,” Hagenbuch said. “To literally be able to walk up to the White House and just go in and be a part of that culture was surreal.”

As an added bonus, the group went with the press corps to a press briefing and watched President Obama take off in Marine One, the president’s helicopter.

“People were taking pictures of us thinking we were important,” Hagenbuch said with a laugh. “It was crazy.”

The trip was funded by the student budget review committee as part of the Office of Campus Activities.

“We are so grateful for the money because money is tight and they funded our trip and we really want to acknowledge and thank them for it,” Hagenbuch said.

Stall was grateful for the opportunity to attend the conference and visit the White House, he said.

“D.C. was amazing,” Stall said. “Being able to go into the White House is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I hope I’ll be able to take part in again, along with other PRSSA members in the future.”

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