October 27, 2003
By Shea Henty
Baylor senior Stephanie Schneider, Kingwood, Texas, is the first Baylor student to be awarded the National Golden Key Award by the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).
Recipients of the Golden Key must meet certain requirements set by the organization. These include: being a member of PRSSA for two years, having a grade point average of at least 3.4 in major courses, and holding a leadership position in PRSSA at the chapter or national level.
In addition, winners must have held at least one professional internship corroborated by their faculty or professional advisor and must affirm their intention to become an associate member of the Public Relations Society of America within one year of graduation.
Schneider joined the organization the fall of her sophomore year soon after declaring journalism as her major and served as the vice president of finances during her junior year.
"The field of public relations attracted me because I had always been interested in journalism, but I didn't want to work for a newspaper, teach or go into broadcast," Schneider said. "I didn't really know very much about public relations, but after talking to various practitioners, I knew it was the perfect career choice."
The leadership experience gained through working with the other officers of PRSSA and getting to know the faculty advisor Dr. Michael Bishop were invaluable experience for Schneider.
"I felt joining PRSSA and holding a leadership position in the organization would help me network and gain experience in leadership," she said.
Schneider was inducted into the Kappa Tau Alpha National Honor Society in Journalism and Mass Communication for maintaining a 4.0 GPA in her major last spring at the Journalism Awards Banquet.
Under Bishop's guidance, Schneider interned at the City of Waco's Municipal Information Office as a part of the course requirements for advanced public relations. She gained more internship experience this past summer working as a corporate communications intern at Administaff, a leading professional employer organization in Houston.
After graduation in December, Schneider will be working as a corporate communication writer for Administaff.
The National Golden Key Award was created in 1983 to recognize outstanding PRSSA members.
This unique award is the highest individual achievement that can be rewarded to members of the PRSSA. It's an honor that is only given to students who display outstanding academic excellence in public relations and leadership in PRSSA. The awards were given out during the annual PRSSA convention Oct 24-28 in New Orleans.
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