Honoring the PR Pros of Today and Tomorrow: WSU PRSSA’s 14th Annual Alumni & Student Recognition Breakfast

By: Jeff Adkins, PRSA Detroit Member


Every time I attend an event through PRSA or PRSSA that involves being on Wayne State’s campus or the opportunity to interact with current students, I feel the same way – a mix of nostalgia and gratitude.

That sentiment certainly remained true at the James S. Measell Chapter of PRSSA’s 14th Annual Alumni & Student Recognition Breakfast, which recently took place on Wayne State University’s campus. Held in the beautiful and recently-renovated Student Center, the event comprises Wayne State PR students of today, and university PR alumni ranging from recent grads to seasoned pros.

They’re all there to do the same thing – to honor both the alumni who have worked hard to thrive in the field of public relations, as well as the students who are diligently working toward that same goal.

At this year’s event, Kelly Rossman-McKinney, APR, Fellow PRSA, CEO and Principal of Truscott Rossman, was honored for the incredible career she has built over time. Her speech to the students was at the same time humorous and heartfelt. As an alumna of the university’s PR program, she provided a speech that was both uplifting and inspirational to the students and professionals who attended.

Another couple aspects of the event that I truly love include announcing the James S. Measell Chapter’s new Executive Board, as well as presenting scholarships to outstanding students who work hard each day toward launching their careers. As a former scholarship recipient myself, I can tell you that the scholarships truly make a difference in the lives of those students. Having had a chance to speak with and get to know several of the current PR students who earned scholarships, I have no doubt whatsoever that those scholarships were well-earned by the recipients.

The Wayne State University PR students are hard-working, diligent and very intelligent. While they are each inherently talented in their own ways, part of the success the students achieve is thanks to the teaching and mentoring they receive from the director of the undergraduate PR program, Dr. Shelly Najor. Shelly is an incredible leader who whole-heartedly prepares the Wayne State PR students for the real world, and the impact of that preparation has been shown time and time again in the success of the program’s alumni members.

As always, it was truly an honor attend this year’s Annual Alumni & Student Recognition Breakfast. I’d like to congratulate Kelly Rossman-McKinney, APR, the university’s new PRSSA Executive Board, and the students who earned scholarships this year. I see it every time I attend a PRSA event, but the PR community in metro Detroit is thriving, and the future looks extremely bright!