Leading by Example: JMS Professor Now Serving on PRSA National Board of Directors
If one of the best ways to teach the next generation of professionals is through leading by example, then the School of Journalism and Media Studies (JMS) is in great company. As of Jan. 1, JMS professor Dr. Kaye Sweetser, APR+M, Fellow PRSA, is now serving as the Western District representative for the national Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Board of Directors.
PRSA is the leading professional organization serving the communication industry. With more than 30,000 members, it is the principal advocate for excellence and ethical conduct in the field.
"I am driven by service," said Sweetser who has been practicing PR for nearly 25 years. "As I step up to lead our industry at the national level I'm reminded of how special the connections are in local PRSA chapters. My work on the board will enable me to ensure the practice and the Society continue to move forward and that those local networks strengthen a part of that progress."
This is Sweetser's first time on the PRSA Board, but she was previously the Research Chair on the Universal Accreditation Board. Within JMS, she supported PRSA's pre-professional student club as advisor to the Public Relations Student Society of America. Before coming to SDSU, Sweetser was the PRSSA Bateman Case Study Competition faculty advisor for the University of Georgia where her teams won nationals and often placed in among the top schools.
"Every decision I've made in my career so far has been led by that push within me to do more and be better at my job," said Sweetser.
In 2017 Sweetser joined the PRSA College of Fellows. PRSA calls the College of Fellows an elite group of practitioners and educators, 350-plus members strong who are often touted as the “best of the best.” As evidence of that, Sweetser has two PRSA Silver Anvil awards and one Silver Anvil Award of Excellence in recognition of her PR campaigns.
Sweetser, who became the director of the Glen M. Broom Center for Professional Development in Public Relations last July, said it is her job to push the status quo.
"Thinking back on the legacy of our own Dr. Glen Broom, I see the impact that he had on an entire profession," began Sweetser. "He didn't set out to change the role of PR in the business world, but he did. He kept pushing every day to improve the profession by giving his best, to uphold the highest of ethics and to laugh along the way. I'm living by his words and seeing that positive ripple up throughout the entire industry when one practitioner does her best."
Sweetser is serving a one-year term on the PRSA Board of Directors. She will assist the Society in launching their Vision 20/20 strategic plan, strengthen membership and support projects for increased diversity and inclusion in PRSA.
The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.