The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is the foremost organization for students interested in public relations and communications. PRSSA seeks to advance the public relations profession by nurturing generations of future professionals. PRSSA advocates rigorous academic standards for public relations education, the highest ethical principles and diversity in the profession.
PRSSA is made up of more than 11,000 students and advisers organized into more than 300 chapters in the United States and one in Argentina. PRSSA has a rich history of support from its parent organization, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), which offers professional development, networking opportunities and news. PRSSA helps students enhance their education, broaden their networks and launch their careers in public relations.
PRSA’s Portland Metro Chapter supports PRSSA through professional development, networking, mentoring and financial support for the annual Jack Ewan Scholarship.
In partnership with the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism and Communications (SOJC) and PRSA’s Greater Oregon Chapter, the Portland Metro Chapter provides financial support for Jack Ewan Scholarship Award, presented annually to a graduating student who is a member of the University of Oregon’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Chapter. The award is named for SOJC Associate Professor Emeritus Jack Ewan, who died in 2009 at the age of 85.
After graduating from Northwestern University, Ewan worked in public relations and advertising for companies including General Electric and Motorola in Chicago. In 1964, he joined the faculty at the University of Oregon.
Ewan has been credited with building the school’s Public Relations courses into an accredited major. He was also responsible for the founding of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Chapter at the University of Oregon, the first in the Northwest District.
Until his retirement in 1985, Ewan guided the public relations program in the journalism school to high-profile involvement both regionally and nationally.
Since the late 1980s, the school has presented the Jack Ewan Scholarship Award to an outstanding graduating student who is a member of its PRSSA chapter. The award recognizes academic and extracurricular achievement as well as potential.
“When the award was instituted, there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that it should be called the Jack Ewan Award. Jack Ewan was an actual pioneer in public relations,” University of Oregon Professor Tom Bivins said. “He not only founded the first PRSSA chapter in the region, he personally trained hundreds of professionals now practicing public relations in the Northwest and around the country.”