Student public relations group at UH Manoa garners national recognition

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Ji Young Kim, (808) 956-3353
Assistant Professor, School of Communications
Posted: Nov 19, 2015

UH Manoa PRSSA students with faculty adviser.
UH Manoa PRSSA students with faculty adviser.
From left, Ann Auman, Chair; Shiina LoSciuto, PRSSA President; and Ji Young Kim, Faculty Adviser.
From left, Ann Auman, Chair; Shiina LoSciuto, PRSSA President; and Ji Young Kim, Faculty Adviser.

The David A. Ward Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa received its first Star Chapter Award at the 2015 PRSSA National Conference, held November 6-10 in Atlanta, Georgia. The chapter was one of 43 chapters nationwide to be recognized for its outstanding achievements and professional development during the 2014-2015 academic year.

The Star Chapter Award, created in 2009, is designed to honor the qualifying chapters that meet at least eight of the following 10 requirements:

  • Initiate and complete at least one community service project.
  • Strengthen the relationship with a PRSA sponsor chapter.
  • Give attention to ethics in a least one chapter meeting.
  • Confirm that at least one chapter member applies for an individual National PRSSA scholarship or award.
  • Confirm that the chapter applied for at least one national PRSSA award.
  • Conduct a high school outreach session and/or promote affiliate membership to a nearby community college.
  • Confirm attendance by at least one chapter member at the National Conference, National Assembly, a Regional Conference or Leadership Rally.
  • Gain positive attention for the chapter in at least one campus or community publication or other media.
  • Extend an invitation to students/faculty from other disciplines to attend at least one chapter meeting.
  • Confirm that at least 10 percent of the chapter's graduating seniors applied for PRSA Associate Membership. Chapters with fewer than 10 senior members need to confirm one application.

Two UHM student representatives attended the national conference, thanks to the sponsorship from the Department of Communications at UHM and PRSA Hawaiʻi, accompanied by the chapter’s professional adviser, Amy Hennessey, APR, director of communications for Ulupono Initiative.

Said Hennessey, “It is exciting to see the dedication and efforts of our PRSSA students be recognized through the national Star Chapter Award. The chapter leadership is working hard to ensure its members are prepared for a career in public relations and I’m so proud of the whole team for being among the top of their peers.”

“Being a Star Chapter will be one of our priorities from now on,” said PRSSA UHM President Shiina LoSciuto. “It will be a big step for UHM to become more nationally involved.”

Since its founding in 1979, the David A. Ward Chapter of PRSSA at UHM has steadily grown its presence and networks in Hawaiʻi. By exceeding the professional standards of the Star Chapter Award, the chapter has now expanded its outreach nationally. The chapter’s next goal is to apply for the Bateman Case Study Competition, PRSSA’s annual national case study competition.

To learn more about PRSSA UHM, visit its website at, or its Facebook page. For more information on PRSSA’s Star Chapter Award, visit


The David A. Ward chapter of PRSSA at the University of Hawaiʻi was chartered in 1979 and receives strong support from the Hawaiʻi chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. All students interested in public relations are eligible for membership. In 1981, the chapter received PRSSA’s national award for university service; in 1982, it was named the outstanding student organization on campus; in 1990, the chapter won the Outstanding PRSA/PRSSA Relationship award, and in 1993, UHM’s chapter won the South Pacific District’s outstanding community service award.  

For more information, visit: