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The South Dakota State University's Public Relations Student Society of American (PRSSA) Diversity Campaign's goal, #JacksWantU, is to promote diversity awareness on campus as well as make better efforts towards welcoming international students into the community. We recognize how important diversity is for all to learn from and we want to welcome more diversity on the SDSU campus. One of our main efforts in doing this is creating a scholarship specifically for international students. There are many benefits of having a diverse campus, and we hope to create better opportunities to do so. Funding will go towards making an official SDSU scholarship for international students looking to go into public relations.
The team of board members working in support of this campaign are:
• Kirsten Barott
• Libbey Miles
• Matilyn Skinner
• Megan Teppo
• Reed Trenhaile
The faculty and staff working in support of this campaign are:
• Dr. Maria Kalyvaki, Adjunct Faculty of Communications & Journalism
• Mrs. Kas Williams, Program Advisor-African American Programs/Interim Director-DIEA Student Services Support
Diversity benefits any field, but it is particularly vital in Public Relations. Although much research has been conducted on increasing student's cultural competence through educational interventions in disciplines such as health sciences and social work, little exists on effective interventions in Public Relations and Journalism (Campinha-Bacote’s, 2002; Fuentes & Shannon, 2016). Racial and ethnic minority groups in the United States are at a greater risk of being underrepresented. Research has shown that a culturally competent public relations workforce is needed to address communication-related issues in diverse populations. And the United States is growing more diverse all the time. The development of a diverse public relations workforce must start in the schools of public relations. Existing research indicates that experiential learning is the most effective method for increasing students' cultural competence (Deardorff, 2011).
One of the core values of South Dakota State University is “Diversity,” and the University embraces diversity in education, research, and service. The School's International student population has decreased dramatically in the last years, and the University is working hard to create an inclusive, equitable environment. But the student body is still not as diverse as the population of the United States. We are asking alumni and friends of the Public Relations School to do their part to ensure that students are receiving the support they need to thrive in the Public Relations major and in to their future careers.
If you donate to our crowdfunding campaign, you will be supporting future underrepresented minority students. The amount of $2,100 will be enough to establish a scholarship for one student for one year. Our goal is to gather $10,500 to make the scholarship sustainable for 5 years. If we substantially exceed our goal, we may be able to fund additional scholarships. One huge hurdle to achieving diversity in education is the increasing rate of tuition and the many costs associated with being a student. High costs can have an even greater impact on underrepresented students and financial aid can be a deciding factor for many. We want to ensure money is not a deterrent in pursuing a degree for those who are interested in a career in public relations.
We need your help to establish our annual International Students Scholarship program! Together we can make a real difference for these students, who will then go on to make a difference in diverse communities in the state of South Dakota, in our nation, and around the world. If each of us gives even a small amount we will easily meet our goal.
We will be regularly updating our social media with the progress of this campaign. Check us out on Facebook!
If you prefer to make check or cash donation, it can either be dropped off or mailed in to the SDSU Foundation:
815 Medary Ave /Box 525
Brookings, SD 57007
Please help share this campaign on social media and with anyone you think would support us!