Kent State Public Relations Student Organization and Alumni Win National Awards

Kent State University’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA Kent) Chapter, along with two School of Media and Journalism (MDJ) alumnae, earned national recognition at the 2020 PRSSA Annual International Conference, Oct. 26-Oct. 29, 2020.

Public relations alumna Jill Golden, ’20, of Macedonia, won the highest individual award, the National Gold Key award, which recognizes students with academic excellence in public relations and leadership within their PRSSA chapter. 

“I am honored to be selected as one of PRSSA’s National Gold Key Award Recipients,” Golden said. “I’m happy to see my work be recognized.”

Golden is a corporate communications project manager at The Davey Tree Expert Company. She served on the executive board of PRSSA Kent as the vice president of communications and the vice president of professional relations and participated in the National Organ Donation Awareness Competition in addition to coursework and other activities at Kent State.

“During my three years of being involved with PRSSA, I tried my best to fulfill my roles to the best of my ability and offer guidance and mentorship to younger members when needed,” Golden said. 

Michele Ewing, APR, professor, PRSA Fellow, sequence coordinator of MDJ’s public relations program and faculty advisor of the PRSSA Kent Chapter, said it was rewarding to see Golden get recognized for her hard work. 

“Jill is an outstanding role model and a rising star in the public relations profession,” Ewing said. “This national recognition is well deserved.” 

Alumna Carrie Kandes, APR, ’97, of Hudson, earned the Teahan Professional Adviser award, the highest national honor, for her work with PRSSA Kent students. 

“We can count on Carrie to guide the PRSSA officers with planning programming and communication, help students network with PR professionals, serve as a guest speaker, support fundraising, the list goes on,” Ewing said.

Kandes, a communications and brand consultant, has served as a professional adviser for PRSSA Kent for more than a decade and has taught as an adjunct professor in the public relations program at Kent State.

“As a proud PRKent alumna and a former PRSSA member myself, I’m truly grateful for this honor,” Kandes said. “To be recognized for something I enjoy so fully is humbling. I’m thrilled it also brings much-deserved visibility to Kent State’s stellar PRSSA chapter, which continues to exceed expectations with its work to connect, engage and enrich future PR pros.”

The PRSSA Kent Chapter also received Star Chapter recognition for the 9th year in a row. Star Chapters are recognized for meeting a gold standard for programming and relationship-building opportunities for its members. During the past 16 years, PRSSA Kent has won ten Teahan awards, including the Outstanding Chapter award at the 2019 National Conference in San Diego, Calif. and at the 2014 National Conference in Washington D.C.


PRSSA is a national pre-professional organization with nearly 9,000 students and advisers organized into 300 plus Chapters in the United States, Argentina, Colombia and Peru.d. For more information about PRSSA, visit

About PRSSA Kent

The Kent State Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA Kent) was established in 1968 as one of the 14 original Alpha Chapters of PRSSA. The student-run organization collaborates with its parent chapter, the PRSA Akron Area Chapter, to coordinate meetings and events that offer professional development and networking opportunities to Kent State students. For more on PRSSA Kent, 

About PRKent

The public relations sequence at Kent State University is part of the School of Media and Journalism in the College of Communication and Information, a nationally renowned program offering degrees in advertising, digital media, journalism and public relations. Kent State boasts the only public relations program in Ohio certified by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC).To learn more about the School of Media and Journalism’s public relations program, visit


Jill Golden Headshot:
Carrie Kandes Headshot

POSTED: Friday, November 20, 2020 05:23 PM
Updated: Friday, December 9, 2022 01:19 PM
Jada Miles, '21