Saying this year has been crazy is an understatement. I even find myself starting to refer to the entire lockdown as “last summer.” But if it wasn’t for the seemingly endless summer of 2020, I wouldn’t be where I am today. 

You see, when every student became a distant learner last year the University of Arizona PRSSA Chapter opened their Zoom meetings to online students for the first time. This was a big deal as traditionally campus clubs are only available to on-campus students. The bold move opened the door for people like me, and my friend/classmate Stacey to jump on board – literally! We both became members and promptly joined the e-board. We were so excited to be included and just wanted to support, and be a part of, something bigger. 

So, who am I? My name is Kris Kelley and I’m the incoming president of the UArizona PRSSA chapter and fall semester intern for the SoAz PRSA Chapter. Located in Huntington Beach, CA I make magic at The Disneyland Resort. I’m also a mom, wife and have a strong passion for photography. As a UArizona student I’m studying Information Science and eSociety with a minor in Public Relations; with my degree I hope to work in the sports, zoo, or aquarium industries. I am really excited about this internship and the opportunity to expand my classroom knowledge with real-life experience. 

Connecting with and learning from professionals in the business was one of the main reasons I joined PRSSA. Thanks to Zoom, we’ve had the chance to hear from practitioners across the country including Veleisa Patton Burrell, VP at FleishmanHillard and Justine Houston-Brown, APR, Orange County PRSA President & Chair-Elect of the PRSA Western District. But knowing we have a wealth of knowledge and experience locally and I’d love to host Tucson-based professionals as speakers during the upcoming academic year.  I am also very interested in creating a mentor program between students and PR pros. If either of these ideas are of interest to you, or if you have thoughts on how you can help students better prepare for a career in public relations, please contact me at kriskelley@email.arizona.edu.

Kris Kelly

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