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PRSSA - Special Olympics 3-13-2010.jpgThe rainy day of Saturday, March 13th did not stop the Public Relations Student Society of Eastern Connecticut State University and other volunteers from throughout the state of Connecticut from offering a helping hand at the 2010 Special Olympics.

More than 300 volunteers and 200 athletes attended The 2010 Windham Invitational Special Olympics Swim Meet event. The Special Olympics is a year-round program for individuals, both children and adults, with intellectual disabilities to become involved with physical fitness, sports training, and athletic competition in their communities.
 
Volunteers could take a variety of roles including a "one-on-one", where a volunteer is paired up with one athlete and assists them throughout the day by registering for events, cheering them on as they compete and involving them in activities while they were not competing. Volunteers could also help with the sports clinic, food service, and water safety. Members of Eastern Connecticut's PRSSA volunteered in the Sports Clinic for the day where they entertained the athletes by playing basketball, volleyball, dancing, hula-hooping as well as participating in many other physical activities.

The volunteers enjoyed the Special Olympics just as much as the athletes competing. "I think we really helped the athletes have a good time between each of their competitions. It was also really great to see all the other volunteers, knowing that they felt the same as me and the rest of the PRSSA members in the need to help out the community," said Lauren Guerrere, a member of PRSSA.

PRSSA -Toastmasters.jpgOn March 10, 2010, the Eastern Connecticut State University chapter of PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) welcomed Toastmasters International to campus. Toastmasters gave a workshop on how to improve students public speaking skills.

Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of meeting locations. Chapter President Nikole Doolittle took on the initiative to visit a Toastmaster meeting, to experience how a Toastmasters meeting is held and to invite them to Eastern's campus to teach students to how to fight off the fear of public speaking and become a more confident orator.

PRSSA worked closely with Toastmasters to promote for the event by sending facebook messages, hanging signs and posters throughout campus, and verbally telling people. The campus news station, TV22, even showed up to capture excitement of the workshop.

Students from across campus were invited to attend. A diverse crowd listened intently as two Toastmaster representatives gave an hour long presentation to the students. They discussed topics on how to improve public speaking skills and different ways that students can achieve their potential and empower dreams.

"Toastmaster is a really great organization which taught the students the perks of public speaking and how those skills could be utilized in the workforce," said Lauren Finkbeiner, Chapter Vice President. Overall, the day was a huge success and students were able to learn a lot. As Toastmasters says, "Because communication isn't optional."

PRSSA Assists NAMI Fundraiser

On Saturday, April 25, 2009, members of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) club at Eastern Connecticut State University took time from their weekend assist with a fundraiser held by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). The event was the annual NAMI softball game. The money raised for the game goes directly to the NAMI organization which helps their mission to advocate that all persons affected by mental illness receive the services they deserve, in a timely fashion.

PRSSA - NAMI Game.jpgPictured: Members of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) club at Eastern Connecticut State University

Early Show 04-10-2009-#1.JPGOn Friday, April 10, 2009, 46 students from Eastern Connecticut State University boarded a bus at 4 a.m. to New York City where they appeared on The Early Show which airs every weekday from 7 a.m. - 9 a.m. on CBS.

The trip was sponsored by Student Government Association (SGA) and was organized by students Nikole Doolittle and Susan Kiddy of the student organization Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).

Adam Wurtzel, a 2007 alumnus of Eastern Connecticut State University currently works at The Early Show as Audience Coordinator and arranged for the visit. While at the show, the students appeared on camera complete with Eastern sweatshirts and banners.

Early Show 04-10-2009-#3.JPGAfter their appearance on the show, the students took a tour of CBS broadcast center and the sets of several shows including Inside Edition, Guiding Light, CBS News and CBS Sports.

Special thanks to Dr. Pamela Starr of AccessAbility Services for the pictures taken inside of The Early Show studio.