Tori Jackson, President
Tori Jackson is a senior public relations major and sociology minor. She transferred to Illinois State University her junior year and joined PRSSA to become more involved on campus. She has PR experience with a small business, nonprofit and a large corporation. Tori represented ISU’s PRSSA Chapter at national events in Washington and Arizona this year. She is excited to travel to Boston, Mass. in October for PRSSA’s National Conference. In her current role as president, her goal is to instill a national perspective of PRSSA to members. Her dream is to work in corporate PR in Colorado or California.
Bobby Leahy, Treasurer
Bobby Leahy is the director of PRogressive Image, PRSSA’s student-run public relations firm. He transferred to ISU and joined PRSSA with hopes of getting into the sports industry. Through PRSSA he was an assistant account executive for the Bloomington Edge, a semi-professional football team, where he wrote press releases. He is currently an intern for a local junior hockey team called the Bloomington Thunder. Bobby’s goal is to be in media relations for a professional baseball or hockey team.
Director of Digital Media
Alex serves as the director of digital media. He is a senior public relations major and joined PRSSA to learn more about the PR industry. Quickly after joining PRSSA, Alex ran for an executive position. He hopes he will be able to enrich ISU’s PRSSA reputation and broaden its brand. His dream is to work in Chicago at a PR agency or corporation.
Sydney Velez is a senior double major in public relations and english studies. She has been a part of PRSSA for four years. In her time with PRSSA, she has served as a general member, Development Committee manager, Relations Committee manager, and the current vice president. Sydney participates in service trips on her university breaks, the communication honors society Lambda Pi Eta, and as an advisor with University College Academic Advising where she oversees freshman PR majors. Sydney’s dream job is to work in agency PR at Edelman.
Katie Helander, Secretary
Katie is a second year public relations major with minors in spanish, music and theatre. While this is only her second year on campus, she holds junior class standing and plans to graduate a year early. Katie also works as a box office attendant at the Center for Performing Arts on campus. With more than 10 years of performance and fine arts experience, Katie hopes to pursue a career in arts or entertainment public relations.
Peter Smudde, Ph.D., APR, Faculty Adviser
Dr. Pete Smudde, APR, is professor and associate executive director of the School of Communication. He also is coordinator of the public relations program and has been a faculty adviser for PRSSA Chapters for 14 years. He has worked in industry, including an executive-level position and as a consultant; led university courses and conference sessions; and published many works on public relations.