Audie Lauf is a senior public relations major that transferred to Illinois State University last year. Lauf joined Illinois State University Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America and hit the ground running; immediately becoming an account executive for the student-run public relations firm, PRogressive Image (PRi). Lauf was just beginning his relationship with ISU PRSSA when he received the opportunity to join the executive board as the PRi Director. His outgoing personality and ability to lead others will take this young man far in the professional world.
Tell us about yourself.
I am a first generation college student. College was my choice to pursue. It took me awhile to figure out how to combine my love for art, interacting with people, and my strategic thinking, but then I found public relations to be an industry where I could utilize my strengths and work on my weaknesses. I am currently majoring in Public Relations and Apparel Merchandising and Design, while pursuing a minor in Spanish. I work as a public relations intern for WALK2CLASS, a boutique student realty company, and as a sales associate at PACSUN. I also work as a Marketing Coordinator for The Vidette, the ISU student newspaper, while also being a part of the public relations intern staff for the ISU Redbird Ice Hockey Club team. Somehow, I still manage to find time to be a Style Guru for Collegefashionista.com during my busy schedule. Also follow me on Twitter @audielauf27 and Instagram @audielauf27 for the latest and greatest street styles from Illinois State University.
What do you do in PRSSA?
I currently hold the position as the Director of the Chapter’s student-run firm, PRogressive Image. My responsibilities include supervising and mentoring the Account Executives, Assistant Account Executives, and the Art Directors. This year, PRi has three outstanding accounts: BraiZe, a pop up shop style restaurant, TV10, our broadcast journalism television station, and United Way of McLean County , a nonprofit organization.
How did you become a member of the ISU PRSSA?
I attended the first meeting of the Fall 2014 semester. I did research about student organizations months before attending ISU. I wanted to make sure I got the most out of my time here as a Redbird.
What have you gained from joining ISU PRSSA?
I have gained more experience in professional development. I also believe that I have gained better time management skills. No matter how well you think you are at organizing your schedule, there is always room to improve.
What are your goals for when you graduate?
I have done research about graduate school. My brother is stationed in Florence, Italy as a Heavy Machines operator. By the time I graduate, he will be able to live off of base. I have considered attending Lorenzo De’ Medici in Florence. I want to earn my masters degree in Fashion Marketing and Merchandising.
Describe your dream job.
The Red Power Ranger. If that fails, then I would love to be the Creative Director for a public relations agency of fashion house.
What is something a lot of people do not know about you?
I am an open book. In public relations, transparency is key.
What impact would you like to have on others?
I hope that I can encourage others to take advantage of every opportunity that comes their way. I like to be the first person that my friends call when they are in trouble, because I am always there to help. Oh, and that I am funny and have great style.
Is there any quote that really captures how you live your life?
I have three:
“Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must lead.” –Charles Bukowski
“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it's yours.” –Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
- A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh
Questions composed by Alex Danko
So much spirit, so little time! Manage your Illinois State University 2015 Homecoming Week schedule with ISU Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America’s full-proof event guide.
Homecoming Carnival from 7-11 p.m.
First Floor of Bone Student Center
Step under the big top (or to the first floor of the Bone) and enjoy classic carnival foods, carnival games, and a performance by Gamma Phi Circus at the ISU Homecoming Carnival!
Grease at 7 p.m.
The Normal Theatre
Break out your leather jackets and primp your poodle skirts: WBNQ hosts a screening of Grease at the Normal Theatre, located in Uptown Normal. Tickets are $7, snacks are $1, and singing along is encouraged.
Backstory of the Bird at 4:30 p.m.
Did you know ISU used to be home to the mighty Fighting Pedagogs? Aren’t you a little curious to find out what a Pedagog is? Join Reggie Redbird and University Archivist April Anderson out on Milner Plaza to learn more about Reggie’s humble beginnings and the evolution of a mascot.
Pack the Arena: Redbird Volleyball at 6 p.m.
If you plan to #BackTheBirds as they spike Wichita State, do not leave after the game ends! Stick around Redbird Arena for the crowning of the Homecoming King and Queen as well as Hoopfest: an exhibition to introduce the 2015-2016 Redbird basketball team!
The End of the Tour / 7 p.m.
The Normal Theatre
If volleyball’s not your thing, pop over to the Normal Theatre and check out the critically acclaimed David Foster Wallace biopic “The End of the Tour.” The movie follows journalist David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) as he interviews Wallace (Jason Segal) during a 1996 book tour for Wallace’s most-revered novel, “Infinite Jest” (which he finished writing during his tenure at ISU). Tickets are $7, but the joy of seeing a slice of ISU’s history on the big screen is priceless.
Homecoming Bonfire from 9-11 p.m.
Outside Redbird Arena
Continue the post-Hoopfest excitement with music, drinks, and free pizza outside of the arena.
Town and Gown 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run / 8-9:30 a.m.
Student Fitness Center
Are you ready to run? Register online for Saturday morning’s annual 5K and Fun Run. If you are not ready to lace up, head over, and cheer on your favorite runnin’ Redbirds. Refreshments will be provided post-race to all runners courtesy of the Town of Normal.
Homecoming Parade from 10-11:30 a.m.
Kicks off at the corner of University St. and College Ave.
A time-honored tradition! Find a comfy seat on the sidewalk and catch some candy at the annual ISU Homecoming Parade. The parade kicks off on College Ave., snakes through Uptown, and ends on School St.
Redbird Football vs. Western Illinois University / 2 p.m.
Don’t miss out as the Redbirds take on (take down) Western Illinois University. If you are nervous about getting tickets to the game, don’t fret! Check out the student tickets section of GoRedbirds.com.
Redbird Soccer vs. Evansville / 1 p.m.
Adelaide Street Field
If you are still spirited enough to #BackTheBirds on Sunday, join Redbird Soccer at Adelaide Street Field as they take on Evansville.
Be proud to be a Redbird and embrace the homecoming environment for the remainder of this week. Go Redbirds!
Written by Kelsey Farrell
Cristina Meesenburg is a sophomore at Illinois State University majoring in public relations. By being an active member in both the ISU Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America and the Gamma Phi Beta sorority, Meesenburg is quite involved on campus
Tell us about your personality.
I consider myself to be outgoing and friendly. I’m kind of a goofball and very clumsy to say the least.
Why did you choose to join ISU PRSSA?
I chose to join PRSSA because I am a public relations major and wanted to learn more about it. Also, I heard about the organization in the COM 178: Introduction to Public Relations course and it sounded like it is filled with great opportunities that would shape me into a better professional.
What do you plan to do in your future with public relations?
I hope to move to the city after college and work at a public relations agency. I am still trying to figure out my long term goals, but I hope to somehow incorporate travel and fashion into my career.
How do you spend your free time?
Aside from binge watching Greys Anatomy, I love hanging out with my friends and eating.
Who is your biggest role model?
I would say my biggest role model is my mom. I go to her for everything and could not imagine life without her. She shaped me into the person I am today. Not to mention she is my best friend on snapchat.
Questions composed by Tara Babic
Coming from a northwest suburb of Illinois, Naperville, Devyn Tenny is an outgoing sophomore public relations major, who joined the Illinois State University Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America this year and currently serves as a member of the Development Committee. As a first semester Illinois State University transfer student, Tenny who is involved with student organizations including ISU PRSSA and Epsilon Sigma Alpha, a service and leadership sorority, and is looking to dive right in and make a difference here at ISU.
How would you describe your experience as a Public Relations major so far?
I have learned a lot of the basic fundamentals of the public relations field, mainly from classes I am taking such as Introduction to Public Relations with Professor Lamonica, as well as through workshops and other opportunities ISU PRSSA has made available to me during Chapter. I also have been able to find out new facts about the field, such as the different avenues of public relations , history, and more.
Tell me about your experience as a transfer student at Illinois State University.
I have had a lot of positive experiences so far. I really believe that ISU has done a great job at having a variety of programs and events set up to make new students feel welcome as a first year student. I have been able to meet all kinds of people from all different majors from all over the state of Illinois, and after experiencing things like Festival ISU, I am excited to get even more involved next semester.
What do you do in your free time?
I like to mainly relax, whether it be through taking naps after long days or just watching some of my favorite television shows or movies on Netflix. I also like to go to the Campus Recreation Center in my free time just to get my daily workout in through weight lifting, for example, but I still utilize the convenient Watterson Towers gym area if I do not feel like making the hike across the quad!
What is your biggest pet peeve?
I think my biggest one would be rude people in general.
Do you have any tips on how to deal with stressful times in life, whether it be academically or in other situations?
I would say to just take a deep breath and realize that it is just life, and that you should not take it so seriously. With that, some ways I cope with stressful times are to exercise, just to clear my mind, listen to my favorite music, and just find positive aspects in all kinds of other things in life.
What is something that amazes you?
I would say other people in this world amaze me. From talking with people here in Bloomington-Normal and throughout my life, hearing others’ stories and their life experiences always interest me, and the information I learn from others just brings inspiration into my own life.
What are your plans after graduation?
I hope to have a job in public relations, but I am currently unsure of a specific one at this time. However, I know I would want to be in an urban environment- such as New York City or Chicago.
Questions composed by Daniel Gee.
On Thursday, Oct. 1, members of the Illinois State University Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America volunteered at the March of Dimes Signature Chef’s Auction in the Bone Student Center’s Brown Ballroom from 4:30-7:30 p.m.
The March of Dimes is a foundation that has had a growing and changing mission throughout its seventy-seven years of existence, aligning with the needs of babies and their families at times to ensure that all children have a fighting chance at life upon their arrival into the world. At its start, the March of Dimes Foundation was established with the mission of battling the polio virus, more specifically its effect on children, resulting in the development of three vaccines that ultimately eliminated the polio virus in the United States. With this mission achieved, March of Dimes expanded their mission to include working towards finding ways to prevent premature birth and accompanying defects as well as infant mortality; a mission in which they continue to fight today. The auction serves as a way for the March of Dimes foundation to collect funds to put towards achieving their new mission, only calling for as little as a dime as a gift that can be made towards the efforts of the foundation. The auction also serves as a way to continue to spread awareness about the struggles many families continue to face upon the early arrival of their newborn children.
The members of ISU PRSSA recognize the importance of this organization and what they do, and put forth their best efforts in their best attire on this evening to aid in any way that they could. The auction began with a cocktail hour, giving the guests time to check-in to receive their bid number card, converse amongst one another, and have the opportunity to makes bids on the items available in the silent auction. Some ISU PRSSA members monitored these areas, being available to answer any questions and to carry out the processing duties that followed an item being sold to a bidder. At seven, the next portion of the night began which included guests taking their seats, dinner being served, and the opening speeches and presentations of the auction being given, one of which was given by ISU’s own President Larry Dietz and wife, Marlene Dietz. Following this was the live auction, where ISU PRSSA members worked as runners, delivering the items won to the winning bidders as well as carrying out the processing duties of the win that followed. Throughout the entire night, ISU PRSSA members were able to get better acquainted with one another as well as with the leadership behind the production of the event. This behind the scenes action and communication gave ISU PRSSA members a firsthand look at what could become some of the tasks (or as we say in Chapter, some of the “hats”) they will take on in their future careers as public relations professionals.
Upon the end of the live auction, ISU PRSSA members were able to leave the event with not only a broadened perspective on what issues our society continues to face today, but also with an idea and a little bit of experience of how our efforts could help in making a change. ISU PRSSA will continue to take part in events like the one described here, looking to give our members more than just the information, but to also provide them the experience needed to take on the roles they aspire to have in the future.
Composed by Chloe Kasper
A city girl and true optimist, Chloe Kasper’s passion for public relations and her confident attitude helps her bridge the gap between alumni and current members of the Illinois State University Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America as she serves as this year’s Alumni Chair. Read on to find out what this future PR professional and dear friend of mine plans to do with this leadership position.
Tell us about yourself.
I am a sophomore public relations major and a Latin American studies minor. I grew up in Chicago Ridge, Ill., a small southwest suburb of Chicago, so it is safe to say I am quite the city girl. However, my love for the city did not stop me from pursuing a higher education here at ISU. I love being involved on campus, which is what drew me to join ISU PRSSA, as I saw no better way to become acquainted with the people, opportunities, and experiences that the public relations major provides. I am also a member of two other registered student organizations, ISU’s Chapter of Her Campus and The National Society of Leadership and Success (Sigma Alpha Pi). Outside of my activity in RSO’s, I love to sing and dance. When I am not writing, I am singing, and sometimes I even do both at the same time! In my free time, I enjoy long drawn out phone conversations with my family and friends, binge watching romantic comedies, and reading anything related to popular culture, especially anything music related!
Personally, what do you plan to gain from this position?
From this position, I plan to gain experience in a multiplicity of areas. This position allows me to learn more about the public relations program at ISU (our organization in particular!) and the professional careers of people it helped foster. Along with that comes learning about networking, how to create one and then continuously build upon it. I also hope to learn more about design, as I will be working with new Adobe programs to design the look of the Alumni Newsletter. As an avid writer, I also hope to gain more knowledge and practice with different style formats as well as improve my editing skills.
What you plan to accomplish through your position as Alumni Chair?
One of my main goals as the Alumni Chair is to connect our young public relations professionals with more experienced professionals out in the field today as a way to extend the teachings ISU’s public relations program and ISU PRSSA in particular outside of the classroom. I also hope to make connections between our organization and what we produce with other departments and organizations at ISU to continue increasing our reach in our professional network, as well as work to gain alumni support in the form of monetary gifts so that ISU PRSSA can continue to provide its members with life changing knowledge and opportunities.
What is your spirit animal?
It is not a what but a who for me: Taylor Swift! I have been a diehard fan ever since she released her first album and I have to say I have lived vicariously through her ever since, especially during her curly haired years because she was major hair inspiration for me and other curly haired girls everywhere!
What’s your favorite book and what impact has it had on your personal and/or professional life?
My favorite book is hands down The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger. It is a classic, so that right there tells you the impact it must have on readers everywhere and throughout time! This novel has shown me that like Holden Caulfield, everyone experiences moments in their life that seem hard to understand and do not make sense or match up to what you had planned to happen, but that it is okay to feel things, and express those feelings, as well as make mistakes and then move forward knowing more. His character development also resonated with me as he always stays true to himself and what he believes in even when others disagree, look down upon him, and even as he grows and matures himself. The expression of his teenage angst in this novel was a great learning outlet for me about life especially during my pre-teen and teenage years. Moral of the story? Not everyone is a phony!
If you were a (Disney) song, which one would you be and why?
“Reflection” from the movie Mulan. The movie has a special place in my heart because it was the first Disney movie I ever say in theaters. The song is all about finding yourself and sharing it with others, which I am all about. It is what brought me to public relations, to be honest! Also, this song is so fun to sing!!!
Questions composed by Deja Whitt
For an Illinois State University student busy with student organizations, clubs, sorority, homework, and finding time to watch her favorite show, New Girl, Kristin Lynch manages to do it all. From north west suburb, Glenview, sophomore Kristin Lynch is currently undecided but is a perspective Public Relation’s major. This is her first year of being a member of ISU Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America and someone you should get to know.
Why do you want to pursue a job in public relations?
I like to be in an active environment with people and planning different events. In high school writing was one of my better subjects in school and something that I enjoy doing even outside of the school setting. Finding a job in Public Relations is a good way that I can always go to work doing something that I love.
Do you think that ISU PRSSA is a good organization for you?
I feel that ISU PRSSA will expand my skills as a professional and I will experience great network opportunities that I would have not had otherwise. I am also excited for forming friendships with different members in ISU PRSSA and watch them grow and succeed in careers.
What would your perfect day look like?
Wake up, go to Chicago and get juevos rancheros, and go shopping with my friends. After shopping I will go to lunch at Beatix and then get ready will all of my friends to go to the Timeflies concert.
Questions composed by Kim Hocker
Phyllicia Davis radiates confidence and independence, two qualities that will surely land her a great position someday. Davis has a huge passion for Chicago sports and the Denver Broncos. If a game is going on, you can bet she is watching. Which is no surprise why some day she hopes to work for a professional sports organization.
The Northbrook, Ill. native came to Illinois State University her freshman year as a public relations major. She expanded her education and added a sociology minor her sophomore year.
Davis enjoys watching HGTV and the Food Network. When she is not working out, she likes to find and create her own healthy recipes to share with friends and family.
Anyone who has been in contact with Davis has witnessed her poise and determination. Davis said, “My mom is definitely my number one supporter and continues to encourage and inspire me every day. She is the reason why I have grown up to be independent and self-motivated.”
In order to make the most out of her time here at ISU, Davis is not only an active member in ISU Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, but also has experience with a number of internships. Junior year, she worked for the ISU Athletics Media Relations department. She was the photo manager, game day assistant, and wrote for Redbird Magazine. Davis had the opportunity to work with media on game days as she gained hands-on experience working with big college sports such as ISU football, basketball, baseball, and volleyball. Currently, Davis is an intern for the ISU Football team. Her internship consists of assisting the Director of Football Operations and assisting with recruiting and game day responsibilities.
When asked why she joined ISU PRSSA Davis said, “I heard about the amazing opportunities and experiences I would have. It was also a great chance to meet other students who were pursing a similar career. I wanted to learn as much as I could about my major, and ISU PRSSA provided that for me.”
In her time at ISU, Davis has definitely made successful accomplishments. “ISU has allowed me to grow as an individual and as a professional. The School of Communication is one of a kind and has amazing professors and advisors who genuinely care and are always eager to help students thrive. They have truly given me the tools I need to begin the next chapter of my life,” said Davis.
Written by Kimberly Eichie.
PRecisely PR is the blog of the Illinois State University Chapter of the PRSSA. We write about Chapter events, the public relations industry, member profiles, and more.