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Basking in the Blue Hen glow

Photo courtesy of Brittany O’Connell

Senior Brittany O’Connell accepts national appointment with public relations association

On the first day of her first year at the University of Delaware, Brittany O’Connell decided to join the registered student organization and campus chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). Her willingness to leave her comfort zone and gain hands-on experience in public relations has given her an armful, with PRSSA recently naming her as a Regional Ambassador. Her new position, one of 15 nationwide, will involve cultivating relationships and facilitating outreach within her assigned region.

Brittany O’Connell

Looking back on her experiences thus far, O’Connell ruminated on engagement, mentorship, and inspirational UD alumni in an interview with the Division of Student Life.

Q: What memorable experiences have helped define your life at UD?

A: My involvement in UD's chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America defined my entire UD experience. It is what made me fall in love with UD, and gave me a glimpse at my possibilities post-grad. Because of the organization, I have traveled the country, made connections with professionals, and most importantly, met some of my best friends. I have learned as a mentee and had the chance to give back some of my knowledge as a mentor. I feel like I'm both a better person and professional because of our PRSSA chapter.

Q: How has UD supported you in thriving as a Blue Hen?

A: My Communication professors, specifically Prof. Scott Caplan, Prof. Charles Pavitt, and Steve Mortenson, have inspired me throughout my entire career at the University of Delaware. They each, in their own ways, built up my confidence as an individual which allowed me to be fearless in pursuing my goals. Additionally, the UD Alumni on previous PRSSA executive boards, who are now out conquering the PR world, supported me in countless ways. I learned to thrive by watching their poise and absorbing their intelligence. The Blue Hen community is something special because I know the friends I've made on PRSSA executive boards are true friends for life.

Q: What advice do you have for students who may be interested in following a similar path?

A: Get involved. Learn in your classes and then test your skills in extracurriculars. Join PRSSA-UD as soon as possible and take advantage of all the opportunities it has for students. Most importantly, don't be afraid to leave your comfort zone. Just because something hasn't been done by a UD peer doesn't mean it's not achievable. Believe in yourself and try to learn something new from each person you meet. You'll walk away with a wealth of knowledge and perspective.

About the University Student Centers

UD’s University Student Centers, part of the Division of Student Life, are home to more than 400 registered student organizations, fraternities and sororities. Programs and services designed by staff and students alike provide diverse opportunities for exploration and personal growth. While Activities Night allows participants to meet and greet with leaders of more than 200 groups each semester, students can connect with PRSSA and other groups year-round at studentcentral.udel.edu.

About the Division of Student Life

The Division of Student Life includes the Career Services Center, Center for Black Culture, Center for Counseling and Student Development, LGBT Program, New Student Orientation, Office of the Dean of Students, Office of Student Conduct, Residence Life and Housing, Student Health Services, Student Services for Athletes, Student Wellness and Health Promotion, and the University Student Centers. For more information about Student Life, visit the website.


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