Professor, Students Present at PRSA Northeast District Conference

November 14, 2023

On Friday, Nov. 3, the Rochester chapter of the Public Relations Society of America hosted the Northeast District Conference at St. John Fisher University. Students in Professor Arien Rozelle’s media and public relations courses joined professionals from across six states at the sold-out conference.

Professor Arien Rozelle with Fisher students at the 2023 PRxNE District Conference.

The conference included three breakout sessions where attendees could choose a presentation on a specific topic. During the first breakout session, Rozelle delivered “The Next Generation of PR PRos: Recruiting, Leading, and Mentoring Gen Z, ” and moderated a discussion with Fisher students Meghan Gleason ’25, Michaela Meleca ’24, and Ali Short ’24. The session focused on Gen Z’s interest in social issues and how it might influence their decision to pursue public relations careers that pair their passion with purpose.  It also offered best practices for mentoring and coaching members of Gen Z.

“Being able to not only attend the PRSA NE District Conference, but having the opportunity to speak in it was an amazing experience. In the panel I was part of, we were able to discuss Gen Z entering the workforce and what that means for employers. Through this opportunity, we were able to share with future employers the things that Gen Z values in a professional setting, debunk generational stereotypes, and network with these potential employers,” Meleca said.

Between sessions, attendees were able to enjoy lunch served by Fisher Dining, network, take photos, and more. Students had the opportunity to network with industry professionals from other cities, states, and backgrounds, as well as peers from other universities.

“I enjoyed the networking opportunities with my peers as well as with professionals in the industry. I attended the Gen Z panel, a workshop on creating influencer agreements, and a session on creative strategies in public relations. Each of these provided me with information I can use once I enter the workforce and will better prepare me for a job in PR,” McEnroe said.

Rozelle is a passionate advocate for Fisher’s public relations major, which launched in 2022. To Rozelle, a major benefit of the PR major is the connections faculty have with professionals in the field, and the opportunity to engage in learning both in and outside of the classroom.

“Our newly launched public relations major is quickly earning a reputation for developing the best and brightest public relations professionals. I was delighted to put the spotlight on three of them in our panel, which discussed ways to recruit, lead, and mentor Gen Z in the public relations workplace. Ali, Meghan, and Michaela shared great insights into their hopes, expectations, and preferences as young professionals entering the field,” Rozelle said.

Rozelle served as a member of the conference planning committee, alongside Fisher colleagues in the Office of Marketing and Communications, Kate Torok and Melissa Greco Lopes.

This article was written by D Rivera ’26, a public relations major and assistant in the Office of Marketing and Communications.