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Feb. 10, 2006


Gary McCormick, PRSA director from the Southeast district, has resigned from the board with two years still to go in his term, becoming only the second national director to leave mid-term.

Gary McCormick

The other one was the person McCormick succeeded in 2004 – Sherry Treco-Jones, a Decatur, Ga., counselor.

Treco-Jones quit in March 2004, the day after the national board voted 8-6 to reject proposals for governance reforms that had been made by a committee of which she was a member.

She told PRSA she quit because of pressure of her counseling business.

McCormick, who took over the third year of Treco-Jones' term, also said he is quitting because of added duties at his employer, Scripps Emerging Networks.

He remains active in several PRSA activities including helping PR Student Society of America.

Scripps is donating an initial $30,000 to fund the annual Bateman contest staged by PRSA.

Students Want to Open Membership


McCormick, during a discussion about PRSSA, noted that 2004-2005 PRSSA president Sarah Yeaney and her board proposed that students be allowed to join PRSSA from any college in the U.S.

Currently, only students from the 270 colleges that meet certain criteria set by PRSA can join PRSSA. They are required to be members of a chapter of PRSSA and required to have five "sponsors" from a local chapter of PRSA. There are about 4,000 colleges in the U.S. with about eight million undergraduates. PRSSA has 9,000 members.

Yeaney, while a student at Penn State University, interned at Hill & Knowlton and also worked at Fleishman-Hillard's PA division. More recently, she was at Articulate Communications, New York. Attempts are being made to reach her.

The Educators Academy of PRSA and past presidents have been against at-large student membership. A group of 50 past presidents and PR professors signed a petition in 2002 that resulted in the removal of the at-large topic from the agenda of the 2002 Assembly.

Betsy Plank, 1973 PRSA president who is an active counselor to PRSSA, said the PRSSA proposal is that students in colleges without PRSSA chapters be allowed to join as "auxiliary" members of PRSSA.

They would not be able to describe themselves on their resumes as regular members of PRSSA. The national board has had the proposal for more than a year. The students were responding to a request by the PRSA Educational Affairs Committee for an at-large student membership proposal after discussion of an at-large proposal was removed from the agenda of the 2002 Assembly.

Robert Pritchard, assistant journalism professor at Ball State University and chair of the Educators Academy, said he favors some form of PRSSA membership for students in colleges not recognized by PRSA but has not recently seen the proposal put forth by PRSSA. He feels the "integrity" of PRSSA must be preserved. Employers should know what they are getting when they employ a former PRSSA member, he said. Scott Iwata, 2005-2006 president of PRSSA, could not immediately be reached.

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