Scott Thornburg, a public relations major at The University of Southern Mississippi, has been selected to serve on the national committee of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) as Vice-President of Internships/Job Services.
Thornburg, a senior from Mobile, Ala., officially begins his one-year term June 1. After submitting an extensive application, Thornburg underwent a conference call interview with members of the PRSSA National Committee. He will be responsible for soliciting internships and job opportunities for the PRSSA online database.
“I’m basically the guy that calls employers all over the United States and some other international areas to find entry level jobs and internships for PRSSA members,” said Thornburg. “I’m just ready to get started.”
Thornburg is no stranger to leadership. Currently, he serves as the president of the Southern Miss PRSSA chapter. Under his leadership, the chapter has reached new heights on the campus and regional level. This year, Southern Miss was one of 12 schools to be awarded a bid to host a regional event, according to Thornburg. “Personal to Professional: Navigating Social Media,” which was held April 9-10, garnered around $8,000 in sponsorships and featured a panel of public relations executives from companies all over the country.
“Scott has taken the PRSSA chapter here to a new level, mainly because he believes our students can compete with students at any university in the country,” said Leyla Goodsell, visiting professor of practice. “His passion for public relations is infectious and that will be a great asset in his new role on PRSSA’s National Committee. He’ll be a tremendous advocate for students, no matter where they are from, in developing internship and entry level job opportunities for top public relations students.”
Thornburg hopes to maintain his success on the national level by accomplishing his platform goals, one of which will greatly impact public relations students in rural areas.
“You can find hundreds of internships in places like New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago, but there are few internships in Hattiesburg,” Thornburg said. “Students have to fight for those positions in places like Hattiesburg, so one of my goals is to find more and better quality internships for our students where there may or may not be an established PRSSA presence.”
With one more semester to complete before graduation in December 2010, Thornburg has his work cut out for him. He plans to use the skills he learned in and out of the Southern Miss classroom in his new leadership role. One thing he treasures most about the Southern Miss Public Relations program is his relationship with the School of Mass Communication and Journalism faculty members.
“They really go out of their way to help you succeed and excel as an individual,” he said. “There are professors who understand the theoretical approach to why you do something and others who understand the practical approach of how. Having both of those is vital to moving forward as a professional.”
This Southern Miss Public Relations program is housed in the School of Mass Communication and Journalism. It is designed to prepare students for careers as public relations practitioners and as consultants in business and industry, nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies.
For more information on Thornburg or the Southern Miss Public Relations program, contact the School of Mass Communication and Journalism at 601.266.4258.
About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world. Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at www.usm.edu.