Executive Board

Chapter President – Nikki Vergakesnikki

Who am I? That’s a question I’ll be facing my senior year a million times, along with “what do you want to do after graduation?” The answer to those questions that change with the wind. To start off, I’ll tell you the facts.
My name is Nikki Vergakes. My major at Salem State is Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. My minors are Interactive Multimedia Design and Health and Consumer Science. I’m originally from Dracut, Massachusetts but I live on campus. In my free time, I love to run, write blogs, discover new music, go to shows (theatre or music), and snuggle / walk my dog. I’ve ran one half marathon and am registering for my second one soon! My guilty pleasures are reality TV – anything of the real housewives fandom or Food Network.
I’ve had internships at the State House, Peabody Essex Museum, and outdoor activewear lifestyle PR agency, CGPR. I entered Salem State with the intention of pursuing journalism after being the online editor of my high school newspaper. However, I after attending one PRSSA meeting for extra credit, I fell in love with this new thing I discovered called PR. Since then, I’ve found many lifelong friends in PRSSA, I’ve made countless memories with PRSSA. I’ve met countless, interesting people from different states. I’ve networked towards amazing opportunities. I’ve developed such a love for PR, PRSSA, and the people involved. I want to see this group grow and have it touch everyones lives like it has mine.
In my childhood, as an only child, the internet was a good friend of mine. It now explains my fascination with memes and weird internet, Youtube / instagram / vine fame, mommy blogs, and everything in between. At SSU, my job is running the social media for the Student Involvement office. I see myself working in social media after graduation perhaps. I’ve been looking into OnlyInBoston and other startups. I’m also interested in using social media for activism – perhaps Planned Parenthood or the Feminist Majority. I plan on taking senior year to research and network with companies I am interested in. If you ever want to connect with me, or have any questions, feel free to! You can follow me on Instagram and twitter, they’re both @n_vergak. My e-mail is nvergakes@gmail.com

 

VP of Chapter Development – Dominique Resendes

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Hey friends! I’m Dominique and I’m the Vice President of Chapter Development. I’m a senior at Salem State University studying communications (concentration in PR, of course) and political science. I joined PRSSA when I was a freshman, but took on a leadership role last year as the Vice President of Member Services. Both PRSSA and the Communications Department have become a second family for me, offering me professional and personal support that has helped me make the most out of my college experience. To me, PR allows me an outlet to do work with people while still being able to be creative. When I graduate, I hope to combine my love for PR and politics and do government relations or public affairs.

Over the summer, I was able to intern in Washington D.C at a nonprofit called Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC. This internship, was an amazing professional experience. I found out about this program while at PRSSA National Conference last year– something I wouldn’t have been able to do if it wasn’t for PRSSA.

Aside from PRSSA, I am the President of the Women’s Center at SSU as well as the cohost, along with the President of PRSSA Nikki Vergakes, of the radio show Dom and Nik at Night on Thursdays from 8 to 10 on 91.7 WMWM Salem. I also like to go to concerts, pet dogs, and eat burritos. Follow me on Twitter for feminist rants, and my attempts to be funny @DominiqueR1995

VP of Member Services – Kristen Pustizzi

kristen (2)Hey there! I’m Kristen, a senior communications major here at Salem State University with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Business Administration. After completing my Associate’s degree in Liberal Arts and Science at Middlesex Community College, I transferred to Salem State.  Thanks to my family, friends, and the support provided by Middlesex I realized my passion was in communications. PRSSA has played a major role in my interest in Public Relations after briefly pursing a concentration in advertising.  Seeing all the opportunities this past year offered in this club and my major I knew I had to set out for a spot on this E-board.

Outside of school I enjoy listening to music, dance, photography and community theater. Since I was young I always liked taking pictures. For a short while I worked for photography studio. I always have enjoyed theater since high school and was unaware of community theater. At Middlesex someone  introduced me to community theater. Shows I had the pleasure of participating in where ones such as 42nd Street, Wizard of Oz(back in High school!) Brigadoon, Spamalot, Les Miserables and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.  This past summer I got the opportunity to participate in an adult kickball league, it was a ton of fun and allowed me to meet so many new people. Just being able to have these experiences show me the importance of my major and concentration.

Through PRSSA I received the opportunity to Intern at Fire and Ice and plan on getting another internship in the spring. My next internship my goal would be to get into a public relations firm which will hopefully lead to a full time job.

 

 

VP of Public Relations – Rajira Hernandez

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Hey guys! My name is Rajira (rah-gee-rah) Hernandez, and I am a senior here at Salem State University. I am majoring in communications with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Marketing. I have been a member of the PRSSA since my freshman year and am really grateful that our school has a club like this one because it has really helped me figure out what I would like to do with my future, which is why I decided to become an e-board member of the PRSSA. I have lived in Salem all my life but decided to live on campus for the first two years of college in order to get to meet new people and get more involved in the SSU community. Since my junior year, however, I have been commuting to and from my home. I guess you can say that I am sort of a townie but not for long because there are many places I would like to see and experience. This summer I worked full time at a small digital company called Sperling Interactive. I have worked there for a year now and am grateful for all I have learned through this experience, from link building and networking with others to blogging and pitching stories.

On my free time I like to hang out with my friends, explore new restaurants, and going for long drives while blasting music. I also enjoy binge-watching shows on Netflix whenever I can and staying connected to the world through social media.

This year I will be going to the National Conference for the second time and cannot wait to experience all the great things about it, again! In the future I hope to work at a firm that will allow me to keep expanding my knowledge on all different aspects of the business and allow me to see the world!

Vice President of Internship/Job Services – Lizzy Ferriera

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Hi everyone! My name is Lizzy Ferriera and I’m a senior at Salem State University -which I’m still trying to let sink in…It’s beyond crazy to see how fast time flew by. I am a Business Marketing major with a minor in Public Relations. Over the past four years I am happy to say that I have held a few internships. I just finished up an Internship with FiRE+iCE in their Marketing Department which was an amazing experience. I am also currently still continuing with another marketing internship through the Salem State University Marketing Department. With this internship I am able to post and contribute with all their social media accounts as well as be a part of the university brand. May I also say that even though they are both marketing internships I was able to get these contacts as well as be lucky enough to hear about these positions through PRSSA. It feels amazing to get that call and hear that you have received that internship that you’ve been carving for, especially if it’s your first. This is one of the reasons I love my PRSSA position so much!

I am very much attached to my planner at this point because I have many different things going on especially throughout the school year. On campus I am a member of the sorority Phi Sigma Sigma, were I currently sit on their e-board with the position as Tribune. Along with my internship, I am also working as a Peer Mentor in the Bertolon School of Business. I help mentor fellow students throughout the advising period to provide pre-advising help with scheduling and other student related issues. And of course I also sit on the e-board for PRSSA! As like most girls, I am obsessed with Pinterest DIYs and always love a great sale. On my lazy days you will most likely find me curled up in a fuzzy blanket with a cup of coffee watching Gilmore Girls.

I joined PRSSA at the beginning of my sophomore year and feel in love with it! I joined the e-board in hopes of making many more opportunities and to enhance my skill as well as be able to continue to discover more about networking. And none the less I have yet to be disappointed. So here I am three years after joining this organization and I very proud to be a member. I can’t wait to see what the upcoming year has in store with this chapter, here’s to senior year!

You can follow me on instagram at @lizzy_ferriera or via email at eferriera44@gmail.com.

Managing Editor – Amanda Hayes

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Hey guys! I am Amanda and I am a senior at Salem State University with a major in public relations and a minor in political science. PRSSA actually led me to choose my decision in a major when I joined my sophomore year and saw the excitement of the public relations field. I have been a member ever since and am now the Managing Editor on the executive board! I love maintaining the site and learning about current events in the public relations scope.

In my free time I like to listen to music and be with friends. I love exploring and would love to see all of the world someday. Last year I was able to study abroad on the Gold Coast of Australia at Bond University. This provided me with many great experiences and an ability to try new and exciting things and to dive out of my comfort zone which I find applicable in the Public Relations field.

I am currently a marketing and communications intern for Ironic Music Booking Agency from Amesbury, MA. This position is very exciting for me because I am able to combine my love for music with a passion for public relations. Some of my responsibilities include scheduling Facebook events and promoting and booking gigs for the agency.

I can be reached on Twitter @amandamarie129 and if you would like to submit a blog post for our website you can contact me at ahayesap@gmail.com!

Dr. Robert Brown – Faculty Advisor

Dr. Brown, Faculty Advisor

Dr. Brown, Faculty Advisor

Robert Brown is professor of Communications at Salem State College. He has held full-time faculty positions for 20 years in departments of Communication at Boston University, Bentley College and Emerson University, and has been an adjunct professor at Harvard University Extension School, where in 2004 he was honored for distinguished teaching.

Professor Brown’s corporate communications background includes speech writing positions at two former Fortune 500 companies, Atlantic Richfield (now BP) and W.R. Grace & Co, and a consultant to Sharon Merrill Associates, Inc. investor relations, as well as a facilitator and trainer at local area PR firms.  He is a member of the editorial board of Public Relations Review, an academic journal, and research and writing is cited in textbooks on speech writing, research methods, public relations and writing for mass communication. His byline has appeared on the op ed pages of the Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Toronto Globe & Mail, and Honolulu Advertiser.

Professor Brown is a member of the Public Relations Division of the National Communication Association (N.C.A.). He is faculty advisor the Public Relations Students Society of America and a member of the Publicity Club of New England, where his students at Salem State won two Bell Ringers (first place) in three tries. His education includes a B.S. in Economics from The Wharton School of Finance/University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Rochester.

Cindy Vincent – Co-Faculty Advisor

CindyCindy Vincent has been an assistant professor in the Department of Communications at Salem State University since September 2013. Her teaching addresses social justice issues, incorporates civic engagement opportunities, and focuses on public relations, media studies, and women’s and gender studies. She has taught at Salem State University, the University of Oklahoma, and California State University, Sacramento.
Cindy has worked in public relations for 13 years beginning as a student intern and working her way up to a public relations specialist/project manager.  Her expertise lies in government public affairs where she has worked on community outreach efforts in environmentally affected communities for the U.S. Department of Defense.  Through these projects she received numerous awards and accolades from the U.S. government, tribal reservations, and local communities. She is currently a public relations consultant for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Cindy is a member of the Public Relations Society of America, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Communication Technology (CTEC) Division, the National Communication Association (NCA) Public Relations Division (PRD), and the NCA Mass Communication Division. She serves as the webmaster/social media coordinator for CTEC and serves on the social media committee for the NCA PRD. Her education includes a B.A. in Journalism and M.A. in Communication from California State University, Sacramento. She is currently finishing her Ph.D. program at the University of Oklahoma.