Be Involved with SCOM: A Two-Part Series on the Department’s Student Organizations

Part 1: IABC and PRSSA

The following snapshots of the IABC and PRSSA are the result of short interviews with the hardworking presidents of these organizations. Kerry and Ryan both strive to do what is best for their respective organizations and would love to follow up with anyone that is interested in joining.

Their contact information has been included below so feel free to shoot them an email for more information.

Kerry Mclendon: (IABC)



Ryan Thomas: (PRSSA)




International Association of Buisness Communicators (IABC)


What’s it all about?

This is the organization’s first year back at JMU in over 13 years!

Check in with the bulletin board in Harrison on the first floor as it is being updated.

The slogan for IABC is “Be Heard.”

IABC is big on networking and meeting people to make connections.

The goals that the professional IABC organization has for students are to:

“Offer a variety of resources and opportunities for students who plan on entering the communication profession. Get insights from leaders in the profession, make valuable contacts, and supplement your academic education with practical training to get your career started.”

What are the Essential Details?

Membership dues are:

$10 for local dues


$49 for International dues (This allows access to a hidden global job market for IABC members)

Meeting times and location for next semester are TBD, so keep a look out on the bulletin board as well as for an informational email.

“I want this to be a fun organization so it won’t be all work and no play. Besides having guest speakers such as IABC National members talk, we will help increase interview skills, as well as improving LinkedIn pages, etc. I want our organization to help SCOM by volunteering at department events, doing team building activities, or just going somewhere as a group like apple picking or something!”

–        Kerry McLendon, President, JMU IABC

Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA)


What’s it all about?

PRSSA on a national level has more than 20,000 undergrad students.

The JMU chapter is continuing to grow with a focus on professional development and building professional networks early.

Agency visits are one way the chapter has been able to facilitate this professional networking and development successfully.

This semester, the organization took 50 students to NYC and had the chance to meet Harold Burros.

PR professionals that have come and spoke to the organization say that they look for PRSSA involvement on a student’s resume. The competition for entry level jobs today is so competitive that it is often a deciding factor on candidate selection.

What are the Essential Details?

Membership Dues are:

$65 annually

(This also allows access to jobs and internships only available to PRSSA members)

Meetings are every other Monday at 7:15pm in Harrison 1260

“I didn’t join PRSSA till I was a second semester Junior and I only wish I was involved at an earlier stage to experience even more that is has to offer. I would ask the incoming student, as I have in the past, Why not? Why would you not join? The benefits involved in JMU’s PRSSA far outweigh the $60 a year it costs to become a member.”

– Ryan Thomas, President, JMU PRSSA