Why I Volunteer…

My passion for helping students dates back to my time spent as a Residential Advisor (RA) while attending the University of Missouri-Columbia. I absolutely loved helping students transition from high school to college. As an added bonus, I enjoyed having air conditioning that was available only to RA’s in a non-air conditioned dorm. And, yes it was hot. I enjoyed meeting people from all over the world. Sharing the wisdom I learned while attending Mizzou and watching students grow and excel in their chosen field of study was truly a rewarding experience.

After graduating with a degree in broadcast journalism, my career took me all over the country. I worked for 12 years in the television industry as an executive producer, producer, web producer, anchor and reporter.

After considerable soul searching, I decided to make the leap to the Public Relations (PR) industry in July 2013. I couldn’t have landed at a better place than the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. I’m constantly striving to learn more about the PR profession. And, thanks to a good friend in that industry, Deeksha Kapoor, I joined the PRSA Hoosier Chapter in 2015.

I met Melissa Geitgey (now chapter president) at a PRSA Hoosier luncheon, and she connected me with PRSSA committee co-chairs Michele Bates and Whitney Pflanzer. It’s been a great fit for me. I’ve learned so much from these amazing women. We worked hard to put on a great Half Day with a Pro in October 2016. I think an internship or the opportunity to spend a day with a person working in your chosen field is invaluable to a student. I’m thankful for the wisdom that my career has given me. And, I think that it’s important for me to share that wisdom with others.

I’m excited to work closely with Michele Bates, director of membership, and to co-chair the PRSSA committee with Whitney Pflanzer this year. We have great support from committee members Chantal Kowalski and Molly Yedinak. Earlier this month, the PRSSA committee helped organize the Chapter’s first PRSSA Speed Networking event, which was held at the Indiana Farm Bureau. We had a great turnout of pros and students. During the event, I had pros tell me how impressed they were with how prepared the students were. And, I had a student tell me the resume critique was the best part of the event for her. I’m hopeful this event will become an annual event.

What’s next for the PRSSA committee? We’re looking forward to another great Half Day with a Pro in the fall. Planning is also under way to make sure all the PRSSA chapters in Indiana are aware of the PRSA Hoosier Chapter scholarship program. We’ll begin accepting applications in August. And, please consider donating $25, $50, $75 or $100 to the chapter’s scholarship fund by clicking here. Any amount will help.

Hyacinth Rucker
Co-chair of the PRSSA Committee

Hyacinth Rucker’s knowledge and experience span over 15 years, beginning at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She graduated with a Broadcast Journalism degree and a minor in Black Studies. Since college, she’s worked as a reporter/anchor, executive producer, producer and web producer. Hyacinth is now the Communications Coordinator at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. She serves on the board for Ladies Under Construction, is the current co-chair for the PRSSA Committee for the PRSA Hoosier Chapter and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.