Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapters nationwide serve their members by encouraging them to enhance their knowledge of public relations through active involvement both with their on-campus chapters and with their local PRSA chapter as well as other professional organizations. Their goal is to serve the public relations profession by helping to develop highly qualified and well-prepared future public relations practitioners.

The Tampa Bay Chapter of PRSA is committed to support of the PRSSA chapters at the University of South Florida and at The University of Tampa. In addition, the Chapter actively encourages students studying public relations at other colleges and universities in the Tampa Bay area to become involved with their professional counterparts and expand their networking opportunities. PRSA Tampa Bay members also share their knowledge and experience as mentors to PRSSA members and others.

One significant way in which PRSA Tampa Bay demonstrates its commitment to support of these future professionals is through the awarding of scholarships annually to highly qualified and deserving applicants.

PRSA Tampa Bay awards two scholarships each year to students at the University of South Florida (USF) who are majoring in public relations. The scholarships are named for two PRSA Tampa Bay Chapter members who made a significant impact on the profession.

  • Walter E. Griscti, APR was a USF professor of mass communications and served as president of the PRSA Tampa Bay Chapter in 1977. He was named PRSA’s Outstanding Educator of the Year in 1977 and was named USF professor emeritus in 1983.
  • John Cassato, Jr. was vice president of public relations for the Jim Walter Corporation of Tampa. Previously he was business and financial editor of The Chicago Daily News. He died in 1982 at the age of 51.

The scholarship recipients are selected in the spring for the fall semester and are awarded at the USF Mass Communications Department Annual Awards Ceremony.

PRSA Tampa Bay also established an “Emerging Professional” scholarship at The University of Tampa (UT) in 2019.  This scholarship recognizes a UT student who is majoring in public relations and has demonstrated his or her commitment to the profession through active involvement in internships and other public relations-related initiatives.

If you’re interested in working with PRSSA students or with our student scholarship program, please contact Kirk Hazlett, APR, Fellow PRSA, at [email protected] for more information.