About Us

In today’s world, communicating well is paramount.

It provides the foundation for leadership, communities uniting to support neighbors, nonprofits making an impact with their missions, corporations working in seamless teams and thriving businesses; and each of us connecting with one another.

The PRSA Central PA chapter brings together communications and public relations professionals from a broad geographic area to build relationships, provide professional development opportunities, and increase networking connections.

Whether from Nittany Lion Country around State College, the busy capital of Harrisburg and surrounding towns, rural York County or historic York City, or sprawling Lancaster County with its bustling downtown and farmlands, we come together to stretch and grow in our profession.

In our chapter you’ll find a diverse mix of professionals in all stages of our careers, from the recent college graduates to the most seasoned and honored mentors in the field. We are committed to effective, ethical and respectful communications on behalf of the organizations we represent and the constituencies they serve.

We hail from every segment and arena: government agencies, corporations, healthcare, marketing agencies, associations, education, the nonprofit sector; and so many more. Yet what we all have in common is our desire to support each other, share best practices; and advance our expertise.

As one of the oldest chapters of the Public Relations Society of America, you’ll find our membership creating award-winning programs, advancing the education of fellow members through Accreditation training, and contributing to the district (regional) and national levels of PRSA. 


You can benefit from membership in our PRSA Central PA chapter by enhancing your skills via our professional development, and volunteer leadership opportunities, building your network, and elevating your standing with clients and possible employers.

You’ll be invited to regular programming and events, including an annual awards program to submit your work for recognition, and will enjoy the ability to gain new ideas and build connections. You will also have access to PRSA’s treasure trove of professional resources and national networking opportunities.

Membership is open to anyone engaged in the practice or education of communication and public relations who is also a member of PRSA’s national body.


The Public Relations Society of America is the nation’s leading professional organization serving the communications community. With more than 30,000 professional and student members, PRSA is collectively represented across the U.S. by 110 chapters and 14 professional interest sections.

In existence for more than 70 years, PRSA is known for its wealth of sophisticated professional development programs and leading resources to enhance knowledge for professionals at every stage of their careers. The organization also incorporates advocacy, principles of ethics, a charitable foundation, and partnering with MBA programs.

Those engaging with PRSA membership will find excellent, regular webinars and in-person conferences and workshops, a robust community chat forum to find best practices and interact with other practitioners, and relevant content available to help guide you in your profession.

Learn more about PRSA’s benefits and its wealth of career resources and job opportunities across the country.


The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), is the foremost organization for students interested in public relations and communications as a career field or focus.

PRSSA, founded in 1967, is comprised of nearly 9,000 students and advisors within 300+ chapters throughout multiple countries. Led by a U.S. National Committee, the organization is heavily supported by professionals in its parent organization, PRSA.

PRSSA advocates rigorous academic standards for public relations education, the highest ethical principles, and diversity in the profession. Students engaged in PRSSA can be connected with internships, competitions, scholarships, awards, and leadership opportunities. PRSSA also provides publications, news, and social media to keep students updated on industry trends.

Students engaged in area PRSSA chapters are encouraged to attend events, always at reduced rates, as well as submit entries into our annual chapter Keystone Awards program at no cost.


Our chapter is now seeking sponsors for regular programs. Sponsors benefit from promotion including:

– Logo in all program promotions via email, website, and social media

– Dedicated social media posts

– Inclusion and callout during program 

Our chapter strives to host several professional development programs in the spring and fall, as well as social events in the summer and over the holiday season. Program sponsors can be on an individual basis, include a guest speaker by the sponsor, and also be part of a multi-program package bundle or annual sponsorship.  

Our annual awards event will also have opportunities for sponsorships, including several levels.  

For inquiries, please send an email to chapteradministrator@prsacp.org or use the Contact Us form.


We’re proud of and grateful for our leadership team’s commitment to helping our chapter thrive!

If you’re interested in volunteering to help our PRSA Central PA chapter shape its future—while adding some great experience to your resume; and increasing your connections—please fill out this form.

2024 chapter leadership:


President: Maggi Barton – Media Relations Manager, WellSpan Health

President-Elect:  Kelly Kostanesky – Founder, KMMK Communications

Secretary: Jazmin Slaughter, A Hint of Jazz Management

Treasurer: Joel Huffer – Corporate Communications Officer, F&M Trust

Past President: Thomas P. Boyle, Ph.D., APR – Professor of Communication, Millersville University

Representatives and Delegates

Director: Liz Smith, APR, MBA – Professor of Corporate Communications, Elizabethtown College

Director: Dwendy Johnson, Community Relations Supervisor, Gift of Life Donor Program

Director: Janet Kacskos, APR, Fellow PRSA – Director of Communications, Millersville University of Pennsylvania 

Leadership Assembly Delegate One: Liz Smith, APR, MBA, Professor of Corporate Communications, Elizabethtown College

Leadership Assembly Delegate Two: Kelly Kostanesky – Founder, KMMK Communications

Mid-Atlantic District Representative: Liz Smith, APR, MBA – Professor of Corporate Communications, Elizabethtown College

Committee chairs and technical leads

Chapter Ethics Officer: Bill Swanger, APR, Fellow PRSA, Independent practitioner; also adjunct faculty at three universities

Communications Lead: Molly McGowan, APR – Media Services at Phoenix Contact

Programming Lead: Dwendy Johnson, Community Relations Supervisor, Gift of Life Donor Program

Diversity and Inclusion Lead: Liz Smith, APR, MBA – Professor of Corporate Communications, Elizabethtown College

APR Co-Leads: Bob Saline, APR, Fellow PRSA, Retired

                             Jason Kirsch, APR, Principal and Senior Counselor, PRworks

Social Media Co-Leads: Patrick M. Early, APR – Retired

                                            Loren Troxell – Communications Specialist at Shipley

Student Chapter Lead: Thomas P. Boyle, Ph.D., APR – Professor of Communication, Millersville University

Membership Co-Leads: Molly McGowan, APR – Media Services at Phoenix Contact

                                                    Patrick M. Early, APR – Retired

Awards Lead: Linda Burkley, APR – Professor at Susquehanna University

Sponsorship Lead: Maggi Barton – Media Relations Manager, WellSpan Health

Public Service Lead: Carly Simpson – Public Affairs Specialist, American College of Radiology

To view a list of past presidents, please click here.

Our chapter has also been blessed to be part of many legacies of professional service. You can view our Leuschner Award winners here.


Our chapter bylaws identify our organization as the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, Inc.

Our geographic territory includes the following PA counties: Adams, Allegheny, Blair, Bradford, Butler, Cambria, Carbon, Centre, Clinton, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lackawanna, Lebanon, Lehigh, Lycoming, Luzerne, Monroe, Northampton, Perry, Snyder, Tioga, York, and Union counties, as well as Washington County in Maryland.

PRSA Central PA chapter’s objectives are as follows: To serve a diverse community of professionals and advance the careers of its members by providing: lifelong learning; vibrant, diverse, and welcoming professional communities; recognition of capabilities and accomplishments; thought leadership, ethics, and professional excellence.

The bylaws were approved on November 15, 2022, by PRSA Central Pennsylvania chapter members and the PRSA National Governance Committee on December 12, 2022. A copy of the chapter bylaws is available for download.

PRSA Code of Ethics

As a chapter, as individual practitioners, and as representatives of our industry, members of PRSA are committed to ethical practices. The level of public trust PRSA members seek as we serve the public good, means we have taken on a special obligation to operate ethically.

Each of us sets an example for each other, as well as other professionals by our pursuit of excellence with powerful standards of performance, professionalism, and ethical conduct.

Ethical practice is the most important obligation of a PRSA member. We view the Member Code of Ethics as a model for other professions, organizations and professionals.

We act as responsible advocates for those we represent. We adhere to the highest standards of accuracy and truth in advancing the interests of those we represent and in communicating with the public.

View the full PRSA Code of Ethics