Student Day at Edinboro University


Joseph Cephas

A keynote talk by a public relations executive from a national trade association will launch the Northwestern Pennsylvania chapter of the Public Relations Society of America’s third annual Student Day, scheduled for Wednesday, April 5, on the campus of Edinboro University.

Joseph G. Cephas, vice president for communications at the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), will discuss “Making an Impact with Effective Communication.” The event, which runs from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the multi-purpose room of the Pogue Student Center, also features a speed networking session with more than 20 regional public relations and marketing communication professionals. The event is free and open to all college students in the region, but registration is required.

“We are especially excited about our Student Day event this year because our chapter will be announcing exciting new plans to expand both mentoring and internship opportunities for students,” said NWPA PRSA Chapter President Steve Orbanek, a marketing communications specialist with Penn State Behrend. “The specifics of our plans will be unveiled during the closing session.”

Cephas, whose talk will open the event at 1:30, joined ASID in 2016 and oversees all marketing, communications and public relations efforts. He is implementing an integrated strategic communications plan to advance the association’s brand identity, broaden awareness of its programs and priorities, and increase visibility across key stakeholder audiences.

Before joining ASID, Cephas worked for the Independent Electrical Contractors (IEC National), where he quickly rose through the ranks to become the youngest vice president in the organization’s history. He overhauled IEC’s website resulting in significant increases in visitors, page views, visit duration times and advertising revenue. He also led a rebrand of the association’s annual convention and introduced new marketing tactics resulting in a 30 percent increase in attendance.

Cephas earned his undergraduate degree at Edinboro, as well as a master’s degree in communication studies with an emphasis on managerial and leadership communication.

Student Day will conclude with a panel session, where NWPA PRSA members will announce a new mentoring program and a scholarship competition. Chapter President Steve Orbanek will be joined by Marissa Orbanek, public relations manager with the General McLane School District, and Shannon Wohlford, marketing and communications coordinator with The Sight Center of Northwest PA.

Students may register to attend PRSA Student Day by emailing EU PRSSA Chapter President Georgett Bridgett at Registrants should check in at the door between 1 and 1:30 p.m.