Today we feature Vanessa Livingstone, a leader at Rowan University. Vanessa is the president of the Anthony J. Fulginiti Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). She is a senior, first-generation college student from Palmyra, NJ (Burlington County) who double majors in Public Relations and Advertising.
This story is part of a series spotlighting campus leaders during Women’s History Month.
What is your role in your organization?
President of the Anthony J. Fulginiti Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. PRSSA is a pre-professional organization for students to prepare themselves for successful careers in public relations through networking opportunities, workshops and conferences.
What have you learned in your role as a leader?
I’ve learned that the best leader is one who brings out the strengths in their team members. If I can increase someone else’s confidence and make them feel included, then I’ve done my job.
What’s your favorite memory as a leader or at Rowan in general?
My favorite memory at Rowan was the day PRSSA elected me as President. I thought being a recent transfer student would hurt my chances, but decided to go for it anyway! I’m so glad I did and honored that other members felt confident in my ability to lead.
Who inspires you and why?
My mom inspires me because she encourages me to chase my goals. My confidence to pursue things that may seem out of reach comes from her. But, what inspires me most is that she taught me to help others reach their own success along the way.
What’s the most significant barrier to women today?
Often times our greatest barriers come from ourselves. If I come across an obstacle along the way, I work to think of a way to overcome it.
What advice would you give to the next generation of leaders?
I would encourage the next generation of leaders to lead with compassion. A leader can only succeed when their team succeeds — your job is to support and guide those around you.
Is there anything else you would like to include?
You do not have to be a conventional student to get involved and fill a leadership role on campus. I transferred to Rowan as a junior and commuter student. It was important to me that I participated in the campus culture even if I didn’t live there — if something is important to you, can and will find a way!
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