Sophia BauerMarch 30, 2020 (Jackson, Miss.) - Belhaven University student Sophia Bauer has become the first Belhaven student to earn the prestigious Certificate in Principles of Public Relations, a nationally-recognized credential signifying her preparation to enter the public relations profession.

Bauer, a senior Interdisciplinary Studies major from Lew Beach, New York, is the most recent of just four students from Mississippi universities to receive the certification. Students must undertake a rigorous study course for the exam, administered by the Universal Accreditation Board, the public relations profession's international accrediting body. The exam covers a variety of knowledge about the practice of public relations, including history, ethics, law, crisis communications, and business knowledge. Bauer took the exam in February, and will graduate in May. She is currently performing an internship with a Jackson-area television station.

“I am so proud of Sophia and the hard work and discipline she put into this process,” said Bill Moak, APR, Chair and Assistant Professor of Communication at Belhaven. “She has a bright future in the communication profession.”

Belhaven is one of 58 universities to support the Certificate in Principles of Public Relations, and offers a course to prepare students to take the exam. Beginning in the fall, all new public relations majors will be required to take the exam. “It's important that our students are equipped with the skills and knowledge they'll need to be successful public relations practitioners, and having this certification can help students be more competitive in a growing marketplace,” Moak added.