Student Leadership: Raquel C. Batista – PRSSA FIU President


As the president of the FIU chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) organization, Raquel C. Batista is one busy student with big ambitions for both her future and the future of other PRSSA chapters. She is currently building the foundation for the new executive board of the FIU chapter along with her faculty advisors and members of her community. She hopes to continue to go strong even after she graduates.  

Her relationship with PRSSA began in Summer 2020 when Gabriella Portela, Department of Communication Program Manager, introduced her to the PRSSA Miami Endowment Scholarship. While she only intended to gain the scholarship, she started attending the PRSSA meetings in Fall 2020 and learned about the benefits of the program’s membership. After that, there was no stopping her. After years of hard work and determination, she eventually became the president of the organization where she stands today. 

After she graduates, Batista plans on becoming a communications professor and hopes to teach at her alma mater so that she may pass on her words of wisdom to the future students who step foot inside of her class.  

Read the full interview below;  

What are your favorite classes that you have taken and why?  
My favorite classes that I have taken are COM 3461 “Intercultural/Interracial Communication”, SPC 4445 “Communication for Effective Leadership”, SPC 3301 “Interpersonal Communication”, and COM 4930 “Self-Leadership: A Guide to Personal & Professional Excellence”. COM 3461 is the first communications course I took in my life, and it is the reason why I fell in love with this industry. I have a great passion for cross-cultural communication and intend to seek opportunities related to this subject throughout my career.  Leadership is one of my most important values, and SPC 4445 taught me the foundations of leadership that I still implement with my teams to this day. In SPC 3301, I learned how to better understand how and why humans communicate. This knowledge has proven vital in all of my personal, academic, and professional encounters with others. Finally, COM 4930 taught me how to find the inner strength needed to pull myself up and put myself back together, so I can take care of my mental, spiritual and physical wellbeing. It is hard work, but every step of the way is worth it. 

Are you doing any internships or job shadowing this semester? If so, where are you interning and who are you shadowing for? 
After earning three internships, I get to take my knowledge with me to my first career: a marketing analyst at Dell Technologies. I start this July, so wish me luck! 

What initially drew you into PRSSA? 
Ever since childhood, I knew that I would have to finance my higher education on my own. I started applying to scholarships in high school and have never stopped since. When Professor Gabriella Portela introduced me to the Ev Clay/PRSA Miami Endowment Scholarship in Summer 2020, I learned for the first time about PRSSA. Although I initially joined the FIU Chapter to qualify for the scholarship, I attended meetings in Fall 2020 and instantly became drawn to the benefits of FIU PRSSA membership.  

What do you like most about leading PRSSA? Are there any interesting events coming up for interested students? 
Currently, I am building the foundation for FIU PRSSA’s new executive board, which I hope will serve the chapter for years to come. This cannot be done alone. That is why I am incredibly grateful for my faculty advisor, Professor Hugo H. Ottolenghi, and all of my committee chairs and members. Continuity and growth matter to me greatly, so what I like the most about serving as my team’s leader is building leaders within the executive board. This will ensure the continuation of FIU PRSSA after I graduate. 

We have several panels, workshops, and networking events coming up. An example is a Writing in PR workshop on April 11. To learn more, connect with us via email ( or social media (@fiuprssa on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn). 

What would you say to a student interested in joining PRSSA? 
FIU PRSSA is open to all majors. We are here to help you grow professionally and personally, network, and succeed. We teach you how to become a professional communicator, so you can utilize the knowledge, advice, and skills you acquire in whichever career path you choose. 

What are your career plans?  
My ultimate career goal is to serve as a professor of communications. I’m not sure which topics I want to specialize in, but I look forward to exploring my options in the future. It would be an honor to teach at my alma mater, so let’s see what the future holds for me and FIU. 

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