Merritt, a senior at the University of Michigan–Dearborn, is the current president of PRSSA. She joined the organization in the fall of 2014 and has previously served as the organization’s secretary. Merritt is a communications major with a double minor in history and journalism and a certificate in public relations. During the fall of 2014, she interned at Fox 2 News, working in the Community Service department and with the News Desk, and was subsequently awarded with Intern of the Year. Most recently, she was an intern with Cumulus Media at 96.3 WDVD where she assisted with the Blaine and Allyson Morning Show. Merritt serves a board member and manager at the Redford Theatre and also enjoys volunteering, community theater, and rowing.
Immediate Past President
Monica recently graduated with a B.A. in Communication and Women’s and Gender Studies with High Distinction , as well as a Certificate in Public Relations. Monica was a Communication Intern for the City of Detroit Mayor’s Office as well as the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit. She is the current Communication Director of a local nonprofit, the Southeast Michigan Butterfly Association. As the former Chapter President of PRSSA at UM-Dearborn, Monica believes it allowed her to grow both personally and professionally. In a leadership role, Monica gained the confidence and skills to plan and lead chapter meetings and events. Under her leadership, the Chapter achieved their semester goals, doubled their membership, and were able to attend a PRSSA Regional Conference in Chicago. Monica is excited for the new PRSSA Executive Board and is confident in their ability to keep growing and strengthening the Chapter.
N’Kenge Gonzalez, a second term member of PRSSA and now Vice President, is a junior majoring in International Studies with a concentration in Business Management, and minor in Leadership and Communication in Organization. In 2015, N’Kenge became a University of Michigan-Dearborn Difference Maker because of her work as student liaison for the UM-Dearborn’s Women’s Resource Center in the 2014 Fall Semester. As student liaison, Gonzalez worked with the campus administrator to organize and host Elect Her-Campus Women Win!!, a national training event which encourages women to aspire, pursue, and achieve political and community leadership positions. In the fall of 2014, N’Kenge was selected to join the National Society of Leadership and Success (Sigma Alpha Pi) and thus earned the ranking of National Engaged Student Leader. Prior to her admittance to University of Michigan-Dearborn, N’Kenge achieved an Associate in Liberal Arts from Oakland Community College, during that same time she served as secretary in a community based organization where she spearheaded fundraisers and events.
Crystal is a junior majoring in communications with a certificate in public relations. She is newer to the UM-Dearborn campus and has recently transferred from Wayne County Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts. Crystal is happily married with four children, three sons and one daughter who are 10,13, and 18 year old twins. The oldest children are in their first year of college. Her daughter is at MSU with a full scholarship and her son is at Spring Arbor University. She is the PTA president at Cornerstone Lincoln- King Academy. Crystal says she is, “proud to serve as the PRSSA treasurer.”
Ken Kettenbeil is the Vice Chancellor for External Relations and is responsible for government relations and communications and marketing.
His communications and marketing responsibilities include internal and external communications, website, advertising and branding at the university. His government relations responsibilities include representing the university in dialogues with federal, state and local governments, and presenting the university’s position in current and proposed legislation.
Prior to joining UM-Dearborn Ken served as the director of communications for smart USA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Penske Automotive Group. He also served as the vice president of communications for the Detroit Super Bowl XL Host Committee and marketing manager for the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Kettenbeil earned a bachelor’s degree in communications at Wayne State University and has completed graduate courses through Michigan State University.
Jennifer Flowers, APR, is a director, Communications at FordDirect in Dearborn, Mich., a joint venture between Ford Motor Company and its franchised dealers to create a comprehensive Web presence for dealers and provide digital marketing and advertising services that help dealers sell more cars and trucks. In her role at FordDirect, Jennifer oversees all internal communications for the company as well as external public relations, including media relations and social media management. She also serves in a voluntary role, as chair of the organization’s charity committee called FordDirect Cares. An active member of the public relations community, Jennifer served several years on the board of directors for the Public Relations Society of America Detroit chapter, including a year as president in 2012. During her tenure as president, PRSA Detroit was awarded one of only two chapter diversity awards nationwide, due largely to the inaugural launch of the Ofield Dukes Diversity Summit. She currently serves as the professional advisor to the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter at the University of Michigan–Dearborn. Jennifer holds a bachelor’s degree in advertising from Michigan State University in East Lansing. She loves music, dancing, polka dots and Jimmy Fallon!