A public relations powerhouse shining God’s light through meaningful work
Whitney Stringer ’02
Deeply rooted in her faith, Whitney Stringer said that her work is a true blessing. “My journey has been such a blessing; I get to shine the light of Jesus while also spotlighting deserving people, organizations, and causes in the work that I do,” she said.
After graduating from State High in 2002, Whitney went to Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She spent two years there before being drawn back to State College. “During high school, I was set on ‘going against the norm’ and rejected the idea of attending Penn State since that’s where most of my classmates were headed. So, I enrolled at IUP. After two years, I did end up transferring to Penn State,” she laughed.
Whitney had one of the most interesting first jobs after college… Have you heard of the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile? She was selected from over 1,200 applicants and spent the year behind the wheel of the 27-foot-long hotdog in the coveted role of ‘hotdogger’ for the giant food brand. During that year, crisscrossing the country, she found a passion for public relations in what could be described as a marketing firm on wheels.
“My fellow hotdogger helped me identify my talent for securing media attention, so I decided to pursue a career in Public Relations and landed a position with a boutique agency near Washington, DC. A few years later, my employer sold the company, and I was let go from that role,” she shared.
After months of job searching and many unsolicited requests for Whitney to lead freelance projects, Whitney Springer PR & Events was born. “I knew I was born to do this. I built a practice focused on representing brands, people, and organizations that have a social impact,” she explained.
“My primary market is underserved and under-represented populations like Black-owned and women-owned businesses and organizations dedicated to uplifting those communities. I give them a voice and a platform to be heard, and 2023 marks the firm’s 11th anniversary,” Whitney said.
Looking back on her time in the SCASD, Whitney said she had many fond memories. “Dance was a huge part of my life. I loved going to every school dance, no matter how big or small,” she remembered. “I was also part of the group that chartered the State High Dance Team. We had to rally together, and it was so cool to see fellow students from the different independent dance schools come together to form one team for State High.”
“In 2001, I was crowned Homecoming Queen, but before my name was announced, I remember hearing classmates talk about who they thought would win from the homecoming court. They didn’t even mention my name, but in the end, I won,” she said. “I think it was in that moment that I realized that even if others counted me out, I wouldn’t let anyone else’s opinion ever be the last word.”
Whitney also worked with Students Against Drunk Driving while at State High. “It was a foundation to wanting to work with socially-important causes,” she shared. “Today, I advocate for populations and matters that often don’t get enough attention or funding. Over the last decade, I’ve worked with clients like the U.S. Census Bureau to ensure that undercounted populations are counted fairly. I am also proud of my work with Google, which focuses on making a real impact through community partnerships. These social issues are important to me, and I am blessed that my work includes so much purpose.”
Her major accomplishments are a testament to that. In 2021 Whitney was twice recognized by Penn State University. First, she was awarded the Outstanding Young Alumni Award from the Liberal Arts School. Later that year, she was honored with the Diversity Award from the Penn State Alumni Association. She was also featured in the Penn Stater Magazine’s ‘Black Voices’ issue in 2020, where she shared her experience as a Black student on the University Park campus. Whitney was also named an “Unconventional PR Powerhouse” by Northern Virginia Magazine and recognized as a social media influencer attendee by the White House from the President Obama White House administration.
Her entire journey has been an evolution of challenges and blessings, so it is no surprise that her evolution will continue.
Later this year, she plans to relaunch her wellness series, which touts curated programming promoting inclusivity in the health and wellness space. Before the pandemic, the series was launched with the belief that factors like skin color, age, income bracket, or zip code shouldn’t limit someone’s access to healthcare. She looks forward to furthering the series while tackling issues like mental health and Black maternal health disparities.
Whitney said she was excited to be considered for this award and is looking forward to the ceremony. “To be honored at home is such a proud moment for me,” she said. “I am just elated!”
As for current students, she encouraged this: “Get as involved as possible. Tap into a wide range of opportunities. Attend a Spanish Club meeting or a Rugby match just because. You never know when an experience may spark unexpected joy, so give it a try and talk to new people along the way! Academics are important, but so is building relationships.”