At the 2007 Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) International conference held this past weekend in Philadelphia, Dr. Bonnie Riechert, assistant professor in the Communications Studies Department, was one of only nine individuals inducted into the prestigious College of Fellows, a lifetime achievement award given to only two percent of PRSA members.
“The award of the designation as a Fellow by PRSA is one of our profession’s most distinguished honors,” said PRSA Chair & CEO Rhoda Weiss. “As a mentor and a role model, Fellows contribute immensely to the growth of our profession and the respect accorded to it.”
Riechert said, “It was humbling and gratifying to be recognized by my colleagues in public relations for contributions to the profession and to public relations education. Induction to the PRSA College of Fellows represents a commitment to continue to advocate for the practice of strategic and ethical public relations, serving the public interest and building on the contributions of the pioneers, leaders and mentors to whom we owe so much.”
This will bring the number of members of the College of Fellows to 445 out of the nearly 22,000 members of PRSA. Election to the College, based on lifetime achievement, is a professional honor awarded to senior practitioners and educators.
“Entry into the College of Fellows is the hallmark of achievement in one’s public relations career and an honor only for those considered to be models of professional achievement, ethical conduct and service to the profession,” said 2007 College of Fellows Chair Debra A. Miller, Ed.D., APR, Fellow PRSA. “We are extremely pleased to welcome these outstanding professionals into the College.”
According to the PRSA bylaws, to be considered for the College of Fellows, a member of PRSA must have practiced or taught public relations for 20 or more years, demonstrated superior capability as a practitioner or educator, exhibited personal and professional qualities that serve as a role model, and advanced the state of the profession. Criteria also include being Accredited, having passed rigorous oral and written examinations involving a depth of knowledge in the strategic analysis of public relations issues, including program, research, ethics, legal issues, communications and other areas.