Dr. Bonnie Riechert, chair of the Department of Public Relations, received the 2016 Hercules Award from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Nashville Chapter at its 30th annual Parthenon Awards Banquet. The award, named for the hero from Greek mythology renowned for knowledge and strength, honors an individual with at least 10 years of experience who uses their professional talents for the benefit of the public relations profession. Nominees are judged on contributions to PRSA, the profession and the community; quality, creativity and effect of their professional work and the example set by their ethical practices.
“Belmont’s core values are integrity, inquiry, collaboration, service and humility,” said former Belmont faculty members Susan Barnes when presenting the award. “Not coincidentally, these are Bonnie’s values, too, and she has built the public relations department at Belmont on those values because that’s who she is.”
The award presentations also included Awards of Merit and Parthenon Awards in categories including public relations campaigns and public relations projects. Four student entries from Belmont, including two individual entries and two team entries, were recognized:
- Makenzie Albracht, Sarah Kate Brewer, Mary Anna Davis, Megan McBride, Arielle Schrader and Aryn Van Dyke: Parthenon Award for “Best Buddies Friendship Walk Campaign” (a service-learning project completed in Public Relations Campaigns class)
- Jessica Martin: Award of Merit for “Belmont Abroad Research Report” (an undergraduate research project completed in Public Relations Research class)
- Chloe Brookshire, Margot Lied, Meredith Martin, Sarah Phillips and MacKenzie Wilson: Award of Merit for “Delight Ministries Inaugural Summer Series” (a service-learning project completed in Public Relations Campaigns class)
- Missy Martin: Award of Merit for “Online Media Kit for Cultivate, a Student-Run Garden” (a project completed in PR Writing for Journalistic Media class)
The Public Relations Society of America is the world’s largest and foremost organization of public relations professionals with more than 22,000 public relations and communications professionals, in addition to more than 10,000 university and college students through the Public Relations Student Society of America. One of more than 100 local chapters, the PRSA Nashville Chapter sponsors student chapters of PRSSA at Belmont, Lipscomb, MTSU, Austin Peay and Western Kentucky University. The PRSA Nashville Chapter includes 180 professionals in public relations.