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David Ferguson Award

David Ferguson Award for Outstanding Contributions to Public Relations Education by a Practitioner

2016 Call for Nominations for the David Ferguson Award

The Educators Academy of the Public Relations Society of America is requesting nominations of candidates for the David Ferguson Award. The award will be given by the Educators Academy at the PRSA International Conference, October 22-25, 2016, in Indianapolis, IN.

Please send letter of nomination to Melissa Dodd, Ph.D., APR, at no later than June 5, 2016. Please contact Melissa Dodd with any questions or concerns via email or phone (407) 823-4539).

The purpose of this award is to recognize outstanding contributions to the advancement of public relations education on the part of public relations professionals. The award honors the late David Ferguson, APR, Fellow PRSA, in recognition of his outstanding support to public relations education as PRSA president in 1985 and later as co-chair of the PRSA Educational Affairs Committee.

Ferguson recognized the importance of public relations education to the profession and helped to establish the five public relations course rule for creating and maintaining a PRSSA Chapter Charter. Identifying the equivalency of a major, in specific public relations course content, contributed to the identification of public relations faculty and enhanced the support being provided to such faculty.  

In addition, Ferguson's leadership established the PRSA Certification program. This program enabled universities with public relations programs outside of journalism to achieve program review and those within journalism to have the benefit of an in-depth review by teams comprised entirely of public relations professionals and faculty. The review process allowed reporting to top university administration as to the status of the program. The award is intended to recognize practitioners who have shown a commitment to public relations education similar to that of their late colleague, David Ferguson.

Past Winners:

  • Judith Turner Phair, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • Frank Ovaitt, APR
  • Mary Beth West, APR
  • Rhoda Weiss, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • Ron Rhody, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • Harold Burson, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • Daniel J. Edelman, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • Jack Felton, APR, Fellow PRSA 
  • Patrick Jackson, APR, Fellow PRSA  
  • Gary McCormick, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • Isobel Parke, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • Betsy Plank, APR, Fellow PRSA 
  • John Paluszek, APR, Fellow PRSA
  • Jon Riffel, APR

Nomination criteria: Clear past and current evidence of outstanding service and commitment to education through service with PRSA and other professional organizations, University Public Relations Advisory Boards, educational committees, commissions, and foundation boards; PRSSA national, District, Chapter advisory, speaker programs and national conference programs committees; or PRSA Chapter or District committees and programs related to the needs of education.