Debra A. Miller, Ed.D., APR, Fellow PRSA: The Gold Anvil Award

Publication Date: 1/2007

Source: SO01 Public Relations Tactics
Product Code: 6C-010720
Organization/Author/Firm: Anonymous
Specialization(s): Leadership / Multicultural - Diversity
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Debra A. Miller. Ed.D. APR, Fellow PRSA, was honored by PRSA with the 2006 Gold Anvil Award.

The Gold Anvil, first awarded in 1948, is the Society's highest honor and is presented to the PR professional whose accomplishments have advanced and improved the profession.

PRSA Chair and CEO Cheryl I. Procter-Rogers, APR, Fellow PRSA, presented Miller with the prestigious Gold Anvil Award during the Awards Luncheon on Nov. 13. "Miller is an inspiring example of what determination, passion and leadership can achieve," said Procter-Rogers. "From Debra's contributions as PRSA president to her research on multicultural communications. and to her many accomplishments in public relations and communications,she has consistently found ways to better the practice and enhance its contributions to business, industry and society. PRSA is pleased to acknowledge her contributions with the Gold Anvil."

In 1997, Miller became the first woman of color and the first African-American to lead PRSA. In being selected for the Gold Anvil, Miller, senior director of marketing and communications at Clark Atlanta University, is making history once again. Miller is one of four women and the first woman of color to receive the Gold Anvil.

"Receiving the Gold Anvil Award is a tremendous honor for me personally and professionally," Miller said."Having my colleagues publicly recognize the importance of my life's work and acknowledge the impact of my contributions to the PR profession and PRSA is one of the pinnacles of my career."

Miller has spent the past 30 years as a practicing PR executive in a variety of organizations; promoting the value of public relations to those outside the profession; expanding the body of knowledge through her research and professional development; serving as a role model and mentor; expanding the ranks of PRSA and the profession by recruiting young aspirants and multicultural practitioners. Miller has held positions in Fortune 100 companies, federal agencies, the military, colleges and universities and served as the managing partner of Global Communication Strategists, Inc. a metro-Atlanta based consultancy. She has held public affairs leadership positions at the Department of the Treasury,U.S. Department of Agriculture, NASA, Department of the Army and the U.S. Census Bureau. In addition to administrative, teaching and PR positions at Howard University, Hampton University, University of Portland, Florida International University and Clark Atlanta University; Miller has served as an adviser to six university presidents.

As an educator. Miller has created and taught a variety of graduate and undergraduate PR courses and professional development seminars/workshops.

As a tenured associate professor and assistant dean, she prepared thousands of students who have gone on to successful PR careers. In the role of mentor and coach, she guided the careers of aspiring professionals and colleagues who continuously seek her guidance.

"What I've learned over the years is that this profession challenges each of us to be prepared to chance the unconventional; to be as comfortable with uncertainty as we are with change; to master the art of good storytelling; and to be trustworthy, passionate, forward-thinking visionaries,"she told the audience.

Past Gold Anvil recipients include Al Golin. Fellow PRSA, chairman, GolinHarris (2005); Thomas W.Hoog, Fellow PRSA, special counsel to global chairman, Hill & Knowlton {2004); John D. Graham, APR, Fellow PRSA, chairman and CEO, Fleishman-Hillard. St. Louis (2003); Joseph A.Vecchione, APR, Fellow PRSA, vice president, public relations (Ret.),The Prudential Insurance Company of America, (2002); and Ofield Dukes, APR, Fellow PRSA, president, Ofield Dukes & Associates (2001).