Northern Michigan University assistant professor Tom Isaacson and the NMU chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America received awards at the recent PRSSA national conference in Atlanta, Ga. Isaacson, a faculty member in the communication and performance studies department, received the PRSSA Hall of Fame Award. The NMU chapter he advises earned the Star Chapter Award. A delegation of 15 students accompanied Isaacson to the conference.
The PRSSA Hall of Fame Award recognizes an individual who has built a distinguished career in public relations and continues to contribute to public relations through PRSSA involvement.
“Receiving the PRSSA Hall of Fame Award is a wonderful reflection of our PR students’ success at NMU,” said Isaacson. “Our students compete nationally with students from much larger universities and, in a 10,000-plus member organization, NMU has earned multiple star chapter awards and had members on the 10-person elected National Committee for four straight years. These are individual achievements by our students, who have included Brian Price, Jordan Paquet and Emma Finkbeiner [current publications editor in chief for the National Committee], that contribute to the reputation of NMU's PR program and PRSSA chapter. I was on the National Committee twice when I was an NMU undergraduate, so I'm able to offer some advice and encouragement to our students who apply,”
NMU PRSSA earned the Star Chapter Award for meeting eight of the 10 requirements that demonstrate active involvement and success, and for providing professional development opportunities.
The PRSSA national conference is a chance for students from across the country to gain insight into the field of public relations and network with peers and professionals in the field. It includes presentations and professional development sessions, as well as student “mixer” events. This year’s speakers included Scott Williamson from Coca-Cola North America, Ellen East from Time Warner Cable Inc. and Patrick Ford from Burson-Marsteller. NMU alumnus and former PRSSA national president Brian Price also presented at the conference. Price is employed at Edelman Public Relations Firm in Chicago.
NMU students also explored Atlanta. They toured CNN’s national headquarters and the sports information department and athletic facilities at Georgia Tech. They visited the World of Coca-Cola, Centennial Olympic Park and the Georgia Aquarium, and also took in an Atlanta Hawks NBA game.