Each year, the New Jersey chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) chooses the most brilliant and bright individuals to receive the annual Public Relations Professional of the Year Award. This year, the prestigious honor has been bestowed upon Dr. Kathleen D. Rennie, assistant professor of public relations in the Department of Communications at Seton Hall University. Recipients of the PR Professional of the Year Award exhibit the highest standards of public relations ethics and serve as a role model to their staffs and practitioners entering the field.
"When you say Seton Hall public relations, the first thing that will pop in anyone's mind is Kathy Rennie," says Ashley Manz, account executive at Beckerman Public Relations and former student of Dr. Rennie. "She is the reason that so many qualified, young PR professionals graduate from the university. Her continued commitment to the future of public relations deserves the greatest recognition."
Dr. Rennie served as a beloved role model and advisor to students in the university's chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) . In addition to her involvement with PRSSA, she also provided counsel in all aspects of communication to leaders in corporate, educational, healthcare, nonprofit, and business-to-business sectors. A former pirate, Dr. Rennie fully encompasses the university's core values, preparing students to be leaders in their professional and personal lives. During the spring semester, Dr. Rennie advised 65 students on communications internships, while personally addressing each student's PR career plans. Dr. Rennie's revolving open door policy allowed students to seek academic and professional guidance at time of day.
She was instrumental in guiding Seton Hall's public relations program through the Certification in Education for Public Relations (CEPR) process. The international honor puts the university at the top of best places to study public relations in the world.
"I believe New Jersey is one of best places to practice PR," says Dr. Rennie. "Our professors are stellar and well-trained at Seton Hall and across the entire state. Our university has a legacy of PRSA-NJ award winners and we couldn't be more proud of students and faculty who excel."
Frank Taylor, a recent graduate of Seton Hall, was also honored by the New Jersey chapter of PRSA. He garned the "Future PR Professional of the Year Award". This award recognized Taylor, a past secretary of PRSSA, as among the most talented public relations students in the state of New Jersey. "The fact that so many Seton Hall students win this award really speaks to the greatness of the program," says Taylor. "It's a true honor." Taylor, along with countless other students accredits Dr. Rennie for their success at the Hall. "Dr. Rennie is always looking for ways to improve the department and she has a passion for public relations that she passes onto her students.
"The public relations program at Seton Hall has developed a laudable reputation over the years as a direct result of the enthused students and faculty who fuel the department. As Dr. Rennie frequently reminds her students, "If you want an apple from the tree, you have to climb the tree."
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