The College of Fellows, founded in 1989, is a community of more than 300 senior PRSA members who have advanced the public relations profession and distinguished themselves through their experience and leadership in the public relations industry. Admission is open to public relations practitioners or educators with 20 years’ experience or more, hold the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) credential and have demonstrated exceptional capability and accomplishment in the practice or teaching of public relations. College of Fellows members also must exhibit personal and professional qualities that make them role models for other practitioners or educators.
The key to a successful career is having a great mentor or mentors along the way, Sheryl Sandberg argues in her most recent book Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead. Associate Professor and Public Relations and Marketing Program Director Laura Hammel, APR, Ph.D., defines the word mentor, as she is a trusted counselor and guide on campus.
Hammel was recognized for her mentorship work this past spring. She received the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Greater Cleveland Chapter’s Davis Young Award for Exceptional Mentors 2013 at The Hill Lighthouse Young Awards in Cleveland. The award is given to a professional who exceptionally mentors students and young professionals. Since receiving the award, Hammel was approached for additional mentoring opportunities – on campus and off. “As a faculty member I mentor students in every step of their university career,” Hammel said. “I never saw myself as a mentor in a official capacity before winning the award, though.”