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Regional PR Group Honors RU Professor, Graduate Student

RADFORD -- Radford University’s Vincent Hazleton, professor of communication and acting director of the School of Communication, and Brent McConnell, a graduate student in the corporate and professional communication program, received top honors in the Blue Ridge Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America’s “Summit Awards” competition.

Vince Hazelton
Vince Hazleton

Hazleton received the organization’s “Compass” Award for providing leadership and direction to the profession of public relations. He is the first PR professional from academia to receive the prestigious award that is normally presented to a CEO who is supportive and understanding of the public relations function.

“Hazleton is well known not just throughout the region – he has worked for years to promote public relations on a national level, advocate public relations in our area and shape the way public relations is taught in the classroom,” said Blue Ridge Chapter President Thomas Becher. “Vince is an established figure in our national organization and his work has helped to elevate our regional chapter’s profile while establishing Radford University as a leading institution to train future professionals.”

“I was surprised and pleased to receive the award,” said Hazleton. “Recognition of my work by practitioners makes me feel that my academic work has made a difference for many professionals.”

Hazleton is currently associate editor of the Journal of Public Relations Research and the North American editor of the Journal of Public Relations Inquiry. Hazleton has published almost 70 papers, including the two most recent: “Premature Speculations: Looking for Theory in all the Wrong Places,” presented at the annual International Communication Association Conference in Singapore, Malaysia, and “Theoretic Issues in the History of Public Relations,” presented at the International History of Public Relations Conference in Bournemouth, England. Prior to coming to RU in 1993, Hazleton was chairperson of the Department of Communication at Illinois State University. Hazleton earned his Ph.D. in communication from the University of Oklahoma.

McConnell, who is from Vinton and expects to graduate in May, was honored with the chapter’s Summit Award - Gold in the student portfolio category. McConnell’s portfolio featured several projects accomplished in support of RU’s sustainability initiatives including a video promoting the recent Campus Conservation Nationals.

“It is a real honor to win the award,” said McConnell. “I am proud to represent RU and was competing with talented students representing universities up and down the I-81 corridor.”

December 2, 2010
Don Bowman; 540-831-7523

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