Faculty wins PPRS Excellence in Public Relations Award
On Nov. 10, Messiah College’s very own Dr. Nance McCown climbed the stage to receive the Ernest R. McDowell Award for Excellence in Public Relations. Former recipient Crystal Hull nominated McCown, saying that “Nance McCown is one of the most kind, compassionate, upbeat, inspirational individuals that I have ever met. Her professional achievements are outstanding and her contributions to our profession immeasurable through her work as a professor and student advisor.”
Every year, the Pennsylvania Public Relations Society (PPRS) selects a new individual for the award based on excellence in professional and community public relations. McCown’s evident dedication to fostering relationships and inspiring others won her the award. “This relationship focus is something that Ernie McDowell never lost sight of in his career,” said McCown in her acceptance speech, “and it’s something I strive to emphasize both in my consulting and my teaching…. The point is, over years of practice, channels may change, tools may be tweaked, but ultimately, one thing remains: public relations is all about relationships.”
Public relations major Erin Zakin says, “I cannot name another professor who has impacted me during my time at Messiah College as much as Nance has. Nance isn’t just an amazing professor, but she’s a wonderful advisor and confidant. Nance cares deeply about each of her students, and this is obvious through how she builds relationships with them.”
In the classroom, McCown takes every opportunity to stress the importance of relationship-building in public relations. “Nance always makes her classes exciting. She is not shy about making sure to drive a point home with her students, and is willing to go to extreme lengths, such as getting up on a table at the front of the classroom,” said Zakin.
Colleagues and students alike can see McCown’s influence both in the classroom and beyond. This award proves what many already seemed to know: the impact McCown makes on the current world of public relations and on future practitioners will continue to benefit the field for a long time.
“Whatever our circle of influence,” said McCown, “may we all follow in Ernie McDowell’s footsteps, challenging each other to do our best – for the profession, for our organizations, for each other and for the community.”
Congratulations, Dr. Nance McCown!
-Miriam Thurber '19