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College of Fellows Sage Awards

Sage LogoEstablished in 2018, the Sage Award honors a member of the College of Fellows who has demonstrated a significant impact on the profession through mentoring and their personal support for public relations professionals and/or members of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA).

While only PRSA Fellows are eligible to receive the Sage Award, the nomination process is open to professionals and students who have benefited from mentoring by a member of the College of Fellows. The recipient is honored during the College of Fellows Induction Dinner.

Sage Award recipients represent the best of the College of Fellows. They understand the importance of mentoring at every stage of a career – from student to new pro to seasoned professional. They exemplify the commitment of the College of Fellows to “aspire higher” through leadership and service. By inspiring others, they leave a lasting impact on our profession.


Nomination Procedures

Any member of PRSA or PRSSA may nominate a candidate by submitting the online nomination form. Non-members may write a letter of reference. Up to five letters of endorsement will be accepted.

Nominations must be received by the deadline announced by the College of Fellows.

Officers of the College of Fellows are not eligible to receive the award during their terms of office.

Complete the online nomination form, which will ask for information including:

General information about the nominee (name, email, phone, address, employer, social media)

Mentoring experience (breadth and importance) and impact (ability to provide guidance and inspiration that had a measurable outcome or a significant, life-changing impact)

Up to five one-page letters of endorsement from other individuals. Endorsement letters should clearly state why the nominee should be considered for the Sage Award and the impact they have made on an individual or individuals through mentoring.

Nominations for the 2020 Sage Award are closed. 

Judging Criteria

  1. A nominated Fellow must be a PRSA member in good standing.
  2. Nominees must have made significant impact on practitioners through their commitment to mentoring throughout (and after) their careers.
  3. Nominees cannot be serving as an elected officer of the College or as a Committee Chair or Co-Chair.

  • Nominations are reviewed and judged by the Sage Award Committee based on the award criteria. The Sage Award Committee Chairs will notify the College of Fellows Chair of the committee’s selection within three days of the selection. 
  • The College of Fellows Chair will notify the award recipient, who will be invited to accept the award at the College of Fellows Induction Dinner during the PRSA International Conference.
Elizabeth Toth holding award

2020 Sage Award honoree Elizabeth L. Toth, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA. Dr. Toth was nominated by Maria Russell, APR, Fellow PRSA.
College of Fellows Inductee Ceremoney

The presentation of the 2019 Sage Award during the College of Fellows Induction Dinner in San Diego, California.

Left to right: College of Fellows Chair Geri Evans, Sage Award Co-chairs Mike Cherenson and Nance Larsen, Sage Award honoree Judy DeRango Wicks, and nominator Mark Dvorak.
College of Fellows Inductee Ceremony

The presentation of the inaugural Sage Award at the 2018 College of Fellows Induction Dinner in Austin, Texas.

Left to right: Nominator Stacey Smith, 2018 Sage Award honoree Robin Schell, and College of Fellows Chair Deborah Radman.