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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 Ceremony.

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

  1. We’ve made it easier to orchestrate a well-rounded and competitive nomination.  Instead of asking five others to submit letters of support as in the past, these additional endorsers now provide their input via an online form, as well.


  2. Who can make a nomination?  A member of PRSA or PRSSA.  Nonmembers can support a nomination by providing supporting detail and insight.  The strongest nominations are team efforts and give a 360-degree view of the nominee.


  3. Who is eligible?  Current Fellows – with a few exceptions for those in leadership roles.  Check the qualifications requirements for additional detail.


  4. While it’s possible to prepare a successful nomination without involving your nominee, it’s very unlikely you’ll will know or have all the answers yourself.  More importantly, judges benefit from seeing as broad and deep a picture of the nominee’s work as possible.  So, cast the net wide.


  5. Understand the kind of information you’ll be asked to provide as you plan your submission and pull in others who can fill in any gaps.  Here’s what the online nomination form asks you to provide:
    • General and contact information about the nominee (name, email, phone, address, employer, social media)
    • Your nominee’s mentoring experience (breadth and importance – as well as names of at least a few of those they have mentored) and impact (ability to provide guidance and inspiration that had a measurable outcome or a significant, life-changing influence).  Specifics and details are important, and stories are powerful.
    • Names, email addresses, and phone numbers for up to five endorsers of your nomination who will be asked to provide additional perspective and detail.  These supporters can be anyone who is able to speak to the nominee, their mentoring and their impact.


  6. Endorsers should complete the endorsement form to provide input about the nominee. Endorsers should submit their endorsement by August 18, 2023.


  7. Questions?  Contact Susan Belanich Susan.Belanich@prsa.org. The deadline for nominations is August 18, 2023.


2023 Nomination Form

2023 Endorsement Form


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 Ceremony 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.