Maria P. Russell Receives Patrick Jackson Award for Distinguished Service to PRSA

NEW YORK (Oct. 8, 2017) — The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) presented Maria P. Russell, APR, Fellow PRSA, with its Patrick Jackson Award for significant contributions in advancing the professional development of its members. The Patrick Jackson Award recognizes members whose work has helped advance the Society. The award was presented at the PRSA 2017 International Conference on Oct. 8 in Boston, during the General Session.

Russell is a longtime member of PRSA who has helped the Society expand and enhance its educational offerings including its movement into online programming and the MBA Initiative.

“Maria deservedly belongs in this esteemed group of honorees for her many talents and achievements, but mostly for her ability to inspire others to higher learning. She has been an example for many of us, myself included, to achieve at the highest level,” said PRSA 2017 National Chair Jane Dvorak, APR, Fellow PRSA. “PRSA is honored to recognize Maria with this well-deserved award as she models a deep-felt commitment to public relations, education and the importance of lifelong learning.”

Russell is a public relations professor and director of the Newhouse School’s Executive Education Programs at Syracuse University, and co-directs its W20 Group Center for Social Commerce. Previously, Russell was chair of the school’s PR department for four terms, leading the creation of the school’s first distance learning master’s degree in communications management (1995). She has been a faculty member for 30 years and conducts professional development programs across the U.S. and in Canada and Brazil. In 2017, colleagues and alumnae created a graduate scholarship in her name.

She was inducted into PRSA’s College of Fellows (1992), received PRSA’s Educator of the Year award (1997), and was on PRSA’s National Board of Directors for two terms (1998–2000), then serving as secretary (2001) and treasurer (2004). She also served as a trustee for the PRSA Foundation (2006 to 2012), received the Philip Dorf Mentorship Award from the New York City PRSA Chapter (2012) and was chair of PRSA’s College of Fellows (2013). She chaired PRSA’s Task Force on Professional Development (2000–2003).

About the Public Relations Society of America
PRSA is the nation’s largest professional organization serving the communications community. The organization’s mission is to make communications professionals smarter, better prepared and more connected through all stages of their career. PRSA achieves this by offering its members thought leadership and innovative lifelong learning opportunities to help them develop new skills, enhance their credibility and connect with a strong network of professionals. The organization sets the standards of professional excellence and ethical conduct for the public relations industry. PRSA collectively represents more than 30,000 members consisting of communications professionals spanning every industry sector nationwide, and college and university students who encompass the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). Learn more about PRSA at

Media Contact:
Rod Granger
Director, Public Relations and Communications
Public Relations Society of America
(212) 460-0307