Grand Valley professor inducted into prestigious public relations organization

Tim Penning pictured after being inducted into the PRSA College of Fellows on October 6.
Tim Penning pictured after being inducted into the PRSA College of Fellows on October 6.
Image credit - courtesy of Tim Penning

The Public Relations Society of America recently inducted new members into its prestigious College of Fellows, one of which was a Grand Valley faculty member.

Along with 10 other professionals, Tim Penning, professor of advertising and public relations, was inducted into the organization during a special ceremony on October 6 at the PRSA International Conference in Austin, Texas.

The College of Fellows is an honorary organization within PRSA that includes more than 350 senior practitioners and educators who have each left a significant footprint on the public relations profession.

To qualify for the organization, a public relations practitioner or educator must have at least 20 years of experience, hold the Accredited in Public Relations credential, and have demonstrated exceptional accomplishment in practicing or teaching public relations. Fewer than 2 percent of the more than 21,000 PRSA members are accepted into the College of Fellows. 

"I had great respect for the College of Fellows, having come to know some members over the years, so I remember having feelings of relief, surprise, humility and excitement to be a part of this prestigious group," Penning said. "It also made me look back over my career, and consider lots of good people I’ve known over the years, and I feel blessed to have come to this point."

Penning said that through the program, he will strive to offer mentorship to other professionals, advocate for the public relations profession and its ethical practices, and educate people outside of public relations about the field's many applications beyond media relations. He said he also plans to apply what he learns through this experience in his classes.


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