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October 17, 2011

Frank Ovaitt Honored With 2011 David Ferguson Award

ORLANDO, Fla. (Oct. 17, 2011) — Frank Ovaitt, APR, president and CEO, Institute for Public Relations, was selected as the recipient of the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) 2011 David Ferguson Award, presented at the PRSA Educators Academy reception held during the PRSA 2011 International Conference. The David Ferguson Award recognizes outstanding contributions to public relations education by a practitioner.
“I didn’t come from a rich family, but now I know what it feels like to be heir to something big and important,” said Ovaitt. “From David Ferguson through every person who ever received this award, I’m proud to carry on the legacy.”
Ovaitt has held a number of executive-level communications positions, including vice president, corporate affairs, MCI, and executive adviser, BTM Corporation. In 1995, Ovaitt founded Crossover International Inc., and led the communications effort to lobby the U.S. Congress on the largest scale telecom legislation in 60 years.
“The Ferguson Award is the highest honor bestowed upon a public relations professional by the Educators Academy of PRSA,” said PRSA Educator’s Academy Chair Dean Kazoleas, Ph.D., APR. “Named after David Ferguson, a longtime contributor to public relations education, this prestigious award recognizes outstanding contributions to the advancement and betterment of public relations education on the part of a public relations professional. Frank Ovaitt is an excellent choice for the Ferguson Award. Ovaitt, and his work with the Institute, nourishes public relations educators. He validates our hard work, whether it is pedagogical or supporting the practice.”
Ovaitt holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and an MBA from New York University. He has taught professional seminars on international public relations and delivered guest lectures at the University of Florida, the University of Maryland and the University of Missouri, and taught public relations research as an adjunct professor in the George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management.
Also honored at the Educators Academy reception were the recipients of the PRSA Educators Academy Top Faculty Research Paper Award, Juan-Carlos Molleda, Ph.D. and Rajul Jain, M.A., from the University of Florida.
“The Educators Academy received many excellent research studies this year, so there was strong competition for the top paper award,” said Marcia DiStaso, Ph.D., Educators Academy research chair. “Juan-Carlos Molleda and Rajul Jain authored this year’s top paper by using triangulation methodology to test a perceived authenticity index.”
About the Educators Academy
In 1978, college and university public relations educators, both full and part time, and practitioners who share with educators a commitment to improving the quality of teaching and scholarly research in the field, were invited to be members of the Educators Academy. Established that same year, the Educators Academy was developed to reach those college and university public relations educators and practitioners to further the advancement of teaching public relations in higher education.
About the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
PRSA is the largest professional organization serving the U.S. public relations community. With a mission to “advance the profession and the professional,” PRSA provides news and information, thought leadership, continuing education and networking opportunities; sets standards of professional excellence and ethical conduct; and advocates for the business value of public relations and greater diversity among public relations professionals. Based in New York, PRSA comprises 112 local Chapters; 14 Professional Interest Sections that focus on specific industries and practice areas; and the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), which is active at more than 320 colleges and universities.
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