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March 28, 2012

PRSA Foundation Awards First Chester Burger Scholarship to U. of Houston’s Kristen Boucher

Award Recognizes Commitment to Ethical Corporate Communications Practice

New York (March 28, 2012) —
The PRSA Foundation, along with the Arthur W. Page Society and the Institute for Public Relations, announced today that the first winner of the Chester Burger Scholarship Award is Kristen Boucher, a University of Houston graduate student in public relations.
Chester Burger is considered one of the pre-eminent leaders in the public relations profession, literally shaping the discipline. Burger’s career spanned from being the country’s first television news reporter for the then fledgling CBS network to becoming a prized counselor to senior executives at numerous blue chip companies. He was instrumental in establishing public relations as a management discipline and an integral part of the policymaking process of well-managed corporations.
“With the Chester Burger Award, the PRSA Foundation encourages students to pursue corporate careers that demonstrate the essential role of the public relations function in helping an organization attain its goals in a manner consistent with the public interest, the precepts of sound business and the needs of key stakeholders,” said Gail Rymer, APR, president of the Foundation.
Scholarship candidates are evaluated based on academic achievement, leadership, practical experience and an essay summarizing their views about why the corporate public relations function must be deeply engaged in C-suite discussions that address corporate reputation, change management, brand and issue management, ethics and social responsibility.
“Kristen not only did an excellent job in her essay of articulating her own interest in better understanding the organizational role of the corporate public relations function regarding globalization and cultural sensitivity, but she also demonstrated exceptional leadership skills in her role of community project coordination for the National Space Biomedical Research Institute,” explained Susan Barnes, APR, Fellow PRSA, Foundation scholarship committee chair.
In 1990, Burger became the first and founding chairof the PRSA College of Fellows.  “Chet Burger’s career was devoted to assisting CEOs and boards of directors in understanding and applying professional public relations theory and practice to manage large-scale corporate issues in the public interest,” Rymer said. “Helping enable future generations of public relations leadership to do the same honors him and esteems the profession.”

“As a ‘counselor’s counselor,’ his career mirrors the goals of the PRSA Foundation to enhance the reputation of the entire public relations profession through education,” said scholarship winner Broucher. “I am honored to be recognized by the PRSA Foundation and aligned with a prestigious public relations pioneer, Chester Burger. I am passionate about the profession of public relations and I am enthusiastic that my corporate communications contributions may one day make a difference in the industry. I am deeply grateful for the financial contributions the scholarship provided toward the pursuit of my master’s degree.”
Broucher will receive the award at the Foundation’s annual Paladin Dinner Thursday, April 26, in New York City, where she will give remarks. The Paladin Dinner honors industry leaders who have been advocates for the profession by advancing academic research, study and leadership in public relations.
About the PRSA Foundation
The PRSA Foundation is an independent, 501(c)(3) charitable organization that strives to enhance the role of the public relations industry in serving the public good by raising funds to support scholarships for public relations students, research projects that support the practice of public relations and public education initiatives that build greater awareness among business and government leaders about the role of public relations in serving the public good.
About the Arthur W. Page Society
The Arthur W. Page Society is a professional association for senior public relations and corporate communications executives who seek to enrich and strengthen their profession. Membership consists primarily of chief communications officers of Fortune 500 corporations, the CEOs of the world's largest public relations agencies and leading academics from the nation's top business and communications schools. The Page Society is dedicated to strengthening the management policy role of chief public relations officers.
About the Institute for Public Relations
IPR is an independent nonprofit foundation that answers the need for evidence and accountability in public relations. IPR plays a critical role in bridging the academic world with the profession to ensure that the best thinking and knowledge are applied for the benefit of today's demanding business world.
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