Betsy Plank/PRSSA Scholarships

Deadline: May 26, 2017

Awards: First honor $5,000. Second honor $1,500. Third honor $1,000.

The award will be payable to the recipient’s university for the recipient’s use, and can only be used to fund educational pursuits.

Eligibility and Judging Criteria

You must be a PRSSA member in your junior or senior year of college, preparing for a career in public relations to apply for this award.

Applications will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Academic achievement in public relations and overall studies.
  • Demonstrated leadership.
  • Practical experience, e.g. internships, other work/service, student firm work
  • Commitment to public relations, particularly as expressed in the candidate's statement


The PRSA Foundation is proud to present the new electronic scholarship application process. Using the electronic application process, you only need to fill out ONE universal application. If a particular scholarship calls for more details or a writing sample, you simply attach the requested information to the specific application. 

To apply for this award, submit the following materials:

  • The completed application form.
  • A letter of recommendation from your Faculty or Professional Adviser.
  • A signed statement of 300 words or fewer that outlines your commitment to public relations and its ethical practice.
  • Optional: Additional letters of recommendation from previous employers or professors.

Make sure all materials are error free and thoroughly proofread. All application materials must be posted to the electronic application portal by May 26, 2017. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

About Betsy Plank

Betsy Plank, APR, Fellow PRSA, was the PRSA President in 1973, the first woman to lead the Society, and chair of the U.S. Section of International Public Relations Association (1980–1981). She was the first person to receive three of PRSA’s top honors for professionals — the Gold Anvil in 1977 as the outstanding U.S. Professional, the Paul Lund Award in 1989 for her exemplary civic and community work, and the first Jackson Award in 2001 for distinguished service to the Society.

She pioneered public relations education for students and was dedicated to PRSSA. As one of the four co-chairs for the Champions for PRSSA, Plank devoted much of her time to students and their needs. She co-chaired the 1987 commission to develop guidelines for the undergraduate public relations curriculum in U.S. colleges and universities, and was a national adviser for PRSSA. The PRSSA Chapter at Northern Illinois University is named in her honor. An active member of the Arthur Page W. Page Society and a PRSSA Hall of Fame achiever, Plank accrued several Awards and nationally recognized achievements over the years.

Previous Winners

2016 Winners

  • First Place: Olivia Ortiz, The University of Alabama
  • Second Place: Alissa Sommerfeldt, Murray State University
  • Third Place: Gemalie Perez, University of Houston

2015 Winners

  • First Place: Adam Piccin, Otterbein University 
  • Second Place: Ryan Baum, University of Florida
  • Third Place: Taylor Shelnutt, University of Alabama

2014 Winners

  • First Place: Megan Bayles, Waynesburg University
  • Second Place: Rachel Pipan, Auburn University
  • Third Place: Brittnee Jones, University of Georgia

2013 Winners

  • First Place: Jacqueline McMahon, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa
  • Second Place: Dominick Costantino, Wilkes University
  • Third Place: Lauren Stahl, Ohio Northern University

2012 Winners

  • First Place: Amanda Brodzik, Georgia College & State University
  • Second Place: Lindsey Hobbs, Otterbein University
  • Third Place: Andrew Mitchell, Western Kentucky University

2011 Winners

  • First Place: Amy Bishop, Indiana University
  • Second Place: Jett Choquette, American University
  • Third Place: Therese Kuster, University of Northern Iowa

2010 Winners

  • First Place: Renee L. LeGendre, Ohio Northern University
  • Second Place: A. Scott Wofford, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Third Place: Natalie Joy Curtis, Utah State University

2009 Winners

  • First Place: Colleen Maleski, The Ohio State University
  • Second Place: Jeana Harrington, Otterbein College
  • Third Place: Kyle Johnson, Elon University

2008 Winners

  • First Place: Megan Elizabeth Broussard, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
  • Second Place: Rachel Gallagher, Otterbein College
  • Third Place: Sarah Findle, Elon University

2007 Winners

  • First Place: Daniel Trucil, Villanova University
  • Second Place (Tie): Rosie Braude, Rowan University
  • Second Place (Tie): Megan May, Ohio Northern University

2006 Winners

  • First Place: Esther Fraser, Florida Memorial University
  • Second Place: Barbara Tate, Ohio Northern University
  • Third Place: M. Bryan Blaise, University of South Florida

2005 Winners

  • First Place: Arianna Stefanoni, Rowan University
  • Second Place: Kara Czerniak, University of Florida
  • Third Place: Amanda Majewski, John Carroll University

2004 Winners

  • First Place: Danielle Lewis, Florida A&M University
  • Second Place: Katie Peltier, Otterbein College
  • Third Place: Emily Oliver, Iowa State University

2003 Winners

  • First Place: Sarah Dhane, Loyola University New Orleans
  • Second Place: Melissa Logan, Westminster College
  • Third Place: Christina Hawley, Fashion Institute of Technology

2002 Winners

  • First Place: Amy Unterborn, University of Georgia
  • Second Place: Jeremy D. Bridgman, Otterbein College
  • Third Place (Tie): Melissa Miklus, University of South Carolina
  • Third Place (Tie): Andrea Leotta, Lehigh University

2001 Winners

  • First Place: Kristi Stockdale, Ursuline College
  • Second Place: Reena De Asis, California State University, Fullerton
  • Third Place (Tie): Sarah Fitts, Georgia State University
  • Third Place (Tie): Isaac Wright, University of Tennessee