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PR society singles out Carden for highest honor
Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ann Carden

Ann Carden will be inducted into the PRSA College of Fellows Oct. 25 in Detroit, Mich.

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SUNY Fredonia Associate Professor of Communication Ann Carden, APR, has been named by The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) to its College of Fellows.

This is the highest distinction offered by PRSA, the world’s largest organization of public relations professionals, with more than 22,000 members and 109 chapters. (Visit the College of Fellows website.)

The College of Fellows honors veteran professionals for their years of exemplary work in the field, high ethical standards, dedication to their local PRSA Chapter, and steadfast commitment to advancing the present and future of the profession.

The College of Fellows is an exclusive group that now stands at only 445 practitioners — just two percent of PRSA’s entire membership. Ms. Carden is one of 19 members of the 2008 induction class, and only the second member in the 43-year history of the Buffalo/Niagara chapter to earn this honor.

“This is a tremendous honor for Professor Carden and a significant point of pride for Fredonia,” SUNY Fredonia President Dennis L. Hefner remarked. “Since coming to our campus in 2001, Ann has elevated our public relations major considerably, putting it on par with the very best in the state. I’m thrilled that we can now say we are the only university in Western New York to offer students the chance to learn from a member of PRSA’s College of Fellows.”

The process for inclusion in the College of Fellows is extensive, lasting several months. Professor Carden received letters of nomination and support from fellow practitioners, Buffalo/Niagara chapter board members, Fredonia Department of Communication colleagues and former students who have gone on to excel within the profession. She will be officially inducted during PRSA’s annual induction dinner on Saturday, October 25, as part of its 2008 International Conference in Detroit.

“I am extremely honored to be inducted into the College of Fellows and look forward to upholding its values of enhancing the profession,” Professor Carden said. “I first learned about the College when I began my public relations career in 1985 and hoped that I might one day be a part of this prestigious group. I am deeply grateful to my many professional and academic colleagues who have served as mentors and supported me during this process and throughout my entire career.”

Ms. Carden has served the Buffalo/Niagara chapter in numerous capacities during her career, including its board president in 1996. In 2001 she was named the chapter’s Outstanding Practitioner, in addition to the 16 Excalibur Awards for excellence in public relations programming she has earned over the years from the chapter. She is SUNY Fredonia’s faculty advisor to its Public Relations Student Society of America chapter (PRSSA) and is one of just 27 practitioners in Western New York to be Accredited in Public Relations (APR) by PRSA, which requires passing rigorous oral and written examinations involving a depth of knowledge in the strategic analysis of public relations issues including program, research, ethics, legal issues, communications and other areas.

“Ann Carden has been a wonderfully positive influence on our chapter,” said Michael Barone, president of the Buffalo/Niagara chapter. “As a professor as well as the Fredonia PRSSA chapter faculty advisor, she consistently gives her students opportunities to learn from and interact with practitioners throughout our chapter, getting them out of the classroom and into the business community. She’s a true source of inspiration for them, and an excellent ambassador of our chapter and profession.”

The Buffalo/Niagara chapter currently has nearly 180 members across Western New York, and has been named the fastest-growing medium-sized chapter in the country in each of the last two years.

Professor Carden’s research interest focuses on the use of public relations in the travel and tourism industry, with a particular focus on the role of public relations in heritage tourism and the cultural phenomena that sometimes results. She is currently working on the third edition of “Public Relations Worktext: A Writing and Planning Resource,” for which she is co-author. Her work has also appeared in several other books, scholarly journals and professional publications.

Ms. Carden began her career in journalism as a reporter and anchor with several Buffalo, N.Y., radio stations over nearly a decade. She entered the public relations field in 1985 and has held a variety of senior positions within several healthcare organizations, including VNA HealthCare Group, Millard Fillmore Health System, Kaleida Health System and the Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center. She holds a master’s degree in public relations management from Buffalo State College and a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from West Virginia University.

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