Marshall students to host West Virginia Public Relations Hall of Fame induction ceremony


Marshall University’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America  (PRSSA) will host an induction ceremony into the West Virginia Public Relations Hall of Fame from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16, at Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall.

This year’s inductees include Linda Arnold, founder and former CEO of The Arnold Agency, a Charleston-based public relations firm; Bill Bissett, state director for U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito; and Trevellya “Tee” Ford-Ahmed, Ph.D., communications and media director for the Mount Zion Black Culture Center in Athens, Ohio, and professor emerita at West Virginia State University.

Induction into the West Virginia Public Relations Hall of Fame is the highest recognition the West Virginia chapter of Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) bestows, honoring distinguished public relations professionals for their career achievements, significant contributions in the field of public relations, mentoring and exemplary community service. 

The event is open to all. Ticket registration is $25. Proceeds support student programs and expenses for West Virginia’s four PRSSA chapters. Even those not attending can support student success by purchasing a “non-attending donation” ticket to benefit PR students across the state. To register or donate, visit

Marshall is pleased to be part of honoring elite professionals for their commitment and contributions to the field of public relations, said Dr. Terry Hapney, professor of public relations and faculty advisor for Marshall’s chapter of PRSSA. 

“This event provides an opportunity for our Marshall University public relations students to gain hands-on experience as well as the chance to network with West Virginia’s best public relations professionals,” Hapney said. “Experiential learning is such an important part of any curriculum, and our Marshall PR students have been exposed to all aspects of event planning from designing promotional graphics to scripting talking points and organizing the ceremony’s run of show. We are incredibly proud of their efforts to plan a truly exceptional West Virginia Public Relations Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

“Marshall University’s advertising/public relations program is committed to preparing future public relations professionals to graduate and hit the ground running with the necessary skills and talents to succeed in any industry,” Hapney said. “Our students leave our program with a firm grasp on event planning, media relations, crisis management and writing.” 

Abigail Cutlip, president of Marshall’s chapter of PRSSA, said one thing she loves about being a public relations major at Marshall is having so many opportunities to do real-world work.

“My experience with planning this event has provided me with valuable real-world experience,” said Cutlip, a junior from Minford, Ohio, adding that it combines hands-on learning with lessons from the classroom. “Everything feels much more real now that I can go online to our social media channels and see that people are seeing the save-the-date that I worked on and liking it. I am so excited for Nov. 16, when we finally host the event and the planning becomes a reality.”

For more information about Marshall’s public relations program in the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications, visit For more information about PRSA and this year’s honorees, visit

Media Contact

Jean Hardiman
University Relations Specialist

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