Receives National Grant from PRSA
Ward-Johnson, an associate professor in the School of
Communications, has been awarded a national grant from the
Public Relations Society of America Foundation.
The grant of $4,800 will be used to complete research for a
project titled "Realities in the Workplace: The Future
of Minorities in Public Relations." The research will
focus on minority students and practitioners and their view
of public relations, including job satisfaction, internship
and career opportunities, perceptions of the role of mentors
and the role of professional organizations in pr
The research will provide insights into understanding why
minorities continue to be under represented in areas such as
public relations and how universities as well as companies
can better recruit and retain minority practitioners. It will
also assist in finding ways to attract more students into the
public relations major and reveal ways to mentor minority
students well before they enter the job market.
Ward-Johnson is the principal investigator for the research
and will collaborate with two co-researchers from UNC-Chapel
Hill's School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Dr.
Dulcie Straughan, associate dean for Undergraduate Studies
and associate professor of public relations, and Ret. Col.
Napoleon Byars, assistant professor, will work with
"On behalf of the Board and staff of the Foundation, we
are pleased to support this research project which will
benefit the global practice of public relations," said
Gary McCormick, president of the PRSA Foundation.
Founded in 1990 and located in New York, the Public
Relations Society of America Foundation is a philanthropic
arm of the public relations profession, committed to the
development of programs to advance public relations research,
education and scholarships, while encouraging contributions
from those who stand to benefit from its advancement.
Ward-Johnson spent more than 12 years working in the fields
of print journalism and public relations before entering
academia. Prior to her academic career, she led the PR
function for the Center for Creative Leadership, an
international organization based in Greensboro.