Ward-Johnson receives national grant from PRSA

Associate professor Frances Ward-Johnson
Frances 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 careers.
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 Ward-Johnson.
“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.