SOURCE: Public Relations Society of America

November 16, 2006 16:39 ET

PRSA Awards Dr. Debra A. Miller Highest Honor

Past National President and PR Exec Honored for Lifetime Achievements

SALT LAKE CITY, UT -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 16, 2006 -- Dr. Debra A. Miller, APR, Fellow PRSA, public relations executive, was honored by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) with the 2006 Gold Anvil Award.

The Gold Anvil, first awarded in 1948, is the Society's highest honor and is presented to the public relations professional whose accomplishments have advanced and improved the profession.

PRSA Chair and CEO Cheryl I. Procter-Rogers, APR, Fellow PRSA, presented Dr. Miller with the prestigious Gold Anvil Award during the Monday Awards Luncheon, one of the many events taking place at the PRSA 2006 International Conference, held November 11-14 at the Grand America Hotel.

"Dr. Miller is an inspiring example of what determination, passion and leadership can achieve," said Procter-Rogers. "From Debra's contributions as PRSA president to her research on multicultural communications, and to her many accomplishments in public relations and communications, she has consistently found ways to better the practice and enhance its contributions to business, industry and society. PRSA is pleased to acknowledge her contributions with the Gold Anvil."

In being selected for the Gold Anvil, Dr. Miller, senior director of marketing and communications at Clark Atlanta University, is making history once again. Dr. Miller is one of four women and the first woman of color to receive the Gold Anvil. In 1997, she became the first woman of color and the first African American to lead PRSA, the world's largest public relations association, with just over 30,000 professional and student members.

"Receiving the Gold Anvil Award is a tremendous honor for me personally and professionally," said Dr. Miller. "Having my colleagues publicly recognize the importance of my life's work and acknowledge the impact of my contributions to the public relations industry and PRSA is absolutely one of the pinnacles of my career."

This year's recipient has spent the past thirty years as a practicing public relations executive in a variety of organizations; promoting the value of public relations to those outside of the profession; expanding the body of knowledge through her research and professional development; serving as a role model and mentor; and expanding the ranks of PRSA and the profession by recruiting young aspirants and multicultural practitioners.

In 2003, she earned the title of Measurement Maven from KD Paine's Measurement Standard for her innovative use of measurement techniques as vice president of Marketing and Communications at Bank of America. In 1999, Dr. Miller became the youngest practitioner inducted into the Public Relations Hall of Fame in Washington, D.C. In 1998, PRWeek listed her among the 50 most powerful women in PR and one of the 12 leading African Americans in public relations. The National Association of Market Developers named her "Communicator of the Year."

Dr. Miller has held positions in Fortune 100 companies, federal agencies, the military, colleges and universities and served as the managing partner of Global Communication Strategists, Inc., a metro-Atlanta based consultancy. She has held public affairs leadership positions at the Department of the Treasury, U.S. Department of Agriculture, NASA, Department of the Army and the U.S. Census Bureau. In addition to holding administrative, teaching and public relations positions at Howard University, Hampton University, University of Portland, Florida International University and Clark Atlanta University, Dr. Miller has served as an advisor to six university presidents.

In the 1990s, Dr. Miller launched the discipline of multicultural communications for public relations and human resources professionals and became a nationally-known expert on cultural diversity and managing diversity in the communications industry. She has authored numerous articles in academic and professional publications; developed training modules and professional development programming; and is a highly sought after speaker.

As an educator, Dr. Miller has created and taught a variety of graduate and undergraduate public relations courses and professional development seminars/workshops. As a tenured associate professor and assistant dean, she prepared thousands of students who have gone on to successful public relations careers. In the role of mentor and coach, she guided the careers of aspiring professionals and colleagues who continuously seek her guidance.

Dr. Miller willingly uses her public relations expertise to help local and national organizations accomplish their goals. Organizations such as the NAACP, United Way of America, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Atlanta Regional Consortium for Higher Education, Grady Health Systems, Brand Atlanta and the McClendon School of Dance have benefited from her involvement.

Dr. Miller earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hampton University in the area of mass media arts and journalism in 1975; her Master of Arts degree in public relations and mass communication research from the Ohio State University in 1976; and her Doctorate degree in adult education and human resources development from Florida International University in 1994.

Past Gold Anvil recipients include: Al Golin, Fellow PRSA, chairman, GolinHarris (2005); Thomas W. Hoog, Fellow PRSA, special counsel to global chairman, Hill & Knowlton (2004); John D. Graham, APR, Fellow PRSA, chairman and CEO, Fleishman-Hillard, St. Louis (2003); Joseph A. Vecchione, APR Fellow PRSA, VP - PR (Ret.), The Prudential Insurance Company of America, NYC (2002); Ofield Dukes, APR Fellow PRSA, president, Ofield Dukes & Associates, Washington, D.C. (2001).

About the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)

The Public Relations Society of America (, based in New York City, is the world's largest organization for public relations professionals. The Society has more than 30,000 professional and student members. PRSA is organized into 109 Chapters nationwide, 19 Professional Interest Sections, along with Affinity Groups, which represent business and industry, counseling firms, independent practitioners, military, government, associations, hospitals, schools, professional services firms and nonprofit organizations. The Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) has 278 Chapters at colleges and universities throughout the United States.

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