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McShane Earns National P.R. Award

Arkansas Tech University alumnus Ryan McShane is the recipient of the 2012 Outstanding Young Professional Award from the University of Alabama Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations.

Arkansas Tech University alumnus Ryan McShane is the recipient of the 2012 Outstanding Young Professional Award from the University of Alabama Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations.

McShane, a 2004 graduate of Russellville High School and 2008 graduate of Arkansas Tech with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism/public relations, was honored by the Plank Center during the third annual Honoring Milestones in Mentoring Awards Banquet at the Union League Club of Chicago on Thursday, Nov. 1.

"For all the mentorship I've received throughout my schooling and young career, I feel it's only fair to share best practices I have established to students and young professionals," said McShane. "I also know how much can evolve from a single conversation with a mentor, as Dr. Hanna Norton changed my life as I know it by suggesting that I contact Tommy Mumert about a role with the Arka Tech newspaper. The potential may have been there, but I needed someone to provide a direction for me to apply my talents. That experience deeply resonated with me, that someone could create such an impact through support and an open ear."

An employee of Taylor Strategy in Charlotte, N.C., since June 2008, McShane has advanced to the rank of senior account executive with the marketing and communications firm. He has worked with some of the world's largest consumer brands within the sports and lifestyle sectors, including experience in professional soccer, college football and the Olympics.

As a columnist, blogger, internship manager and guest speaker, McShane has given of his time to serve as a mentor and resource to fellow young professionals in public relations.

McShane has volunteered as head of the young professionals committee for the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) chapter in Charlotte, N.C.

For the last three years, McShane has been lead judge for the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Teahan Awards, the most prestigious honors a PRSSA chapter may earn.

His involvement with PRSSA dates back to his time at Arkansas Tech, when he was on the PRSSA national committee as editor-in-chief for the organization's two national publications.

In 2010, PRSA Charlotte named McShane as its outstanding young professional of the year.

"Selfishly, I have learned a great deal through my roles as a blogger, guest speaker, personal brand builder and professional counselor," said McShane. "Students and young professionals have provided me a tremendous platform to grow as a professional, so I am just as thankful for them as they are to have me as a resource."

McShane's fellow 2012 Plank Center honorees in other categories included Steve Harris, former vice president for global communications at General Motors; Nick Ashooh, global vice president for corporate affairs at Alcoa; Margery Kraus, founder and chief executive officer of APCO Worldwide; and Dr. Elizabeth Toth, professor and chair in the University of Maryland Department of Communication.

“Mentoring is an essential component of a successful career in public relations, and each of these six individuals has inspired so many during their extraordinary careers,” said Ron Culp, director of the graduate public relations and advertising program at DePaul University and vice chair of the Plank Center.

The University of Alabama Board of Trustees established the Plank Center, named for public relations leader and University of Alabama alumna, the late Betsy Plank, in 2005 to develop and recognize outstanding performance in the profession and the classroom.

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