Kirk Hallahan, professor in the Department of Journalism and Technical Communication at Colorado State University, was named the Public Relations Society of America 2010 Outstanding Educator of the Year Award at the PRSA 2010 International Conference in Washington, D.C. last week. This award honors a PRSA member who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of public relations education through college or university teaching.
Hallahan began teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1991 while working toward his doctorate in mass communications. After three years on the faculty at the University of North Dakota-Grand Forks, he joined Colorado State in 1996.
During his tenure, he developed a new undergraduate course in digital promotion management, one of the first of its kind, to address the use of Internet- and mobile-based media. For five years, he also was faculty coordinator for the university’s professional master’s degree program in communications management in Denver.
Hallahan was employed for 19 years in public relations, public affairs and marketing before embarking on a second career in university teaching and research.
In accepting the award, Hallahan told the 1,500 PRSA members in attendance that it was a privilege to teach public relations in Colorado, where the field thrives.
PRSA’s Colorado Chapter is the fourth largest in the nation. Along with members of the Pike’s Peak Chapter in Colorado Springs, nearly 600 PRSA members practice in the state.
Hallahan has published two dozen journal articles and 13 refereed book chapters focusing on behavioral aspects of public relations, strategic communication and publicity, and applications of new technology. In 2001, he was recipient of the prestigious Jackson Jackson and Wagner Behavioral Science Prize presented by the PRSA Foundation.
Hallahan has been an accredited member of PRSA since 1978 and was elected to the PRSA College of Fellows in 1995. He is long-time adviser to the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) at Colorado State and has been active in several educational organizations in field.
PRSA is the world’s largest public relations organization with 21,000 professional members and 10,000 student members.