Garfrerick takes NAPRCA award

UNA communications instructor Dr. Beth Garfrerick was recently selected as 2011 Educator of the Year by the North Alabama chapter of the Public Relations Council of Alabama.

“It is an honor to be recognized by NAPRCA members who place such importance on the role of education in preparing future PR practitioners,” Garfrerick said. “Our UNA program is fortunate to have their support in providing mentoring and internship opportunities.”

Garfrerick has been an adviser in PRCA for two years. She is also rebranding the student chapter PRIDE, which is Public Relations Individuals Dedicated to Excellence.

She has a 20-year career in journalism and public relations prior to entering the field of higher education, which enables her to teach a variety of communications-related courses and serve on university committees in need of her expertise in these areas.

She has held positions with the Times Daily, Florence and Lauderdale County schools, the Tennessee School Board Association, campaigns, media writing and reporting.

At the convention, which was held recently in Birmingham, Garfrerick did not receive the statewide award but was recognized as the 2011 PR Educator of the Year for the North Alabama chapter of the Public Relations Council of Alabama.

“The neat thing about someone else from the communications department getting this award is that it reinforces what a great communications department UNA has,” said Dr. Gregory Pitts, chair of the Department of Communications. “It won’t just be the size of the campus that will draw students but also the great faculty that the communications department, as well as all the other departments, have.”

The educator of the year award was established to recognize an educator who has demonstrated a commitment to advance the profession of public relations.

Lisa Darnell has won the NAPRCA award two times and went on to receive the state and regional titles.

“Dr. Garfrerick is a fabulous colleague and has a great vision for the communications department as well as for the students,” Darnell said.

NAPRCA will hold its first meeting at UNA April 20. It will be hosted by UNA PRIDE members, with Shoals Chamber of Commerce members in attendance.