Two of America’s preeminent experts in
public relations are the centerpiece of the upcoming 2022 Vernon C. Schranz
Distinguished Lectureship event, presented
by Ball State University’s School of Journalism and
One of those industry leaders—Dr. Bruce Berger, founding director and professor emeritus of the Plank
Center—will be honored with the School of Journalism and Strategic
Communication’s National Public Relations Achievement Award during the Schranz
Lectureship event. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Karla Gower, director of the Plank Center for Leadership in
Public Relations at the University of Alabama.
This in-person event, scheduled for
7:30 p.m. on March 30 at Ball State’s L.A. Pittenger
Student Center Ball Room, is free of charge
and open to the public.
An author of two books, Dr. Berger has
focused his research on public relations leadership, employee communications
and public policy influence. Highlights of his career includes working as a
public relations professional and executive for 20 years at companies such as
Upjohn Company, and Whirlpool Corp.
Dr. Gower has authored three books and
co-authored another. She is the Behringer Distinguished Professor in the
Advertising and Public Relations Department of the College of Communication and
Information Sciences at the University of Alabama. She has served as director
of The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations since 2008, when Dr.
Berger retired. Other highlights of her career includes practicing law in
Canada for eight years, and working in public relations at Blue Cross and Blue
Shield of Arizona.
Founded in 1979, the Vernon C. Schranz
Distinguished Lectureship in Public Relations is the nation’s longest running
public relations lectureship and has brought some of the most
prominent public relations leaders to Ball State’s campus, including Betsy Plank—the
Plank Center’s namesake—in 1997. Schranz speakers
provide insight into public relations trends and create a forum for new ideas
among Indiana’s public relations practitioners, faculty, and students.
The Ball Corp., located at the time in
Muncie, Indiana, home of Ball State University, started the series in honor of
Vernon Schranz—the company’s first public relations officer, and an advocate
for higher education.