Summit Scholarship


Apply for the Scholarship

Deadline: May 15, 2018

The Plank Center’s inaugural Summit on Diversity & Inclusion in Public Relations will be held Oct. 26, 2018, in Chicago as a complementary activity to the Center’s Milestones in Mentorship Gala. The Summit will help attendees gain a deeper understanding of D&I in the profession and learn about the barriers to and best practices for growing, mentoring and retaining diverse populations within the field. As a result, it offers a unique opportunity for diverse public relations students to gain professional insights and to see, hear from and network with successful professionals and other students from underrepresented groups.

Five Summit scholarships will be awarded to diverse public relations students (undergraduate or graduate) who have limited opportunities for professional networking with diverse professionals.

The Scholarship:
Five selected students from underrepresented groups will receive scholarships to attend the inaugural D&I Summit and the Milestones in Mentoring Gala. Each scholarship will include air travel (or other transportation) to/from their home areas to Chicago, one night’s stay (Oct. 25) at the Union League Club, one ticket to the Gala and one ticket to the Plank Summit, totaling an estimated $1,500.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be a diverse junior, senior or graduate student from an underrepresented group with limited opportunities for professional networking with diverse professionals.
  • Must be attending an accredited four-year college or university in Fall 2018.
  • Must be a major in public relations or related fields.
  • Membership in the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) is preferred, not required.
  • Must be studying to prepare for a career in public relations.

Application Process:

  • A resume;
  • A one-page nomination letter from the PRSSA faculty advisor or PR professor that discusses how the applicant would benefit from this opportunity; and
  • A personal essay of no more than 750 words OR a 2- to 3- minute personal video (.mov or .mp4 format) that describes how greater diversity and inclusion will improve the PR profession.

Judging Criteria:

  • Completed application.
  • Commitment to public relations and the profession, particularly as expressed in the candidate’s statement.
  • Demonstrated leadership and professionalism.
  • Understanding of diversity & inclusion in public relations.
  • Letter of nomination.
  • Quality writing skills throughout the application form.

Apply for the Scholarship





Leaders exert significant influence on the success, future and image of their profession. Yet, only a few PR studies have explored this important topic.

One goal of the Plank Center is to build a research-based foundation of knowledge regarding the values, qualities and dimensions of excellent leadership, mentorship and diversity and inclusion in PR.