UA’s Plank Center Adds Member, Re-Elects Leaders

The board of advisers for The University of Alabama’s Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations has re-elected six members and added one new adviser, bringing the group to 22.

Advisers re-elected to three-year terms are:

“That all of these outstanding public relations experts and leaders agreed to continue their service to the Center and to its mission of developing leadership values and skills among public relations practitioners and students is a testament to the kind of leaders they are,” said Dr. Karla Gower, director of the Plank Center and Behringer Distinguished Professor in the department of advertising and public relations at UA.

The newly elected adviser is:

  • Nilanjana Bardhan, associate professor and director of graduate studies, department of communication studies, Southern Illinois University.

“We are delighted that Nilanjana has agreed to join the board,” said Gower. “She has impressive leadership abilities that complement those of the leading academics and professionals in public relations serving on the board.”

About the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations

In 2005, the University of Alabama Board of Trustees established The Plank Center, named for public relations leader and UA alumna, the late Betsy Plank, to develop and recognize outstanding performance in the profession and classroom. Through a variety of programs, and in concert with groups and associations, the Center works to nurture and help develop outstanding leaders.

In addition to national leaders in the practice and education, the Center Board includes an ex officio position for the president of the Public Relations Student Society of America that represents more than 11,000 members in 300-plus colleges and universities.

The Center is housed in UA’s College of Communication and Information Sciences. UA’s public relations program, with nearly 600 students, is the largest undergraduate degree program within the College. The program is certified by the Public Relations Society of America and for six consecutive years has been ranked among the top five public relations programs in the country by PRWeek magazine.

More information about the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations can be found at


  • CONTACT: Jessika White, communications specialist, 205/348-7250,
  • SOURCE: Dr. Karla Gower, director, The Plank Center, 205/348-0132,



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