Student Mentoring Session

The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations and DePaul PRSSA host the annual Plank Mentor Student Session at DePaul University. Students have the opportunity to ask the “Milestones in Mentoring” honorees the tough questions such as how to stand out from the competition, how to be a good mentor and how to effectively network.

The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations and DePaul PRSSA held the 2019 Student Mentoring Session at DePaul University. Students from seven universities had the opportunity to ask the six “Milestones in Mentoring” honorees about topics such as: how to stand out from the competition, identify a good mentor, effectively network, build mentor relationships and successfully transition into the professional world. This year’s format was slightly different than in years past. Each honoree was paired with leaders from PRSSA to lead roundtable discussions with students. Honorees and their PRSSA leaders moved to another table of students and repeated the process until they have visited every table. Students then had the opportunity to speak with honorees one-on-one. Given the format, the session was not recorded. But you can scroll through the pictures.


The 2018 honorees – Bob Feldman, Bob Jimenez, Dale Bornstein, Dr. Cathy Rogers, Eric Winkfield, Gregg Sherrill and Tom Burrell – answered questions ranging from how to effectively network, to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. They gave advice to whether a graduate degree is imperative for success in the profession and the best way to navigate undergraduate and graduate programs while gaining invaluable industry experience. Each panelist spoke to their own personal experience and provided the students with tips for success in the public relations field. A special thanks to General Motors, Tenneco, Ron Culp, Jim Mother, Andrew Willett, DePaul University, Perfect Cut Productions, Martin Williams, Capstone Agency and Jessika White for making this event happen.

A round of applause to the 2017 honorees – Cheryl Bachelder, Bill Nielsen, Grace Thompson Leong, Jeffrey A. Winton, Megan Newhouseand Dr. Linda Childers Hon – for their honesty, inspiration and commitment to mentoring the next generation of PR leaders. Thank you to DePaul University, DePaul University PRSSA, Ron Culp, Jim Motzer, Mackenzie Ross, Elizabeth Selmarten, Jessika White and Perfect Cut Productions for making this event a true success.

Prior to the 2016 “Milestone in Mentoring” Gala, several of the honorees met with Chicago-area students and faculty members at DePaul University to answer the “tough questions” about their perspective on the public relations industry. A few of the topics discussed were the best practices for emerging leaders, the need for inclusion in the industry, and how PR professionals can use technology to bring people together.

The panel featured several of The Plank Center’s 2015 “Milestones in Mentoring” Honorees including Barri Rafferty, Danny Rubin,  and 2014 Legacy Award recipient Patrick Ford. The panel opened with an introduction by Plank Center Board Member and DePaul Public Relations Graduate Program Director Ron Culp. The panel focused on the importance of making the most of every opportunity as a young public relations professional and recognizing the importance of mentorship.