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Thursday, March 23, 2023

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Bey-Ling Sha Bey-Ling Sha

JMS Director Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Bey-Ling Sha was the recipient of the Institute for Public Relations Pathfinder Award.
By Lizbeth Persons Price

“I’m honored to follow in the footsteps of my distinguished professors and many beloved mentors in earning the IPR Pathfinder Award.”

Updated as of 12/6/18, 11:45 a.m.
UPDATE: Since this story was published, Bey-Ling Sha is now the acting associate dean for College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts.
Bey-Ling Sha, professor of public relations and director of the School of Journalism and Media Studies at San Diego State University, will be awarded The Institute for Public Relations (IPR) Pathfinder Award at the 2018 Annual Distinguished Lecture and Awards Dinner on Nov. 28 in New York City.

The Pathfinder Award is a lifetime achievement award bestowed annually on an individual who has made significant and sustained contributions to the body of knowledge and practice of public relations through published research. 

Sha pioneered work at the intersection of identity and public relations by developing a theoretical framework for intercultural public relations, grounded in the importance of cultural identity for understanding organizational publics and organizations themselves.

She is the co-author of the 11th edition of “Cutlip & Center’s Effective Public Relations,” an internationally recognized reference book; editor-in-chief of the Journal of Public Relations Research; and past chair of the Universal Accreditation Board, which oversees professional certification of public relations practitioners. Her awards include a national 2012 Outstanding Educator Award from the Public Relations Society of America, the 2016 Provost’s Innovation for Excellence Award and the 2018 Distinguished Faculty Award at SDSU.

“I’m honored to follow in the footsteps of my distinguished professors and many beloved mentors in earning the IPR Pathfinder Award,” said Sha.  “As a second-generation public relations scholar-teacher, I feel keenly the responsibility to articulate and defend our professional identity, an ongoing challenge that today feels more urgent than ever.”

“The selection committee was impressed not only by  Dr. Sha’s record as a scholar with an international reputation, but also by her co-authorship of one of the leading public relations textbooks and her impressive work as editor of one of the leading academic scholarly journals,” said Donald K. Wright, selection committee chair and the Harold Burson Professor of Public Relations at Boston University.

Prior to becoming a full-time educator, Sha worked as a public affairs officer for the U.S. Census Bureau, where she helped oversee the execution and evaluation of the promotional campaign for the 2000 census. This decennial census marked the first time respondents could express their identification with more than one racial group. The census campaign won a 2001 Silver Anvil Award of Excellence from the Public Relations Society of America.

In November, Sha will also present at the IPR Research Symposium, where attendees are invited to listen to and discuss the latest public relations research findings with authors, fellow practitioners and educators.