Maryland’s chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA MD) has named Karen Smedley, affiliate instructor of communication at Loyola University Maryland, its 2012 Educator of the Year.
Smedley is the first recipient of the new award that will be given to an undergraduate or graduate public relations/communications professor in Maryland each year as part of PRSA MD’s “Best in Maryland” awards. She was nominated by her students and colleagues at Loyola and selected by a “Best in Maryland” committee and the PRSA MD board as the winner. The award recognizes exemplary educators who are excellent instructors and leaders at their institutions and in their communities, and who have demonstrated a commitment to the advancement of students within public relations/communications.
“Karen is not only deserving of this award, she personifies everything it’s meant to honor,” said Elliot King, Ph.D., chair and professor of communication. “I’m thrilled that she has been recognized for her many exceptional contributions to her students, the department, and the diverse, rigorous curriculum that is the keystone of Loyola’s mission as a Jesuit institution.”
Smedley has more than 25 years of professional experience as a marketing and public relations professional in Maryland’s higher education and nonprofit sectors. She has held leadership positions in marketing communications with the Community College of Baltimore County, University of Baltimore, and Baltimore City Community College, as well as with the local nonprofit TurnAround, Inc., where she also served as a member and vice president of the board of directors. She has also served on advisory panels for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and held leadership positions in the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations for community colleges.
After her lengthy career as a public relations practitioner, Smedley joined the Loyola communication department in 2008. At Loyola, she teaches Introduction to Public Relations, Public Relations Writing, Case Studies in Public Relations, and the Public Relations Senior Capstone course. She has also served for the past two years as the faculty advisor to Loyola’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. She holds an M.S. in Journalism from Syracuse University.
Smedley will be honored at the 51st annual “Best in Maryland” awards ceremony on Thursday, May 10, in downtown Baltimore.