The University of North Dakota’s own Vice President for University and Public Affairs, Susan Balcom Walton, will serve a second term in a leadership position for one of the world’s leading public relations organizations after a recent vote of its governing body.
Walton was elected to serve a second two-year term as an “at large” member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Board of Directors. She was elected to the position by PRSA’s Leadership Assembly at the PRSA international conference held in October in San Francisco.
The Leadership Assembly, PRSA’s governing body, is a group of approximately 300 delegates who represent PRSA’s Districts, Chapters, Sections and student society. The assembly meets annually immediately prior to the PRSA International Conference and ratifies the PRSA Nominating Committee’s leadership selections.
Walton’s new term begins next year and extends through 2014.
Other newly-elected board members include Sonja Popp-Stahly, communications manager at Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis; Felicia Walker Blow, vice president for institutional advancement at Paul D. Camp Community College, Franklin, Va.; Anita Ford Saunders, communication manager at Yankee Gas, Berlin, Conn.; Marisa Vallbona, a fellow, PRSA, and president of CIM Inc., San Diego; and Kelly J. Davis, president and CEO of Davis Public Relations and Marketing, LLC, Columbia, S.C.
Susan Balcom Walton
Susan Balcom Walton joined UND this year after serving for six years in the Brigham Young University Department of Communications. There she was a faculty member, and for three years, was the Department’s Associate Chair for Student Media. At BYU, Walton was in charge of providing administrative management for student-run labs, including the Bradley Public Relations Agency, the Advanced Advertising Lab, the ElevenNews daily television news broadcast and The Daily Universe, BYU’s campus newspaper.
Walton has also served as a tenure-track Assistant Professor of English & Professional Communications from 1987-1989 at Monroe Community College, part of the State University of New York system. Her published research and writing emphasizes workplace relationships, social media and public relations ethics. She earned a master of arts degree in English and a Bachelor of Independent Studies, both from BYU.
Adding to her academic credentials is her more than 20 years’ experience as a leader in global corporate communications. She led The Dow Chemical Company’s global marketing communications for one of the company’s business units in Horgen, Switzerland, and also managed global brand positioning for Dow Plastics.
Walton served as director of corporate communications for Boise Cascade, and in the same position for Harley-Davidson Motor Company, where she learned to develop a customer’s perspective of the company’s products by riding a motorcycle.
About the Public Relations Society of America:
PRSA is the largest professional organization serving the U.S. public relations community. With a mission to “advance the profession and the professional,” PRSA provides news and information, thought leadership, continuing education and networking opportunities; sets standards of professional excellence and ethical conduct; and advocates for the business value of public relations and greater diversity among public relations professionals.
Based in New York, PRSA comprises 112 chapters, 14 Professional Interest Sections that focus on specific industries and practice areas and the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA)—present in more than 320 colleges and universities.
Kate Menzies, University Relations student writer