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Perspectives Blog: Chapter News

Minnesota PRSA’s Barbara E. Arnold, APR Earns National PRSA Award

Sunday, November 22, 2015   (0 Comments)
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Work with accreditation candidates and PRSSA students earns recognition

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) has awarded the 2015 Paul M. Lund Public Service Award to Barbara E. Arnold, MBA, APR, a member of the Minnesota PRSA Chapter. The award, given to a PRSA member whose volunteer roles reflected credit on PRSA while serving the common good, was presented to Arnold on Nov. 9 at the PRSA 2015 International Conference in Atlanta, GA.

Arnold, employed in the Records and Registration Office at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, is founder and volunteer advisor to the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Chapter at UW-Eau Claire. She also mentors candidates for the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) both in the Minnesota Chapter and across the globe in PRSA’s online APR course. Arnold earned her own APR accreditation in 2013, and is a current member of the Minnesota PRSA APR Committee. 

The Paul M. Lund Public Service Award is named in honor of the late Paul M. Lund, vice president of Public Relations and Employee Communications at AT&T in the early 1970s, and a PR professional with an extraordinary commitment to public service. Three PRSSA students, an alumnus of UW-Eau Claire, and a past and current president of Minnesota PRSA nominated Arnold for the award. 

“Barbara has excelled as a public relations professional for more than 30 years, and because of her exemplary service and dedication to giving back to the community, she is the perfect candidate for this prestigious award,” said Kathy Barbour, APR, 2015 PRSA National Chair. “Our junior professionals are the future of our profession, and Barbara’s commitment to guiding them through their ascent is to be commended.”

Outside of her work with PRSA, Arnold played a key role in establishing the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund, launched six days after September 11, 2001. The fund has awarded $115.9 million to 2,825 financially needed dependents of those killed or injured in the 9/11 attacks and rescue efforts. Arnold also volunteers many hours on behalf of education, sustainability, social justice, and arts and culture.

“I am truly humbled to be in the company of 35 other Paul M. Lund Public Service Award recipients since this award was established in 1976,” said Arnold in her acceptance speech, flanked by two PRSSA members from UW-Eau Claire. “Looking out into the audience today, I know that many of you perform countless hours of volunteer service and are mentors to the up-and-coming generation of public relations professionals. And they likely are mentoring us.”

Calling herself a natural connector and mentor, Arnold also recognized her parents, a teacher and a bridge-builder, for instilling in her a healthy obligation to help those who follow. “My mother,” she said, “taught me that to teach is to touch a life.” 

Minnesota PRSA 1660 Highway 100 South, Suite 500-309 Minneapolis MN 55416 Phone: 952-237-9258 Email:

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