Honored for her excellence as a public relations professional and instructor as well as her commitment to higher education.
Devoted and highly acclaimed professor … dependable and exuberant colleague … standout public relations practitioner … a confident and caring leader … a remarkable mentor.
These are just a few of the phrases used to describe Veronica (Ronnie) Gunnerson, M.A., affiliate assistant professor, Communication Department, at Loyola University Maryland; and why she has been named PRSA Maryland Chapter’s 2016 Educator of the Year.
“Professor Gunnerson exemplifies all elements of the PRSA as well as the IABC Codes of Ethics,” says Tania Cantrell Rosas-Moreno, Ph.D., associate professor, Loyola University Maryland. “She is phenomenal in her PR walk and talk, whether as a practicing professional or professor.”
Elliot King, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Communication at Loyola, also cites her devotion to her students as her greatest contribution. “Her faculty evaluations are very strong and the student work produced in her class is of the highest caliber,” said Dr. King. “She is very generous with her time and is always willing to offer guidance and advice to the students about their studies, their careers and life in general. She epitomizes the strengths that an experienced professional can bring to PR education.”
Gunnerson brings more than 30 years of experience in journalism and public relations to her position at Loyola University Maryland, where she began teaching in 2006. In addition to her teaching, she served as PRSSA faculty advisor from 2009-2010 and is credited with building the vibrant chapter that exists today. From 2013 to 2015, she served as director of operations for the communication department’s first master of arts program, the online M.A. in Emerging Media Program. In 2015, she returned to her first passion – teaching – at Loyola.
Outside of academia, Gunnerson served as executive director of ALS Association (DC/MD/VA Chapter) from 2010-2013 where she successfully established a social media presence and raised $1.2 million annually in ALS walk programs.
Before joining Loyola in 2006, Gunnerson worked for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) from 2003-2006 where, as the founding executive director of the PBS Foundation, she secured four grants totaling $13 million for the foundation within the first two years. From 1993-1997, Gunnerson was senior vice president of the home entertainment division Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., overseeing public relations for multiple departments such as licensing, home video, new media, education, international distribution, and publishing. In 1997, she was promoted to vice president of corporate affairs and became senior vice president two years later. In that role, she oversaw the company’s corporate media relations, local and state government relations, employee communications, community relations and corporate contributions. She served on several community boards, received a Women Making a Mark Award from Atlanta Magazine and was named one of 10 Women of Achievement by the Atlanta YWCA.
Prior to her career in public relations, Gunnerson was a journalist and editor in the early years of the personal computer industry and then in the home video industry, where she managed one of the first virtual editorial organizations in the country. As a freelance journalist, her articles have appeared in Newsweek, Parade, Billboard, Working Woman and PC World.
Gunnerson holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from California State University, Long Beach, and a master’s degree in public relations from the University of Southern California.
About the Award:
Each year, PRSA Maryland honors a public relations/communications professor who has proven to be an excellent instructor and education leader in their schools and communities, and who has demonstrated a commitment to the advancement of students within public relations and communications.
Please join us on December 8 at the 2016 Best in Maryland Gala as we honor Ronnie Gunnerson. The evening will also honor the Lifetime Achievement recipient Louise Lake Hayman, APR, Fellow PRSA, recognize a PRSSA chapter, reveal the PR Team of the Year and present awards for excellence in public relations in 24 categories. The featured keynote will be Susan Goldberg, editor in chief of National Geographic.