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Barry Gaskins Mentor Legacy Award

Nominations for the 2024 Barry Gaskins Mentor Legacy Award are now closed. The 2024 honoree will be announced in May.

The nomination submission portal for the 2025 award will open in January 2025.

Catherine Carbone Rogers, recipient of the NSPRA 2023 Barry Gaskins Mentor Legacy award, accepting her award from NSPRA 202-22 President Nicole Kirby, APR (left) at the NSPRA 2022 Seminar in Chicago.The Barry Gaskins Mentor Legacy Award recognizes a practicing school public relations professional for outstanding efforts in mentoring colleagues new to school PR, for providing counsel and advice on job success, and for assisting colleagues in their professional development by creating or offering programs and activities designed to improve PR skills and knowledge. This award is given in memory of Barry Gaskins, APR, an NSPRA past president who was known for his deep commitment to supporting and mentoring colleagues as well as for his passion for public education. The award is presented during a General Session of the NSPRA National Seminar.

Eligibility and Nomination Criteria

Eligible nominees must:

  • Hold membership as a professional or professional partner in NSPRA.
  • Belong to their state or region NSPRA chapter (unless nominee’s state/region has no chapter).
  • Hold (or have held during their career) a full-time school PR position for a minimum of five years. 

Any professional or professional partner member of NSPRA may submit one nomination, but current NSPRA Executive Board members and NSPRA staff are ineligible for nomination.

Recipient Selection

Up to one Gaskins Award winner may be identified each year. A screening committee, comprised of several Executive Board members, reviews all nominations and identifies the winner. As part of the selection process, the committee considers whether the nominee:

  • Is actively engaged in mentoring colleagues new to the school PR profession;
  • Unselfishly gives of their time to counsel and advise colleagues on a range of issues;
  • Shares expertise by providing professional development training for chapter members and others, and presents workshops/sessions at state and national conferences, including the NSPRA National Seminar;
  • Has developed materials or programs designed to help new school PR professionals succeed and thrive in their jobs and the profession;
  • Practices strategic communication management and effective public engagement processes;
  • Demonstrates excellent personal communication skills and models the NSPRA Code of Ethics;
  • Believes in the importance of ongoing professional development, advocates the value of accreditation in public relations (APR), and encourages colleagues to pursue APR (ideal candidate also is APR); and
  • Demonstrates a commitment to supporting fellow NSPRA members through regular outreach, encouragement and acknowledgement of their efforts to promote public education as a cornerstone of our democracy.

Recognition and Award Presentation

The current year Gaskins Award winner will receive:

  • Complimentary registration to the upcoming NSPRA National Seminar,
  • A formal presentation of the award during a General Session at the Seminar and
  • One night of lodging, arranged by NSPRA, for the evening before the award presentation. 

In the spirit of this award, the recipient also is allowed to designate a mentee of their choice to receive a scholarship to the NSPRA National Seminar. The funding for the scholarship is provided by the NSPRA Foundation for the Advancement of Education through memorial donations from NSPRA chapters and colleagues.

View a list of previous award recipients.