IABC/Harrisburg member Tamara L. Gillis, Ed.D, ABC, IABC Fellow was recently honored with the Ernest R. McDowell Award for Excellence in Public Relations.  

Gillis, who is professor of communications and department chairman, teaches corporate communication and research courses at Elizabethtown College. Her most recent work includes the second editions of both The IABC Handbook of Organizational Communication and The Essentials of Employee Communication. She serves as a corporate consultant and has led the IABC Executive Accreditation program at Royal Roads University. She is a Page Legacy Scholar of The Arthur W. Page Center and the 2014 recipient of the Ernest R. McDowell Award for Excellence in Public Relations.

Her professional experience includes work with Pennsylvania Psychological Association, Memorial Healthcare Corporation, the University of Pittsburgh, and Cooper Wright Consulting. Gillis is recognized globally for her work in education, training, change management, and employee communication. Her research and consulting interests include change management, civic involvement, effective organizational structures, and the impact of new media. She has served as faculty at Royal Roads University (Victoria, BC) Centre for Applied Leadership and Management, as well as in mass media projects in Swaziland and Namibia. Research and consulting projects have led her to Australia, Canada, India, Namibia, Ecuador, Swaziland, and a number of other countries.

Gillis has served many IABC roles: she was the first educator to serve as the chairman of the IABC Research Foundation (2001-02). She served as a district director (before the regional structure was developed), a member of the IABC Executive Committee, a member of the IABC Research Foundation Research Committee, and the leader of the Research Foundation Think Tank. Gillis is frequently invited to speak on change management and strategic planning at international and local meetings. In 2004, the IABC Research Foundation recognized her with the Lifetime Friend Award. She presented the international keynote address at the 2009 ARC Strategic Internal Communication conference in Melbourne, Australia and a keynote address at Royal Roads University’s Centre for Applied Leadership and Management in 2011. In 2014 she was named as an IABC Fellow.

Established in 1991, the Ernest R. McDowell Award for Excellence in Public Relations recognizes an individual for sustained excellence in the field of public relations. It is presented annually at the PPRS Evening of Honors in memory of the late senior vice president of Marketing and Corporate Relations with Capital (now Pinnacle) Health System, Ernest R. McDowell, who set the standard for professionalism and community service with his good works and lifetime example.  

Please check out the photos from the event by Roger Baumgarten of Roger That Photography by clicking here!  Select photos from the evening are available on the PPRS website and can be viewed by clicking here.  Check back this spring for Ernest R. McDowell Award nomination information.


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