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University of Memphis to Name Public Relations Fellow in Honor of SSPR Founder Steve Simon


(MENAFN Editorial) MEMPHIS, Tenn., April 25, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --Digital PR agency SSPR announced today that the inaugural Linda and Steve Simon Family Fellowship will be appointed this month at the University of Memphis. The fellowship honors the late S & S Public Relations (now SSPR) founder Steve Simon and is the University's first fellowship dedicated to public relations faculty. The Department of Journalism and Strategic Media will announce the first Simon Fellow on April 27, 2018, at the Journalism and Strategic Media Student Awards Banquet.

The Linda and Steve Simon Family Fellowship is a signature professional faculty fellowship for an outstanding early career public relations faculty member in the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media. The fellowship will enable the department to attract and retain promising faculty and strengthen the education of public relations professionals. The Simon Fellow will be able to utilize the funds for key initiatives such as projects in the student-run PR agency, academic-related travel, and professional development.

Steve Simon graduated from the University of Memphis in 1969 with a degree in journalism. Linda and Steve met as students and worked together on the sports desk at The Tiger Rag, the student newspaper later renamed The Daily Helmsman.

After graduating, Steve worked as press secretary for the mayor of Memphis and then took on executive roles at several PR agencies in Chicago. In 1978, Steve founded S & S Public Relations Inc., which specialized in franchise PR. At dawn of the digital age, Steve pioneered PR strategies and tactics that continue to support the world's thriving technology ecosystem.

Steve passed away in 2015 at the age of 67 after battling the organ disease amyloidosis. SSPR now thrives under the leadership of CEO Heather Kelly, who worked with Steve for 17 years.

"Steve was my mentor, friend, and inspiration to commit to a career in public relations," said Heather. "He never shied from unconventional, experimental ideas and led our team with boldness, generosity, and vision. Anyone who worked with Steve inherited memories and nuggets of wisdom they will never forget. We are proud that the Simon family and University of Memphis will help us carry Steve's legacy forward."

The Journalism and Strategic Media Student Awards Banquet will take place on April 27, 6-8 pm, at the University of Memphis Holiday Inn. The Department of Journalism and Strategic Media will announce the first Simon Fellow during the event.

About SSPR
SSPR LLC is an agile, innovative public relations agency that specializes in executing media and social media strategy for businesses ranging from early-stage startups to Fortune 500 companies. The company has offices across the U.S., emphasizing strong workplace culture and inclusion. SSPR's business goal is to, "work with clients we love, organizations we believe in and projects where making something great together can happen." Recognized by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, the Stars of PR Awards and Business Insider, SSPR pushes the boundaries of conventional public relations.

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