Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Alumni PAO Officers Take Award for Impressive Dedication to Public Affairs

Navy Lt. Cmdr. and Marine Captain receive 2018 Rear Admiral T. McCreary Junior Public Affairs Alumni Award

Alumni PAO Officers Take Award for Impressive Dedication to Public Affairs

By Dr. Kaye Sweetser, APR+M, Fellow PRSA, professor of public relations and coordinator for the JMS Military Public Affairs Master’s Program at SDSU

March 19, 2019

The School of Journalism and Media Studies at San Diego State University named this year’s recipients of the Rear Admiral T. McCreary Junior Public Affairs Alumni Award.

The 2018 honorees are Navy Lt. Cmdr. Ben Tisdale, APR+M (class of 2012) and Marine Capt. Skye Martin, APR+M (class of 2018).

Both officers are being recognized for how they integrated their strategic public relations planning skills since returning to the fleet.

“These officers represent the best of the best of our impressive alumni,” said Kaye Sweetser, APR+M, Fellow PRSA, the PAO military master’s program coordinator. “From the moment they left the mesa and returned to the fleet, they were putting their strategic skills in research, planning, implementation and evaluation to work. Through them, we see the impact that the research started at SDSU has on the their own practice of public affairs, and how it can positively affect the entire fleet.”

Tisdale is currently serving as the public affairs officer for U.S. Fleet Cyber Command and TENTH Fleet in Ft. Meade, Maryland.

“Since the day I graduated I have leveraged the numerous research and planning strategies I learned to provide my commanders and fellow Sailors the best communication counsel possible,” said Tisdale. “At SDSU, I learned effective public affairs is more than just publishing a news release; it’s about building stronger relationships with our stakeholders and partners based on trust, transparency and a commitment to integrity.”

Martin is currently an instructor at the Defense Information School, also in Ft. Meade, Maryland.

“My experience at SDSU made me aware of the ways that measurement and evaluation can and must be applied to the practice of public relations and also provided the tools needed to carry it out,” said Martin.

Today Martin trains the next generation of military public affairs officers in how to be strategic practitioners.

In addition, Martin continued her research agenda and presented an academic research paper at the International Public Relations Research Conference in Orlando in March 2019. The paper, co-authored with Sweetser and alumnus retired Lt. Col. Joe Plenzler (class of 2010) focused on the Pentagon Press Corps’ perception of transparency in military public affairs. Previously, Martin was the Outstanding Graduate Student for her graduating class in 2018.

About the Award

In its fourth year, the Rear Admiral T. McCreary Junior Public Affairs Alumni Award honors selected junior public affairs alumni who integrate the strategic planning skills into their fleet work after graduation. In 2018 the award adopted its current name to honor alumnus and former Navy Chief of Information retired Rear Admiral T. McCreary. Previous awardees include the 2015 recipients Navy Lt. Cmdr. Nicole Schwegman, APR+M and Marine Maj. Staci Reidinger, APR+M; 2016 recipient Navy Lt. Cmdr. Beth Teach, APR+M; and 2017 recipients Navy Lt. Cmdr. Matt Knight, APR+M and Marine Capt. Jeremy McLean, APR+M.

The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.

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