The Public Relations Society of America, the nation’s leading professional organization serving the communications community, recently announced the election of Echelle Jobe Rutschman to its College of Fellows. The college is an honorary organization that recognizes professionals and educators who have left a significant footprint on the public relations profession.
Head of communications for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Rutschman has devoted her 26-year PR career to serving nonprofits. Her formal work for nonprofits like St. Jude and volunteer service for dozens of other nonprofits have benefited children, families and communities. She earned her accreditation in public relations in 2003.
Rutschman was one of 11 new members selected to the College of Fellows, the most prestigious public relations organization, in 2019.
“Election to PRSA’s College of Fellows, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, recognizes the many outstanding accomplishments of these accredited members in the areas of leadership, service and contributions to the public relations profession,” said Debra Peterson, APR, 2019 PRSA chair. “Members of the College exemplify the very best of PRSA and provide ongoing support to the association, donating their time and expertise as volunteers and mentors to students and professionals. We congratulate these 11 new Fellows who have attained the highest designation PRSA bestows, and we look forward to their continuing contributions to our profession.”
Rutschman has served as head of communications at St. Jude since 2016, and led communications at national youth behavioral health organization Youth Villages for seven years before that. From 1998 to 2007, she led communications for one of the nation’s largest nonprofit health care organizations, Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp.
“As an international resource, we want to share our research discoveries and medical expertise in order to benefit children everywhere,” said James R. Downing, M.D., St. Jude president and chief executive officer. “This honor recognizes Echelle’s career accomplishments, and such expertise is vital to St. Jude effectively sharing our science and medicine around the globe.”
Rutschman earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations and political science from Oklahoma Baptist University and a master’s degree in communications from the University of Missouri at Columbia.
Members of the PRSA College of Fellows serve in chapter, district, section and national leadership positions. To qualify for admittance, the public relations professional must have at least 20 years of experience, hold the Accredited in Public Relations credential and have demonstrated exceptional capability and accomplishment in the practice or teaching of public relations.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and cures childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments developed at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to 80% since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude freely shares the breakthroughs it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing and food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. To learn more, visit stjude.org or follow St. Jude on social media at @stjuderesearch.