Made up of alumni and friends who bring diverse perspectives and experiences from the fields of journalism, advertising and public relations, the Greenlee School Advisory Council exists to support the school, including its director, faculty, staff and students.
In 2018 the council modified its approach. In addition to meeting in the fall and spring, it has formed subcommittees focused throughout the year on several school initiatives, including the Greenlee Summit; council membership; public relations and messaging; alumni relations; and curriculum and assessment.
While each subcommittee has a different focus, Chair Rick Phillips said the common goal for all is to build connections.
“I think it goes back to the charge the council has, which is trying to be a bridge between alumni and the students, the alumni and the faculty and the alumni and the staff,” he said.
The council serves as a helpful resource on the latest industry trends and challenges. It is committed to seeking diversity in all aspects when recruiting new members.
“The council I think is somewhat different than just a couple years ago because we’ve put an emphasis on trying to balance out the viewpoints,” Phillips said.
The council played a key role in the school’s inaugural Summit last spring, and it continues to be instrumental in planning the 2019 Summit, which will take place on campus Sept. 5-6, 2019.
“The Summit was very important for raising awareness for alumni and raising awareness of Greenlee,” Phillips said.
Phillips sees the school as one of the industry’s “best-kept secrets.” He hopes the council can help get the word out about what alumni already know.
“The students who I’ve met in my view are so much further along than when I was in school. It’s really reassuring and makes me feel great not only about Iowa State but about Greenlee and knowing that we are graduating students who will literally be able to step in and perform roles,” Phillips said.
As an eight-year member of the Greenlee Advisory Council, Barb Riedesel Iverson (’76 journalism and mass communication) helped pave the way for many of the Greenlee School’s current public relations initiatives.
It’s only fitting then that the school has honored Iverson with a brick in the Plaza of Heroines, a mosaic of bricks that paves the way to Carrie Chapman Catt Hall on Iowa State’s Central Campus.
The school presented the honor when Iverson completed her term as chair on the council in April 2018. In addition to serving as chair from 2016-18, Iverson also served as vice chair from 2014-16. With every effort, she said her focus was to help the school use public relations to advance its mission.
“I think what I’ve been able to do is bring the practice of public relations, that of course is taught at the school and has a major, to the council and the way of thinking of a public relations professional,” she said.
Iverson was instrumental in the launch of an industry-focused Greenlee Summit in spring 2018. (The second Summit will take place Sept. 5-6, 2019.) She also initiated a collaborative effort to develop Greenlee’s key messages and offered industry insights as the school created its public relations major in 2014. Additionally, she supports Iowa State’s chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, which is also named after her.
The Plaza of Heroines honors more than 3,800 women and organizations who have made an impact on individuals, families, communities and society. Read more about Iverson and locate her brick in the plaza.