Tuscaloosa, Ala. – The Southern Public Relations Federation (SPRF) recognized senior instructor Tracy Sims as an SPRF Senior Practitioner during its 50th anniversary on September 11. Sims was one of 10 individuals selected from the federation’s four membership organizations who received the award. The SPRF recognized awardees as veteran public relations professionals with a high ethical standing.

“Being nominated for the SPRF Senior Practitioner distinction by my peers is quite an honor,” Sims said. “I’m fortunate that I get to do what I love to do: teach our next generation of public relations practitioners.”

Chapters within each of the four regional organizations that compose SPRF can nominate two senior practitioners each year. The West Alabama chapter of the Public Relations Council of Alabama (PRCA) nominated Sims and Cathy Butler, both of whom were chosen for the award.

Since beginning as an Advertising & Public Relations (A+PR) adjunct instructor in August 2002, Sims has taught advertising and public relations students for more than 20 years. In addition, the SPRF recognition requires that the nominee be accredited in public relations (APR), that they hold officer or board member positions at any level, and that they provide a list of past professional recognitions. Sims has been reaccredited by the APR accrediting body four times since 2013, has served in various positions of the PRCA since 2009 and earned seven awards from organizations between 2008 and 2019.

Regarding her work, Sims said, “My students inspire me to be a continuous learner and to enjoy the give-and-take of knowledge both inside and outside the classroom.”

Overall, 10 people were named Senior Practitioners, four were named Young Practitioners, three were nominated for the Professional Achievement Award, and one person was inducted into the Class of 2023 SPRF Hall of Fame. The conference also awarded Lantern Awards for submitted public relations work completed within the last year.

Sims is a senior instructor in A+PR at The University of Alabama, where she serves as the faculty editor for Platform Magazine, the department’s undergraduate program coordinator and co-faculty adviser for Capstone Agency, a PRSSA nationally affiliated, student-run communications firm.