New & Noteworthy

Public Relations Capstone Benefits from Professional Experience

January 29, 2015


Tom Hanley, APR, vice president, Client Services at Wondergem Consulting, is teaching the Public Relations capstone course this semester while Dr. Patrick Bishop completes his sabbatical. Tom brings more than 28 years of public relations experience to share. Most recently, Spectrum Health recruited Tom in 2007 to direct communications for Helen Devos Children’s Hospital. Later, he initiated the Corporate Social Responsibility program at Spectrum Health. Wondergem Consulting is a public relations agency in Grand Rapids.

“We’re so fortunate to have Tom join us in the PR program at Ferris,” said Dr. Patrick Bishop. “Tom is a professional of the highest caliber with outstanding real-world experience working with top-notch clients from across the United States.”

The senior-level capstone course puts everything the students have learned from Dr. Bishop into practice. The course is structured as a real-world public relations agency; the 12 seniors perform the function of account executives with a client of their choosing. Project Starburst, Ferris State University Admissions Office, and Kids Food Basket are among the clients the seniors will be working with this semester.

“Tom is an incredible asset to the Public Relations program,” said Public Relations senior Shelby Austin. “Our classes are structured around his past campaigns and experiences in PR. It’s an incredible opportunity to have Tom mentor us through our last semester of PR.”

“I’m excited to see the knowledge and skill he’ll bring to our seniors, further setting them apart as some of the best PR graduates in the nation,” said Bishop.

The Public Relations program at Ferris is the only program in the country that exists as a business degree.

A chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) complements the Public Relations program. Learn more about the Ferris chapter via Twitter (@ferrisstatepr).


Public Relations