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Bishop Promotes Relationships, Energized Public Relations Student Body as 2021 Distinguished Teacher Award Recipient


For nearly 15 years, Public Relations Professor and program champion Patrick Bishop has “had the feeling” with his instruction and advisement of Ferris State University students seeking to become business communication and reputation management professionals. He considered his energetic approach to promote learning in the College of Business after his selection as Ferris’ 2021 Distinguished Teacher Award recipient.

“I believe it is a key component of my personality,” Bishop said. “Early on, I was a supplemental teacher at Jackson Community College (now Jackson College). After 16 years in the industry, I knew teaching was where I needed to be because I love that feeling of illumination. It is like lightning striking my brain as I experience and witness that ‘A-ha’ moment. It can be a beautiful thing to get young adults to open up and make that leap we call a ‘paradigm shift.’ That, I believe, is the key to making real gains as experiential learners. You take the specifics of the subject matter, but go well beyond book learning to really immerse yourself in the material, so the students then seek to breakthrough, not just push their way past their assignments.”

Bishop’s outgoing nature is also an asset in his long-term service as adviser to the university’s Public Relations Student Society of America chapter, a campus registered student organization.

“It is another aspect of being an active contributor to the university. Students who are heading into this field can benefit from learning about what it takes to succeed in the industry. So we regularly welcome professionals, both alumni and regional business leaders as guest speakers,” Bishop said. “PRSSA is one of the best ways to ‘prime the pump,’ illustrating the value for these students’ investment in each relationship that presents itself, so they can shape, develop and advance their career by becoming genuine and skilled professionals. It is a quality of life consideration that we seek to promote with chapter members throughout and following their Ferris experience.”

His reputation as an emphatic and engaged instructor and adviser is the stuff of conversation among College of Business students. Bishop said it is a point of pride that alumni of the program have become his friends and contributors to his campus efforts.

“I know that this is my calling, something very much in my blood and bones because I love it,” Bishop said. “Students, even professionals, will rise to the expectations you place for them. I have worked to gain and build trust; their response is often to do what is necessary to make those things happen. When students think enough of our relationship to keep seeking my advice or invite me as a guest for their wedding, I see that as the greatest possible compliment they can offer.”

Bishop’s recognition as a Distinguished Teacher was part of a virtual event held on Wednesday, April 21. Also acknowledged during that celebration was 2020 award winner Lori Faulkner, a Kendall College of Art and Design faculty member.

Distinguished Teacher Award Past Recipients (since 2000)

2020 – Lori Faulkner 
2019 – Tracey Busch
2018 – Deborah Rockman
2017 – John Scott Gray
2016 – Sharon Colley
2014 – Jennifer Johnson
2014 – Gary Huey
2013 – Avesh Raghunandan
2012 – Clifton Franklund
2011 – Greg Gogolin
2010 – Richard Goosen
2009 – Daniel Adsmond
2008 – Khagendra Thapa
2007 – Mary Murnik
2006 – Pasquale Di Raddo
2005 – Robert McCullough
2005 – Fred Heck
2004 – David Pilgrim
2003 – Phillip Middleton
2003 – David Hanna
2003 – David Aiken
2002 – Sheila MacEachron
2001 – J. Randall Groves
2001 – Abdollah Ferdowsi
2000 – Richard J. Pisacreta
2000 – Daniel Noren