• Worth Watching:

The Communicator


Shirley selected for Alumni Achievement Award

Stephanie Shirley on stage

Alumna Stephanie Shirley (’09) was a recipient of a 2023 Alumni Achievement Award, presented by the Penn State Alumni Association.

Shirley is the owner of Bennis Public Relations Inc., a firm she founded as a 23-year-old entrepreneur and has grown to serve hundreds of clients across the nation. As a public relations consultant, she serves as a strategic communications partner across various industries like marketing, advertising, government affairs, graphic design, information technology and nonprofit organizations.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, she directed the public relations efforts of CATE, Pennsylvania’s first COVID-19 mobile testing that has toured the Commonwealth since August 2020. The overall initiative is led by Harrisburg-based Latino Connection, and focuses on Black and brown communities, with a current emphasis on providing vaccinations to underserved communities.

Shirley is a board member and special events co-chair of the Pennsylvania Public Relations Society, and a former board member of the Central Penn Networking Group. For a dozen years, she has authored a weekly blog, “The Comm Entrepreneur,” and has been featured on the front page of WordPress, garnering worldwide attention.

Shirley is a longtime active leader of the Alumni Society Board in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications. She has served as chair of the board’s student engagement committee, as well as chair of its outreach committee. She has served as a guest lecturer in Dean Marie Hardin’s “Building Your Media Brand” class and has served as a student mentor.

She is a life member of the Penn State Alumni Association. Her husband Scott Shirley (’03, ’04g Eng) was an Alumni Achievement Award recipient in 2016. They live with their sons, Bennis and Holden, in Mechanicsburg, Pa.