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National society honors public affairs director

Bruce L. Olsen, managing director of public affairs for the Church, has been elected to the College of Fellows of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

Fellows are accredited members of the societywith at least 20 years of experience in the profession and a demonstrated record of excellence. Less than 2 percent of the organization's 17,000 members have achieved College of Fellows status, and Brother Olsen is one of just 22 new members who will be honored during the society's annual conference this month in St. Louis, Mo.

In his assignment, Brother Olsen directs the worldwide community and media relations programs of the Church. Through his efforts and those of his associates, the Church was honored by PRSA in 1994 with the prestigious Silver Anvil award.

During his tenure as managing director, the Church Public Affairs Department has won numerous international, national, regional and local awards for its radio and television public affairs programming, including Gabriel and Wilbur awards from national Catholic organizations; the Golden World Award from the International Public Relations Association; the Clarion Award from Women in Communications, and the Religion in Media Award. The department's radio products have also earned recognition from the National Broadcast Association for Community Affairs and The New York Festivals organization.

Brother Olsen, founder of the Association of Latter-day Saint Public Relations Professionals, has lectured widely on public relations subjects and has had articles published in several journals and magazines.

Prior to his appointment with the Church, he was with BYU for 20 years, holding several positions, including assistant dean and registrar, associate professor of communications and assistant to the president for university relations.

Brother Olsen serves as chairman of the membership board of the National Interfaith Cable Coalition, which operates the Odyssey channel on cable television. There are now 64 faith groups participating in the network. Odyssey specializes in faith and values programming and is carried on some 1,500 cable systems and a satellite service, reaching 26 million households.

He has also served as a member of the executive committee and chairman of the National Education Plan for the Religious Alliance Against Pornography.

A native of Orangeville, Utah, Brother Olsen is a graduate of the College of Eastern Utah in Price, Utah. He holds both bachelors and masters degrees from BYU, where he served as editor of the school's daily newspaper and as student body president.

He has served in many positions in the Church including president of the Massachusetts Boston Mission from 1982-1985, a member of the Young Men General Board, and president of the Orem Utah Sunset Heights Stake.