The Hugh Downs School of Human Communication (HDSHC) has announced the recipient of its inaugural Hugh Downs School Alumni of the Year award will be Jennifer Kaplan, founder and owner of Evolve Public Relations and Marketing.

The Alum of the Year Award is to honor persons who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University and demonstrated outstanding service to their community. It is the Hugh Downs School’s premier expression of praise and esteem.

“Jennifer’s hard work and dedication have distinguished her both personally and professionally,” said Associate Director and Associate Professor Bradley Adame. “She represents the very best of what is possible with a degree from the Hugh Downs School. Additionally, Jennifer’s scholarship is important for Hugh Downs School students. Her contribution helps us fulfill ASU’s critical mission of making a college education more accessible, while motivating students to pursue careers in rewarding fields like public relations.”

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Kaplan graduated from HDSHC in 1996. She founded Scottsdale-based Evolve PR and Marketing in 2010 and has been dedicated to building the best team of publicists in the Valley while providing excellent services to its clients. What started as a three-person operation has grown into a 15-person team that manages more than 100 public relations accounts spanning a variety of industries both locally and nationally.

In 2020, Kaplan established the Jennifer G. Kaplan Endowment Scholarship at the HDSHC to support undergraduates with an interest in pursuing or studying a career in public relations. Kaplan has also received the Sun Devil 100 award six times. That award celebrates the achievements and successes of the university’s most successful graduates.

“My time at ASU and the Hugh Downs School made a huge impact on me and helped shape my career and I am honored to receive this award,” said Kaplan. “I am also passionate about supporting others in their career paths through mentorship and the scholarship fund and look forward to continuing to do so while supporting HDSHC and its students.”

The Interim Director of HDSHC and Professor, Sarah Tracy will be presenting this inaugural award at a ceremony on Friday, April 15.