For some alumni, the words “Ohio State” simply remind them of a time that once was. However, for Sandy Hermanoff, Ohio State will forever be more than a fond memory. Graduating from The Ohio State University with a degree in journalism and a specialization in public relations, Hermanoff looks back and gladly attributes much of her professional career to the lessons she learned during her time at the university.
“Everything that I do today, I learned at Ohio State,” said Hermanoff, who currently sits as president and CEO of Hermanoff Public Relations. “When I got out, I was ready for the future.”
From newswriting to working with the media, Hermanoff developed and refined the professional skills she uses today in her old classrooms at Ohio State. During her time as a student, Hermanoff was already leaving her mark on Ohio State’s campus. While writing for The Lantern, Hermanoff noticed a lack of student organizations focused solely on public relations. Out of this need, she co-founded the Ohio State chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America, creating a community where PR students become better prepared for their future professions.
When Hermanoff started her own PR firm in 1985, her experiences at Ohio State and within PRSSA led her to build an organization founded on creativity, honesty and integrity.
“It’s really about doing what is best for the client,” said Hermanoff.
This ethical approach to PR is what led to Hermanoff’s continued recognition within her field, such as being named a member of the College of Fellows as well as being inducted into Detroit’s PRSA Hall of Fame.
While continuing to run her firm, Hermanoff still finds time to give back to the school she lovingly credits for her success. Touched by a fellow student’s own struggles, Hermanoff now provides a scholarship every year to a student who can’t afford to finish their senior year of school.
“To know that I’m helping a very passionate Buckeye, who wants to do something wonderful with their life, what other reason do I need to give?” said Hermanoff.
Hermanoff’s most recent contribution to Ohio State has been a long-term goal of hers, as she headed the formation of the School of Communication Advancement Board. As the board’s founding chair, Hermanoff hopes to build strong relationships within the School of Communication and expand its horizons.
“We are going to campaign with The Lantern, work with strategic communications, expand the school and really do everything we possibly can,” said Hermanoff. “I want to see the School of Communication in the media with all of the wonderful things they are doing.”
Hermanoff is determined to see great strides within the School of Communication and is excited to continue to “fuel Buckeye passion,” as she puts it. Whatever she does next, Hermanoff will have Ohio State at the heart of it all.
“I have scarlet and gray in my blood,” Hermanoff said. “And I am forever grateful.”
Article written by student Rachel Rickman