I have more than 25 years of professional experience as a public relations practitioner and journalist in Western New York; my public relations practice was concentrated in higher education and non-profit organizations. I became a full-time communication faculty member in 2002 as a visiting assistant professor at the University at Buffalo. In 2005, I joined the faculty at Buffalo State College as an assistant professor of communication, teaching public relations and media writing courses.
I completed my bachelor's and master's degrees at SUNY College at Fredonia, where I later served as the college's director of communications. I earned a Ph.D. degree in English, with additional graduate coursework in communication, from the University at Buffalo, where I held public relations positions as executive assistant to the provost and assistant to the president. I also earned accreditation in public relations through the Public Relations Society of America's Universal Accreditation Program.
I founded the Public Relations Student Society of America chapter at the University at Buffalo and serve as the faculty advisor to the Buffalo State College PRSSA chapter. An active member of the Public Relations Society of America, I'm the 2007 chair-elect for PRSA's Northeast District and will become district chair in 2008. I also serve on the Board of Directors of the Buffalo-Niagara PRSA chapter as a delegate to the PRSA Assembly and co-authored the chapter's Diversity Guidebook as a member of the chapter's Diversity Committee. I'm also a member of the PRSA Educators Academy, the National Communication Association, the Association for Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication, and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, and a past member of the PRSA Counselors to Higher Education section and the New York Folklore Society Board of Directors.
I've given presentations to public relations organizations, including PRSA's Counselors to Higher Education section, and presented papers at academic conferences on my research in the fields of public relations and folklore. My scholarly research focuses on service learning in the public relations classroom, the impact of the Internet upon public relations, and ethnic American folklore. I'm the author of a book, Polish-American Folklore, as well as two book chapters and several articles about public relations and Polish-American folklore published in peer-reviewed academic journals.
I am the recipient of several awards, including Buffalo State's Outstanding Faculty Commitment to Service Learning Award (2006), the University at Buffalo's Influential Professor Award (2005), the Polish American Historical Association's Oskar Halecki Prize for Best New Book (2000), and the American Folklore Society's Bertrand H. Bronson Prize for Research and Analysis of a Folk Music Tradition (1995). I'm a firm believer in the value of service learning projects for communication students and have received two faculty fellowships to incorporate service learning opportunities into my public relations courses at Buffalo State College.