My academic research interests lie in two fields, communication (especially public relations) and folklore (in particular, ethnic American folklore).

Communication Research

As a public relations practitioner in the 1990s, I witnessed the evolution of the Internet and realized its enormous potential for public relations professionals. I spent one summer redesigning my nonprofit organization's Web site, then later in my PR career I created a home page for a university president, then completely redesigned the content of the university provost's Web site and joined the university's Web Team, comprised of public relations professionals and information technology specialists. From those experiences, I developed a keen interest in the impact of the Internet upon the public relations profession - one of my current research interests.

Another current research interest is service learning in the public relations classroom. Service learning provides students with experiences in the local community that are related to subjects being discussed in their classes. For my students, that means experiences working with real community PR clients - either on PR writing projects or the creation of a public relations plan for the client.


Folklore Research

My interest in ethnic American folklore dates back to my mid-twenties, when I observed that many young adults (including me) were marrying outside of their own ethnic group. I was a college public relations practitioner at the time, completing my master's degree in English - and I met a professor at the college who had just received a federal grant to study the folklore of several Western New York ethnic groups. I quickly signed up for his graduate course in ethnic folklore and subsequently completed my master's thesis in Polish-American folklore, my own ethnic heritage.

Many years later, I continued my research in Polish-American folklore as a doctoral student at the University at Buffalo, completing my dissertation in that subject. I turned my dissertation into a book, Polish-American Folklore, and I've presented papers at folklore conferences and published several articles in folklore and popular culture journals. You can read a chapter of my book online.


Professional Presentations and Publications

I've also had opportunities, both as a PR practitioner and PR faculty member, to give presentations on public relations topics to groups of public relations professionals - and to write publications for PR practitioners as well as other key publics.

For a list of my conference presentations and publications, click here.

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