Updated Spring 2013
Professor: Ron Smith is a professor of public communication at Buffalo State (the largest comprehensive college within the State University of New York), where he has taught graduate and undergraduate students since 1990. In 1999, he received the "President's Award for Excellence" in Academic Advisement. See Undergraduate Students and Graduate Students for information about his courses and other education-related topics. Ron previously served as an adjunct professor of public relations at Syracuse University.
Academic Administrator: Ron served from 2011 to 2013 as interim Associate Dean for the School of Arts and Humanities at Buffalo State. In this position, he addressds the academic needs of 2,300 graduate and undergraduate students and 30 major programs in 11 departments.
Department Chair: Ron served as chair of the 700-student Communication Department at Buffalo State from 2003 to January 2011. In 2008 the department became the only communication program within the State University of New York affiliated with the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.
Project Director. Ron is director of the American Indian Policy and Media Initiative, a professional outreach program of the Communication Department at Buffalo State. Through the initiative, Ron has has worked worked on stratedic planning with the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and the National Congress of American Indians, and he has conducted research with individual Native nations and organizations. The initiative has sponsored research on various topics related to media and public policy and has convened roundtables in Buffalo, Washington DC, and Santa Ynez, Calif. Ron has presented research on topics of media and Native issues at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.
Author: Ron is the author of several professional books. Routledge/Taylor & Francis publishes two of his texts: Strategic Planning for Public Relations and Becoming a Public Relations Writer. Taylor & Francis also publishes a text he has co-authored, MediaWriting. Ron also has written a chapter on "Communication Design and Management" in the Sage 21st Century Reference Series: Communication and a commissioned primer on Human and Media Communication prepared for the University of the United Arab Emirates. Ron also writes on topics such as strategic planning, integrated communication, media training, and crisis communication. He has received international recognition for his published research into applications of psychological type theory for public relations, advertising, and other applied areas of communication.
Practitioner: Prior to his current activities, Ron worked for 10 years as communications director and public affairs director with the Catholic Diocese of Syracuse (N.Y.), where he coordinated public relations activities, served as organizational spokesperson, supervised television production, organized a telecommunications center, oversaw a network of internal communications, planned fundraising campaigns, and conducted research and strategic planning for a 67-school educational system. He also served as ecumenical officer for the diocese, coordinating relations with other religious bodies. Before that he was a newspaper reporter and editor with Grit Publishing Company in Williamsport, Pa. He also is a Vietnam veteran who served as public affairs journalist aboard the Navy aircraft carrier USS Ranger.
Presenter: Ron also frequently presents workshops on public relations and marketing communication topics for groups as diverse as the U.S. Air Force, United Auto Workers, American Lung Association, New York State Troopers, the National Catholic Education Association, and several colleges and public relations organizations.
Academic Consultant: Ron is a reviewer with the Accreditation Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications. He also has served as an academic consultant for communication, journalism, and/or public relations program reviews at Humber College in Ontario, Utica College, and SUNY Fredonia. He has served as external reviewer for personnel actions with public relations faculty at Syracuse University and Kent State University.
Public Relations Consultant: Ron is principal of Smith Communication Counsel, which offers public relations and marketing communication assistance to businesses and nonprofit organizations. The unique mission of Smith Communication Counsel is to offer clients research, planning and training to move them toward self-sufficiency in their communication needs. Clients have included the Western New York Library Resources Council, Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, St. Columban's Retirement Home, Stella Niagara Center of Renewal, Clarkson Center for Human Services, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, and several public relations agencies. In his counseling role, Ron focuses on a process of research, strategic planning and evaluation. He offers corporate and nonprofit clients the benefit of his experience in crisis communication, media relations, community relations, employee/volunteers relations, issues management, and reputation management, as well as practical skills in areas such as writing, editing, and production for print and televsion.
Awards: Ron was named "Practitioner of the Year" by the Buffalo-Niagara chapter of the Public Relations Society of America for 1998. He also has received several Excalibur awards from the chapter for his work in public relations, particularly in applied research, and a service award for an annual workshop series for candidates preparing for the APR examinations. In 2010 he received Board of Directors "Distinguished Service Award" from the Buffalo/Niagara chapter of PRSA.
Affiliations: An accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America, Ron was 1996 chair of the PRSA Northeast District of 11 chapters in New York and New England. He was 1995 president of the Buffalo/Niagara chapter and a member of many chapter, regional, and national committes and task forces, including the Educational Affairs Committee. He also is a member of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and its public relations division, Committee to Protect Journalists, and Native American Journalists Association. Ron is a former member of the Religious Public Relations Association, Unda-USA (now the Catholic Academy of Communication Arts Professionals), and the National Association of Diocesan Ecumenical Officers.
Community Service: Ron has an extensive record of community service. For example, he has served on the boards of directors of organizations such as Unda-USA and the Buffalo chapter of the Council for International Visitors, and on committees and task forces for groups such as the United Way, Arts Council, Buffalo Board of Education, Center for the Development of Human Services, the Episcopal Diocese of Western New York, Buffalo State, and Villa Maria College.
Education: Ron holds a bachelor's degree in English education from Lock Haven State College in Pennsylvania (1970) and a master's degree (summa cum laude) in public relations from Syracuse University (1985), with additional graduate study in fundraising and development at the University of Dayton.
Family: Ron and his wife, Dawn, an English teacher at
Canisius High School in Buffalo, have three sons and a growing family:
- Joshua, who holds a doctorate in sociology (ethnomusicology) from Osaka University, is a musical artist in Japan and the US and an instructor at Buffalo State; he and his wife, Satomi, have a daughter, Miana, and a son, Kazutaka, and currently reside in Buffalo
- Aaron, a sergeant of the U.S. Army currently stationed in El Paso; he and his wife, Jennifer, have a daughter, Mariella
- Matthew, a musician and horticulture student in Buffalo
Connect with Ron Smith's home page.