Public Relations is the world of organizational and employee relations within corporations, agencies, health organizations and the recording industry.
The program allows students to specialize in general PR, publications, or PR for the recording industry. Those who prefer not to specialize may take the general public relations curriculum.
The program provides outstanding facilities, excellent faculty, a challenging and comprehensive curriculum and an active student public relations chapter. The facilities include a state-of-the-art PR lab complete with Macintosh computers and the latest publishing, design and communication software, as well as access to the Internet. This accredited program blends the best of theoretical and “hands-on” approaches.
Another program asset is the strong support of media professionals in Middle Tennessee. The proximity to Nashville offers an excellent educational advantage, providing immediate access to the state’s communications, entertainment and political capital for internships and job opportunities.
Visit the website of the MTSU chapter of PRSSA.
Mass Comm 247D
Dr. Zeny Sarabia-Panol is a full professor and associate dean in the College of Media and Entertainment at Middle Tennessee State University. She is the immediate past editor of the International Communication Research Journal. An alumna of the HERS Bryn Mawr Leadership Institute and the Journalism and Mass Communication Leadership Institute for Diversity, she served as interim director of the School of Journalism in 2008-09. She has been on accreditation visiting teams and has served as external examiner for public relations degree programs. Her teaching areas are in public relations communication/writing, public relations campaigns and international public relations at the undergraduate level and applied research at the graduate level.
Dr. Sarabia-Panol holds degrees from Silliman University (magna cum laude), University of the Philippines and Oklahoma State University.
Her research has been published in Journalism Studies, Public Relations Review, Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, Disability Studies Quarterly and Media Asia. She has authored a number of book chapters and presented research at conferences of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Public Relations Society of America-Academy, Research Colloquium of the World Public Relations Forum, International Communication Association, International Association for Media and Communication Research and the International History of Public Relations.
Curriculum Vitae: Panol_cv2016.docx
Sharon H. Fitzgerald
Mass Comm 249
Sharon H. Fitzgerald has taught in MTSU’s School of Journalism since 1999, bringing to the classroom more than 30 years of journalism and public relations experience. For several years, she was a reporter on both weekly and daily newspapers, including The Philadelphia Inquirer.
On the PR front, Prof. Fitzgerald has been press secretary for a U.S. congressman and run PR operations for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and the University of Delaware Graduate College of Marine Studies. At the University of Tennessee, she was the communications consultant for the Municipal Technical Advisory Service. She followed that position with a stint as communications director of the Tennessee Municipal League.
In 1996, Lect. Fitzgerald founded her own business, Sharon Fitzgerald Communications, handling client PR and writing for publications as varied as American Profile magazine, Medical News Inc., Business Xpansion Journal and Forbes. Through the years, her clients have included the Tennessee Valley Authority, Vanderbilt University and Journal Communications. She continues to write in the health care and economic development fields. Lect. Fitzgerald has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
She holds a master’s degree in public relations from Kent State University.
Mass Comm 229A
Cary. A. Greenwood, APR, Fellow PRSA, (Ph.D. University of Oregon), is an assistant professor. She teaches crisis communication and public relations campaigns. She has more than 30 years experience in public relations, including eight years in corporate communications management for a Fortune 500 utility, seven years as public affairs director for a state natural resource agency, and two years in transportation management. She is an experienced public relations strategist, speechwriter, and public speaker, and she brings that background into the classroom. Her research interests are whistleblowing, corporate social responsibility, and evolutionary theory.
She has presented her research on whistleblowing among public relations practitioners at the Public Relations Society of America International Conference, the PRSA/GA regional conference, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication 2009 and 2012, and has also presented her whistleblowing research at the International Communication Association Conference in London in June 2013. Her research in corporate social responsibility led to her being named Arthur W. Page Legacy Scholar 2012-2013 in conjunction with Dr. Joon Soo Lim.
Mass Comm 229B
Dr. Hanna Park is an assistant professor at MTSU, teaching courses in public relations. She has taught Public Relations Principles, Case Studies in Public Relations, and Public Relations Research since 2012. Before joining the MTSU School of Journalism faculty, she taught public relations and mass communication courses at the University of Florida (Gainesville, FL) and Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (Seoul, South Korea).
She received her bachelor’s degree with top honors and her master’s degree in Mass Communication from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. She also received another master’s degree with distinction in Public Relations and a doctoral degree in Mass Communication from the University of Florida.
Her research interests include corporate social responsibility, crisis communication, philanthropy, nonprofit organizations, relationship management, and social media. Her research work has appeared in the Korean Journal of Advertising, Korea Observer, PRism, and Korea Press Foundation’s reports. She also presented her research papers in national conferences in the U.S. and South Korea. Her recent publications include Second-level agenda setting effects (2015), Engaging youth in philanthropy (2013) and Associations among relationship maintenance strategies, organization-public relationships, and support for organizations (2010). She also has consulted Korea Scout Association’s Youth Philanthropy campaign.
Mass Comm 271E
Andrea Phillips came to MTSU as assistant professor in public relations in 2014 after completing her Ph.D. at Texas Tech University. She came to academia after 20 years of professional experience in corporate, agency, and nonprofit settings doing work in the areas of public relations, corporate communication, marketing promotions, event planning, administration and education.
She began her professional life after graduating from Texas Christian University with a BS in Radio-TV-Film production and a minor in journalism. She entered the summer camp/conference center industry where she advanced through a number of positions, including video director and program director. While pursuing her first master’s degree, she was lured into a corporate communications and promotions agency where she was an account executive and creative director serving Fortune 1000 companies, including Texas Instruments, HP, Verizon, Travelocity and its parent company Sabre Holdings.
Dr. Phillips’ first professional experience in academia came when she took on the director of university communications position at John Brown University in Arkansas. There she led the team responsible for all the university’s PR efforts, the university website, brand development, creative design and print production, some of the university’s advertising, and a variety of other internal and external communication efforts. While at JBU, she had the opportunity to teach a PR class, and soon after began pursuing a path that would lead her to full time teaching.
Dr. Phillips now holds an MA (Biblical Studies) from Dallas Theological Seminary and an MS in Public Relations and Advertising from TCU in addition to her PhD from Texas Tech. She is a member of PRSA and is accredited in public relations (APR) by that organization.
PR 2040 Public Relations Principles
Three credits. Introduces the practice of public relations, including its fundamental concepts and theories, historical development, and current issues. (formerly PR 3040.)
PR 3360 Strategic Communication Writing for Public Relations
Three credits. Prerequisites: JOUR 2710 and PR 2040. Techniques of creating and writing strategic messages, including the planning and development of components for strategic communication campaigns for corporate, public service, and other persuasive messages.
PR 3380 Public Relations Publications
Three credits. Prerequisite: VCOM 2010. Effective print-design techniques with emphasis on organizational publications.
PR 3400 Case Studies in Public Relations
Three credits. Prerequisite: PR 2040. Practical methods of handling problems in public relations with emphasis on fact-finding, planning, promoting, and evaluating.
PR 3520 Special Topics in Professional Issues
Three credits. (Same as JOUR/ADV/VCOM 3520.) Prerequisite: JOUR 3090. Special topics in journalism, advertising, public relations, and visual communication focusing on practical applications. Topics change each semester and have included investigative, environmental, sports, and political reporting; visual editing; international public relations; and advertising account management. May be repeated up to 6 credits.
PR 4720 Crisis Communication in Public Relations
Three credits. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Examines crisis communication theories, management, strategies, tactics, and cases while developing practical skills useful in crisis situations.
PR 4740 Public Relations Campaigns
Three credits. Prerequisites: PR 3360 and PR 3380 or VCOM 2950; senior standing. Researching and planning public relations campaigns. An opportunity for senior-level students to synthesize and apply knowledge and skills from previous courses.
You should meet with the advisor for your concentration to create your course plan and to make sure that you meet all graduation requirements for your concentration. A list of Media and Entertainment advisors is here: Media and Entertainment Advising Center.
You should also use the upper division form for your concentration to make sure to meet all requirements. Download the Journalism upper division form:
PR General: UD_PR-Gen.2016.pdf
PR RIM: UD_PR-RIM.2016.pdf
Required courses in the School of Journalism are listed on the main MTSU site here:
Public Relations Concentration