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School of AdvPR Names New Director

Maureen TaylorMaureen Taylor, an internationally known public relations scholar, has agreed to become the new Director of the School of Advertising and Public Relations effective June 15, 2015. She is currently the Gaylord Family Chair of Strategic Communication at the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Prior to joining the University of Oklahoma, she taught public relations and communication at Western Michigan University, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Rutgers University and Purdue University. Her public relations research focuses on nation building and civil society, dialogue, the use of the World Wide Web and new technologies, and issues management. Her research has taken her to Bosnia, Kosovo, Jordan, Malayasia, and Taiwan.

In spring 200, she was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Taylor serves on the editorial board of three scholarly journals: Public Relations Review, the Journal of Public Relations Research and the Atlantic Journal of Communication. She is also a member of the Arthur W. Page Society. She has authored 56 refereed journal articles, 29 invited scholarly articles and book chapters and one edited book. She also served as the Interim Graduate Director for the OU Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication (2009) and as director of the Master’s of Communication and Information Studies Program at Rutgers University (2004-05).

She holds a PhD. in public affairs and issues management and an MA in rhetorical studies both from Purdue University and a BA in political science from Westfield State College.

Michael KentTaylor’s spouse, Michael Kent, who is also an internationally known public relations scholar, will be joining the AdvPR faculty effective August 1, 2015. Kent, an Associate Professor of Public Relations at the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, has been teaching for more than 20 years. Courses he has taught include: Intro to PR; PR Writing, Cases, Campaigns, and Management; Public Speaking and Advanced Public speaking; Persuasion; and Media and Mass Culture.

Kent conducts research on new technology, mediated communication, dialogue, international communication, and web communication. Recently, he has been exploring the academic and professional opportunities involved in e-publishing.

He has written several e-books, and ran a preconference seminar at the 2011 National Communication Association convention on e-publishing. Kent serves on the editorial board of three scholarly journals: Public Relations Review, the International Journal of Strategic Communication, and the Atlantic Journal of Communication. He has published 31 refereed journal articles, 10 book chapters and a number of books, including a public relations writing textbook, and two public speaking textbooks.

In 2006, Kent served as a Fulbright Scholar in the University of Latvia’s Department of Communication in Riga, Latvia. He is a former president of NCA’s Public Relations Division (and will soon serve a second term as division president). He holds a PhD in rhetoric and communication from Purdue University, an M.S. in rhetoric and communication from the University of Oregon, and a B.A. in speech communication from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

“We are very fortunate to have Maureen Taylor joining CCI as the new director of the School of Advertising and Public Relations,” said CCI Dean Mike Wirth. “Her outstanding academic accomplishments coupled with her high energy, drive to innovate and vision make her the ideal individual to lead the school forward! Having Michael Kent, who is also an outstanding scholar/teacher, join us is a bonus, which further adds to our ability to take the school to the next level.“

As a result of the successful completion of the search, John Haas will return to his role as director of the School of Communication Studies and Virginia Kupritz will return to the CS faculty.  “I am very grateful to John Haas for his service as interim director of the School of Advertising and Public Relations and to Virginia Kupritz for her work as acting director of the School of Communication Studies,” said Wirth.