Major in Public Relations
Public relations is an exciting and challenging field which demands individuals with excellent communication skills and training. Most public relations classes are taught by faculty members who have professional experience in addition to their academic training. The practical applications of ethics are carefully considered. The program pays special attention to effective written and oral communication as well as developing a fundamental understanding of human communication and research methods.
Public relations employment is diverse. Communications companies, television and radio stations, theatres, sports teams, corporations and non-profit organizations, trade associations, government and educational institutions all need people with management skills in public relations and communication.
PR at WSU
Wayne State's program combines theory and practice - students learn the principles and concepts of the professional practice of public relations and are required to perform many of these tasks. Students are exposed regularly to the industry through Wayne State's chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), guest lectures by professionals and community service work. Internships are required and the Department of Communication's internship coordinator organizes a broad network with many interesting opportunties for students. We have a very close relationship with the Detroit chapter of PRSA.
The PRSSA program has several scholarships and awards for students majoring in PR. Additionally, the PRSSA chapter enjoys a spacious office and lounge area on the 4th floor of Manoogian Hall. Students have access to news writing computer labs in the same building. Wayne State's chapter of PRSSA has been in existence for more than 25 years.
The public relations program at WSU engages students. Students in the program are tightly-knit and actively involved with each other, in the department and in the community. Students feel "a part of" a program when majoring in PR - a most important aspect to many of our commuter students.
Complete your major in PR at the Macomb Center.
Students majoring in public relations have the opportunity to complete the PR major at the WSU Macomb Center.
Wayne State Faculty in Public Relations
Jane Fitzgibbon (PhD, Wayne State University) is a lecturer and director of the Business Communication course. She also is a faculty advisor for WSU's EcoCAR Teams. Professor Fitzgibbon has been a faculty member in the Department of Communication at Wayne State since 2005. Her professional background includes many years in the automotive industry as an executive working in the areas of public relations, sales and marketing, strategic planning and dealer relations. Professor Fitzgibbon is primarily responsible for the Business Communication (COM 3300) course, but she also teaches the Department's introductory Organizational Communication class (COM 3250); Communication Theory (COM 3400) and Persuasion (COM 2170). Her academic interests include organizational rhetoric, crisis and how individuals respond in a crisis.
Jungmi Jun (Ph.D., George Mason University; on leave, Fall 2014) is an assistant professor of the Department of Communication at Wayne State University, where she teaches PR campaigns and research methods. Jun’s research focuses on strategic communication campaigns to reduce ethnic/racial minorities’ health and cancer disparities. She is particularly interested in communicating cancer prevention and medical tourism issues with Asian American immigrants. You can find her research publications in international/national medical, health, communication, and PR journals including American Journal of Health Behaviors, International Journal on Advances in Life Sciences, Journal of Health Communication, Journal of International and Intercultural Communication, Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention, Journal of Cancer Education, and Public Relations Review.
Rahul Mitra is an assistant professor of organizational communication. Prior to obtaining his doctorate from Purdue University, he worked in the news broadcast and public relations fields in India for three and a half years. His scholarship focuses on sustainable business, corporate social responsibility, leadership, career and meaningful work, and organizing for social change. He is a mixed methods researcher, employing both qualitative and quantitative methods. His work has appeared in peer-reviewed publications such as Communication Theory, Journal of Business Communication, Public Relations Review, and Journal of Business Ethics. He spends far too much time on social media, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Shelly Najor is director of the undergraduate public relations program at Wayne State University, where she earned a PhD in communication and public relations in 1999. She has taught in the Department of Communication for over 15 years, teaching courses including public relations, public speaking and professional writing at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. She also serves as faculty advisor to public relations majors and to the national award winning WSU Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA). She was honored by Wayne State University Student Organizations as faculty advisor of the year and won a service to students award from the College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts. She has many years of competitive public speaking experiences both as a competitor in college and as a coach for the WSU Forensics Team. In her freelance work, she specializes in speechwriting, speech delivery, communication and crisis training, and media relations.
Donyale Padgett has been a faculty member in the Department of Communication at Wayne State since 2002. Her professional background includes over 15 years as a communications professional, working primarily in client service, business development and strategic planning. She stays current in the industry through consulting projects and is a strong believer in bringing practical experience into her classroom. Through service learning projects, she gives her students practical learning experiences through planning and developing communication projects for local non-profit organizations that would not otherwise be able to afford extensive public relations services. Professor Padgett teaches the department's Introductory Organizational Communication class (COM 3250); the undergradute Intercultural Communication course (COM 4300); Communication, Culture and Conlfict (COM 6350); the capstone course for graduating master's students on professional issues in public relations (COM 7220); Crisis Communication (COM 7160); Communication, Consulting and Training (COM 7240); and the graduate level PR Campaigns course (COM 7140).