Advertising, Public Relations, and Strategic Communication

Advertising, Public Relations, and Strategic Communication integrates the traditional practices of advertising, public relations, and health communication.
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Faculty and Staff
Faculty and Staff
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Qubein School of Communication at High Point University, where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in health communication, research methods, and persuasion and media effects. Her research examines how problematic events change the nature of relationships and conversations, how communication facilitates coping, and how communication campaigns can be used to address health disparities and social inequities.   For the past few years, she and her graduate students have addressed various health risk issues, including teen pregnancy and prescription drug abuse, by using community-based approached to campaign development. Her recent publications include an article in Communication Theory and The Journal of International and Intercultural Communication. She has extensive experience in organizational training and specializes in seminars on how to develop a positive organizational environment.   Oh, and she loves Bruce Springsteen, Diet Pepsi, and dogs—not necessarily in that order. She also always has candy in her office. So, if you want to see pictures of really cute dogs or get a piece of candy, stop by her office. [post_title] => Virginia McDermott [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => virginia-mcdermott [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-08-05 09:54:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-08-05 13:54:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.highpoint.edu/?post_type=faculty-staff&p=93921 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => faculty-staff [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 97893 [post_author] => 53 [post_date] => 2021-06-03 16:19:29 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-06-03 20:19:29 [post_content] => I have a background in broadcast journalism and government and healthcare public relations. I earned my PhD from UNC Chapel Hill in Strategic Communications, and my M.A. also from UNC-CH in Interdisciplinary Health Communications.   My area of research focus is qualitative analysis of communication about health care, looking at written and spoken language pertaining to issues of how healthcare services are provided, the legislative policies that affect access to healthcare, and communication between providers (physicians, advocates, etc.) and patients. I’ve published papers looking at the politicization of health coverage during debate over the Affordable Care Act, at news coverage of medical research in the news outlets and on social media, and at physician-patient communication about domestic violence.   My hope for my work with HPU students is to help them learn how they can influence others through public relations and health communication to advocate for patients and for positive change in how health care is provided. At the very least, I draw inspiration from seeing students’ motivation when they gain new skills and understanding of how communication works. It’s also rewarding to watch students grow and gain confidence in their own talents and abilities.   My prior experience is both professional and academic. The start of my career was as a broadcast journalist, in radio and television; after several years doing that, I became a public relations executive in health care–at Kaiser Permanente and with Medicare and Medicaid agencies. My husband and I moved here to North Carolina to build a house (his lifelong dream) and for me to return to school to earn my PhD, which I did at UNC Chapel Hill.   In addition to my graduate degrees, I have a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism, an Emmy nomination for my television journalism, an award from the LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD for fair coverage of issues affecting the community while reporting in Atlanta, and several best-paper awards at academic conferences. [post_title] => Laura Marshall [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => laura-marshall [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-08-05 09:47:37 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-08-05 13:47:37 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.highpoint.edu/?p=97893 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => faculty-staff [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 97767 [post_author] => 53 [post_date] => 2021-06-03 16:16:57 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-06-03 20:16:57 [post_content] => John T. Mims, Chair of Strategic Communication and Assistant Professor of the Practice of Communication, has been a full-time assistant professor in the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication since 2016. In 2015, Mims served as an adjunct in both the School of Communication and the Earl N. Phillips School of Business teaching public relations and marketing classes.   Prior to joining High Point University, John had more than 20 years experience working in both corporate communication and agency communication. He has developed and implemented numerous strategic communication plans for large corporate clients and non-profit organizations. He is an expert in crisis communication and communicating using social media.   John worked with students to form Ascension336, a student-run communication agency that works with non-profit clients. He believes strongly in experiential learning and creates assignments that give students a realistic look at strategic communication.   John has a bachelor of arts in Journalism and Mass Communication from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MBA from Pfeiffer University. He is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America and served on the board of the local chapter. He and his wife Laura have three children. [post_title] => John Mims [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => john-mims [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-09-09 08:44:00 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-09-09 12:44:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.highpoint.edu/?p=97767 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => faculty-staff [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 97971 [post_author] => 53 [post_date] => 2021-06-03 16:20:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-06-03 20:20:31 [post_content] => Matt Ritter, Assistant Professor of Strategic Communication, joined the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication in 2013 first as an adjunct instructor and later as a strategic communication professor.   Dr. Ritter is a career professional-turned academic with more than 15 years of combined experience in digital media, public relations and advertising, teaching, and research.   An expert in media relations, Dr. Ritter tries to bring that expertise to the classroom. He is passionate about ensuring that students enter their careers prepared for the changing industry landscape. His research analyzes current media trends exploring the diminishing role of elite news media outlets.  In 2016 he published his master’s thesis, which analyzes whether or not public tornado warnings actually work. Other research includes an historical analysis of the development of the NBC Peacock logo pieced together from archive material found in industry magazines published in the 1960s and 1970s.   Dr. Ritter sees it as his duty to teach students to approach public relations as an ever-evolving industry where it often feels like cutting-edge can become obsolete almost overnight. He believes students learn best when they are told how to do something, given the tools to succeed, and are then set loose to explore for themselves.   Dr. Ritter returns to his alma mater, having completed his M.A. in Strategic Communication at High Point University. 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Qubein School of Communication in 2018 as an Assistant Professor of Strategic Communication. Her research focuses on health and learning implications of media in the lives of youth and families, as well as the ways that families and caregivers make decisions about media use. At HPU, Dr. Vaala teaches courses in research methods and health communication within the Strategic Communication undergraduate and masters programs and the Communication and Business Leadership program. She strives to teach her students the research tools at their disposal for answering intriguing and practical questions, and that “there is nothing more practical than a good theory” (Kurt Lewin).   Dr. Vaala completed her Ph.D. in Communication Studies at the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. As a graduate student, she worked on a research team funded by the “Ready to Learn” initiative which examined young children’s television-viewing and language learning. Following her graduate studies, she completed post-doctoral fellowships in industry and academia. Dr. Vaala is a Senior Fellow at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. She currently directs an undergraduate research scholar program at High Point University in partnership with the Cooney Center. 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Instructor of Strategic Communication
Dean and Professor of Strategic Communication
Assistant Professor of Strategic Communication
Chair, and Assistant Professor of Communication
Director of Communication Fellows, Assistant Professor of Strategic Communication
Assistant Professor of Strategic Communication
Assistant Professor of Strategic Communication
Instructor of Strategic Communication

Advertising, Public Relations, and Strategic Communication integrates the traditional practices of advertising, public relations, and health communication and is designed to help various kinds of organizations (for-profit corporations, healthcare, education, sports, government, social service, nonprofits, etc.) accomplish their goals. Courses in this sequence examine organizational challenges in areas such as marketing, employee relations, community relations, etc., and then draw upon communication and social science theories to find creative communication solutions to these problems. By drawing on a base of theoretical knowledge and developing students’ written and oral communication skills, this sequence prepares students to enter to enter public relations, advertising, or health communication, where they can work in either agencies or in organizations that have a formal communication function.

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Course Requirements 2021/2022
Bachelor of Arts in Advertising, Public Relations, and Strategic Communication
Minor in Advertising, Public Relations and Strategic Communication
Bachelor of Arts in Advertising, Public Relations, and Strategic Communication
Degree Requirements Credits
Major Requirements 56
University Core Requirements 50
Electives 22
Total 128
Minor in Advertising, Public Relations and Strategic Communication
Minor Requirements Credits
Course Requirements 20
Total 20
Requirements for B.A. in Advertising, Public Relations, and Strategic Communication
Requirements for Minor in Advertising, Public Relations and Strategic Communication
Requirements for B.A. in Advertising, Public Relations, and Strategic Communication
Course Course Title Credits
COM 1110 Human Communication 4
COM 1112 Audio and Video Software Packages 2
COM 1113 Graphic Software Packages 2
COM 1450 Media Law and Literacy 2
COM 3450 Media Law and Ethics 2
STC 2225 Foundations in Strategic Communication 4
STC 2260 Agency Practicum 2
STC 3305 Message Development for Government and Public Affairs 2
STC 3315 Message Development in Public Relations 2
STC 3325 Message Development in Advertising 2
STC 3335 Message Development for Health Communication 2
STC 3365 Persuasion and Crisis Analysis 2
STC 3385, COM 4998 Research and Analysis OR Research Methods (only open to students in BA to MA program in Strategic Communication) 4
SME 4345, MKT 4100 Social Media and Analytics or Social Media Marketing Strategy 4
STC 4415, COM 4997 Campaign Management OR Persuasion and Media Effects 4
Non-Major Requirement
ENG 2125 Introduction to Professional Writing 4
Choose 12 credits from the following list of courses:
ART 2050 Digital Art and Design 4
ART 3680 Digital Photography 4
BUA 2990 Business Communication and Professional Development 4
BUA 2991 International Business Communication 4
COM 2001 Techniques in Media Production 4
COM 2210 Persuasive Speaking 1*
COM 4444 Independent Study 1-4
COM 4811 Internship 4*
EMG 1200 Introduction to Experiential Event Management 4
EMG 2300 Event Operations 4
EMG 3200 Experiential Services Marketing and Sponsorship 4
ENG 2130 Professional Writing in the Medical Humanities 4
ENG 2135 Technical Writing 4
ENG 2140 Digital Writing for Social Action 4
ENG 2150 Writing About Science 4
ENT 2810 Dilemmas and Debates in Entrepreneurship 2
MPE 2011 Multi-Camera Production 4
JOU 2243 Reporting and Writing Across Platforms 4
JOU 2283 Multimedia Storytelling 4
JOU 3313 Feature Writing 4
JOU 3323 Copy Editing 4
JOU 3331 Video Journalism 4
JOU 3363 Opinion Writing 2
MGT 2220 Principles of Management and Organizational Behavior 4
MKT 2110 Principles of Marketing 4*
MKT 3180 Marketing Communications 4
MKT 3600 Sales in Dynamic Environments 4
MKT 3750 International Marketing 4
MPE 2221 Audio Production 4
MPE/GDS 3361 Motion Graphics 4
POP 2204 Media and Popular Culture 4
POP 3314 Visual Rhetoric and Design 4
POP 3414 Advertising and Consumer Culture 4
SME 4545 Applied Social Media 4
SPT 2256 Sport and Communication 4
STC 3355 Media Buying and Planning 2
STC 2260, STC 2265 Agency Practicum or Practicum in Publicity Methods 2
STC 2881, 3881, 4881 Special Topics 1-4
Course Descriptions
*These courses are recommended by the faculty of the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication.
Requirements for Minor in Advertising, Public Relations and Strategic Communication
Course Course Title Credits
COM 1113 Graphic Software Packages 2
ENG 2125 Introduction to Professional Writing 4
STC 2225 Foundations of Strategic Communication 4
Select 4 credits from the following list of courses:
STC 3305 Strategic Message Development for Government and Public Affairs 2
STC 3315 Strategic Message Development for Public Relations 2
STC 3325 Strategic Message Development for Advertising 2
STC 3335 Strategic Message Development for Health Communication 2
Select 6 credits from any additional STC course EXCEPT STC 2235. Public Relations Techniques.
STC 2260 Agency Practicum 2
STC 2265 Practicum in Publicity Methods 2
STC 3355 Media Buying and Planning 2
STC 3365 Persuasion and Crisis Analysis 2
STC 3385 Research and Analysis 4
STC/SME 4345 Social Media and Analytics 4
STC 4415 Campaign Management 4
STC 4444 Independent Study 1-4
STC 4545 Applied Social Media 4
Course Descriptions
Career Opportunities
Advertising, Public Relations, and Strategic Communication prepares graduates for a rewarding career as a corporate communicator, account executive at a public relations or advertising agency, a social media manager, a media buyer, or a public information officer. Students in the advertising, public relations and strategic communication program have also gone on to graduate school at places like Boston University, University of Georgia, and and University of Maryland.

High Point alumni are working in advertising and public relations agencies, radio and television stations and are producing corporate and theatrical media throughout the nation. A number of our graduates have gone on to earn Ph.D.’s in communication and other fields, while others have chosen to attend graduate and law school. Typical entry-level job titles include:
Student Outcomes
Hannah Gutenstein

  Name: Hannah Gutenstein Hometown: Salem, South Carolina Major: Strategic communication with minors in marketing and social media marketing Post-graduation plans: Gutenstein will be attending both the London School of Economics and Political Science in the United Kingdom, and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, for dual-degree programs with a Master’s of Science in…

Courtney Kerr
Upper Hand

With another successful Commencement behind us, High Point University graduates are commencing prestigious career paths around the world at Fortune 500 companies, international service programs, public school systems, top-tier law, medical and graduate school programs, and many other esteemed organizations thanks to their journey at HPU. Here’s a glimpse of one extraordinary senior from the…

Laney Badulis
Earl Swensson Associates

With another successful Commencement behind us, High Point University graduates are commencing prestigious career paths around the world at Fortune 500 companies, international service programs, public school systems, top-tier law, medical and graduate school programs, and many other esteemed organizations thanks to their journey at HPU. Here’s a glimpse of one extraordinary senior from the…

Ally Pratapas
Marzano Capital

With another successful Commencement behind us, High Point University graduates are commencing prestigious career paths around the world at Fortune 500 companies, international service programs, public school systems, top-tier law, medical and graduate school programs, and many other esteemed organizations thanks to their journey at HPU. Here’s a glimpse of one extraordinary senior from the…

Emmi Palenbaum

With another successful Commencement behind us, future High Point University graduates are commencing prestigious career paths around the world at Fortune 500 companies, international service programs, public school systems, top-tier law, medical and graduate school programs, and many other esteemed organizations thanks to their journey at HPU. Here’s a glimpse of one extraordinary senior from the…

Alexa Kummrow

With another successful Commencement behind us, future High Point University graduates are commencing prestigious career paths around the world at Fortune 500 companies, international service programs, public school systems, top-tier law, medical and graduate school programs, and many other esteemed organizations thanks to their journey at HPU. Here’s a glimpse of one extraordinary senior from the…

Niki Maragos
Octagon Sports & Entertainment Agency

Name: Niki Maragos Hometown: Portsmouth, New Hampshire Year: Class of 2020 Major: Communications with a focus in electronic media production Internship: Maragos worked with Octagon Sports & Entertainment Agency as the content intern in Stamford, Connecticut. She spent the summer working on projects for clients such as Intel, Anheuser Busch, Merrill Lynch, Delta and more….

Livy Beaner
Spectrum News

With another successful Commencement behind us, recent High Point University graduates are kicking off prestigious career paths around the world at Fortune 500 companies, international service programs, public school systems, top-tier law, medical and graduate school programs, and many other esteemed organizations thanks to their journey at HPU. Here’s a glimpse of one extraordinary senior…

Samantha Garrison
HBO

With a peak viewership of 43 million fans, the HBO fantasy drama “Game of Thrones” can easily be classified as an international phenomenon. And while millions of dedicated viewers can quickly recall where they were and how they felt during each long-awaited season premiere, very few can say that they were on a red carpet…

Mitch Rissmiller
NBC News - The Today Show

With another successful commencement behind us, High Point University seniors have kicked-off prestigious career paths around the world at Fortune 500 companies, international service programs, public school systems, top-tier law, medical and graduate school programs, and many other esteemed organizations thanks to their journey at HPU. Here’s a glimpse of one extraordinary senior from the…

Study Abroad
At High Point University, our emphasis on global perspectives is designed to provide students with opportunities to enhance their international awareness and to develop their cross-cultural communication skills. Study abroad is strongly encouraged as a part of this emphasis on global studies. With a variety of extraordinary options at some of the most prestigious universities in the world, students at High Point University are encouraged to study abroad as early as the summer after their freshman year. Employers are looking for more than just a degree; they want well-rounded individuals who have familiarity with diverse cultures, special skills, and knowledge of the world around them.
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