For seven years, from 2009 through summer, 2015, I taught public relations at Marylhurst University, with stints at Portland State University and the University of Montana. In many ways I felt called to teach, and enjoyed it enormously. At the University of Montana and at Portland State, the students were traditionally-aged college students, usually in their early 20s. At Marylhurst University, I taught mostly non-traditional, older working adults who had families at home. Across the spectrum, all students had difficulty paying tuition, and I taught at least one homeless student. There were other students struggling with PTSD, ADHD, and other disorders which needed some adjustments either online or in the classroom. But I echo all my teacher friends and colleagues in saying that the rewards in seeing students succeed, both in the classroom and professionally, are beyond measure. Staying friends with many of my former students is an ongoing pleasure.
Classes I taught included the following:
- Public Relations Principles – an overview class
- Basic Writing for the Media
- Advanced Writing for Strategic Communications
- PR Research
- Law and Ethics for Public Relations
- Case Studies
- Crisis Communications
- Social Media
- Basic Video Production
- Principles of Marketing – an overview class
Testimonials from former students:
“My writing is a thousand times stronger, my thinking is more critical, my ability to assess the best way to get information to the appropriate audiences is faster… the list goes on. And the mentorship and support I’ve received from Jeff, Kathy, and other instructors has been invaluable. .” Tami Wood, Community Lead at Jaguar Land Rover North America
“My bachelor’s degree in Communications and PR certificate gave me the fundamentals to complement my on-the-job training and military courses in journalism and public affairs. …The online classes allowed me flexibility to accommodate my son’s schedule. … I feel welcome back at any time and still maintain contact with my PR instructor. I now serve as a mentor for the PR students and enjoy giving back to the school that helped me succeed in a career I’m passionate about and that gives me financial stability.” Julie Paynter, Public Affairs Specialist – Bonneville Power Administration
“ I work in the School of Writing, Literature, and Film at Oregon State University now and the director has complimented my ability to word my faculty departmental emails well and in a way they are moved to act. I know that this is greatly due to my education at Marylhurst and is one of the reasons I received a job offer from them in the first place.
I also valued learning how to approach business decisions strategically, not strictly based on profits, but on how the communication through change, through crisis situations, and through critical decision making can impact people for good, or for worse within an organization. Timely, factual, and information based on an element of mutual trust – and the method in which the information is delivered is essential.
Also, I especially enjoyed working with you, Kathy, and Carolyn. Both of you are quite dedicated to your students, asking for a high-quality, well thought-out work on a consistent basis. Because of the strenuous revision process, I value constructive editing much more than when I started the certificate.” – Amelie Lambert Stoyer, School of Writing, Literature and Film, Oregon State University