Sonya DiPalma, Ph.D., APR

Associate Professor
306 Karpen Hall, CPO 2120

Office Hours

  • Tue: 

    • 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
  • Wed: 

    • 1 - 4 p.m.
  • Thu: 

    • 11:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Sonya DiPalma is assistant professor of public relations and a 2011 recipient of the Plank Center’s Fellowship for Educators, a program that brings practitioners and educators together bridging the gap between public relations education and practice. As part of her fellowship, Sonya spent time this summer at the national headquarters of the American Red Cross observing and interviewing public relations staff members about how they respond and monitor social media. Beyond social media monitoring, her primary research interests include framing theory, particularly shifts in the framing of an issue, and the use and effects of convergence and social interactive media within public relations. Sonya is one of 5,000 accredited public relations practitioners in the United States. Before transitioning into academia, her professional career included public relations positions in state government, a Fortune 500 energy company, and higher education administration. She is currently the advisor for PRADA, the student run Public Relations & Advertising Association on campus. 


  • Ph.D., Mass Communication, College of Communications, The Pennsylvania State University
  • M.S., Journalism, Perley isaac Reed School of Journalism, West Virginia University
  • B.A., Education, Speech, Theatre, and Journalism, Fairmont State College

Current Courses Taught

  • Media, Ethics & Society
  • Public Relations Writing & Production
  • Public Relations Crisis & Campaigns
  • Commercial Media Workshop
  • Advanced Commercial Media Workshop
  • Undergraduate Research
  • Social Media
  • Commercial Media Seminar