Dr. Kathy Previs, associate professor of public relations in the Department of Communication at Eastern Kentucky University, will serve as the diversity and inclusion liaison for the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), representing the Thoroughbred Chapter of Lexington.
Her term for the position will be 2018-22.
“This is quite an honor,” Previs said. “A lot of progress has been made in the public relations field in terms of diversity and inclusion. However, like higher education, there is more work to be done. I look forward to working with organizations and business leaders in the Bluegrass region to ensure all groups are represented in the public relations profession.”
Previs, who served as the 2017 PRSA Thoroughbred Chapter president, joined the EKU faculty in 2008 and brings a variety of practical public relations experience to the classroom. She has worked for the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, the Virginia Film Office, an environmental consulting firm, and the First Amendment Center/Freedom Forum. Previs also spent several years working for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), in the Office of Commercial Programs, the Office of Space Flight, and later in the NASA History Office. There, she cultivated her research interests in addressing how issues and stories of science and technology are communicated to the public, and what role public relations has in those discourses. As a Guggenheim Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum in 2004, she was able to advance the research for her doctoral dissertation pertaining to the Apollo program.
In addition to science communication, Previs’ research interests are in health communication related to public relations campaigns, how public relations practitioners utilize social media platforms, and public relations ethics. She has published numerous articles pertaining to public relations practices and ethics, public relations pedagogy, social media, diversity, public opinion, presidential rhetoric, and representations of scientists in popular culture.Previs is the 2015 recipient of the Applegate Award for Excellence in Research. She taught at Charleston Southern University, Lipscomb University and Vanderbilt University before joining the public relations faculty at EKU.