Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Bryan Reber

What led you to become a professor at Grady?
I was led to become a professor at Grady because of the PR program's super reputation. While I was in graduate school I read the published scholarship of all the people who are now my colleagues -- Acosta-Alzuru, Freimuth, Lariscy, Russell, Sallot, and Springston. I never really dreamed that I'd ever be part of such a superb faculty. And it's only improved since I arrived with the addition of Sweetser. The non-research faculty are equally impressive. Dr. Jones and Kristen Smith are just super colleagues. When I visited for my job interview, I also learned that the ADPR faculty likes and supports each other. We're colleagues and friends. I feel really lucky to be here. Also, I have to admit, Athens as a place to live was a real draw.

What do you teach?
Right now I'm teaching introduction to public relations, primarily. I also teach PR writing and administration. On the graduate level, I teach PR management and have taught public opinion.

What is the focus of your research?
Public relations. Anything in the public relations realm is fair game for me. Research areas that I do more work in are: power and influence in public relations, contingency theory, corporate public relations -- especially CSR, crisis management, public relations in activism, and use of public relations online.

What is your relationship with your students (undergraduate and graduate)?
I like teaching. I believe my relationships are probably stronger with graduate students than with undergrads just because of the nature of the interaction. When I work on research projects with grad students, I spend a lot of time thinking, planning, and writing with them so I feel more connected. I really enjoy teaching undergrads -- especially in smaller classes like writing or administration -- but I don't feel like I get to know them in the same way.

What do you do in your spare time?
I like eating out at Athens' great restaurants and listening to Athens music -- classical, bluegrass, folk, indie rock. I like working in the yard, cooking, traveling, reading, watching TV and movies, and hanging out with friends

What advice do you give to your students?
Public relations is a great field. There are so many opportunities. While you're in school, explore as many aspects of PR as you can through volunteering or internships or just networking with professionals. Those activities will help you know what direction you want to follow when you graduate. Work hard on being a strong writer. Exercise your strategic thinking. Grady PR graduates are in high demand because they are so smart and well prepared. You're in an exciting profession.

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