Vanessa Murphree, Ph.D

Associate Professor

Vanessa Murphree, Ph.D., associate professor, teaches public relations and other mass media courses. Her research primarily focuses on the relationship between public relations and social change. She is the author of The Selling of Civil Rights: The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the use of Public Relations. Along with this 2006 book, which began as her dissertation at USM, she has written about the birth control movement, crisis communication, media relations and historical perspectives of public relations. The American Journalism Historians Association awarded her with a 2003 honorable mention for her dissertation and a 2005 award for "best American Journalism article."  After earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Alabama, Dr. Murphree pursued a career in public relations and advertising, working first as an advertising copywriter and then coordinating the communications component of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, a national medical organization based in Birmingham. She spent the next six years managing communications for the Center for Applied Environmental Public Health at Tulane University in New Orleans.

Dr. Murphree has served on the board of directors of the American Journalism Historians Association and the Mobile chapter of the Public Relations Council of Alabama. The state PRCA honored her as 2009 State Educator of the year.  Before joining the USM faculty, she served as an assistant and associate professor and graduate coordinator at the University of South Alabama and as an assistant professor and instructor at Loyola University New Orleans.