Assistant Professor of Communication, Eastern Kentucky University
Ph.D. Communication (The Ohio University)
Dr. Kathy Previs earned a Ph.D. in Communication from The Ohio University’s E.W. Scripts College of Communication in 2007. She has an M.S. in Mass Communication from Middle Tennessee State University (2000), and holds a B.A. (1988) from Virginia Tech in Communication Studies, with an emphasis in Public Relations. She also earned a certificate from the Contemporary History Institute at The Ohio University (2004).
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 dissertation pertaining to the Apollo program. Her research interest is how governments use public relations not only to communicate with its publics, but also to persuade citizenry to take action or change or reinforce beliefs, particularly using social media as a communication tool. She has published and presented research pertaining to public relations, social media, public opinion, presidential rhetoric, and representations of scientists in popular culture.
She brings a variety of practical public relations experience to the classroom. After graduating from Virginia Tech in 1988, she worked at the Virginia Film Office at the Virginia Department of Economic Development, and then relocated to Washington, D.C. where she worked at 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 addressing how issues and stories of science and technology are communicated to the public, and what role public relations has in those discourses.
Dr. Previs has also worked for an environmental consulting company, the First Amendment Center/Freedom Forum in Nashville, TN, and has taught at Charleston (SC) Southern University, Lipscomb University, and Vanderbilt University. She is currently Professor of Communication at Eastern Kentucky University where she teaches public relations, campaigns, advertising, social media, research methods, crisis communication and sport communication. Dr. Previs is very excited to be a member of the Integrated Marketing Communications program at West Virginia University!
When she is not researching, writing or grading papers, you will find Dr. Previs on a bicycle trail, swimming laps, or watching the New York Yankees. She and her husband enjoy traveling with and showing their champion Dalmatians.