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Diana Knott Martinelli

Ph.D. (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) Associate Dean, Associate Professor, Widmeyer Professor in Public Relations

The first Widmeyer Professor in Public Relations, Dr. Diana Knott Martinelli returned home to WVU in fall 2005. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the WVU Reed College of Media and her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a Park Fellow.

She earned her doctorate after working for nearly 15 years in various public relations and communications positions, including those in broadcasting, health care and federal programs. She has served as associate dean of the college since 2011 and began serving as acting dean in July 2015.

Martinelli won university-wide teaching awards at both WVU and Ohio University, where she was on faculty prior to joining the Reed College of Media.
She is a member of the national journalism honorary Kappa Tau Alpha, a member of the prestigious Arthur W. Page Society, and serves on the advisory board for the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations at the University of Alabama. She has held national committee and/or officer positions in the Public Relations Society of America and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). In 2011 she was awarded the AEJMC Mass Communication and Society Distinguished Educator Award. Her work has been published in  Journalism StudiesPublic Relations ReviewJournalism HistoryNewspaper Research JournalJournal of Public RelationsPublic Relations Quarterly, and has appeared in numerous books, including  Citizenship & Participation in the Information AgeWords at War: The Civil War and American JournalismPolitical Public Relations: Principles and ApplicationsThe Foundations of Community JournalismThe Practice of Government Public Relations, and  Pathways to Public Relations: Histories of Practice and Profession.

Martinelli serves on the editorial boards of  Public Relations Journal and  Mass Communication and Society. She regularly gives public relations and communication seminars to government, professional and academic audiences and was selected for the Scripps Howard Academic Leadership Academy at LSU in 2013 and the Leadership West Virginia Class of 2012.