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Diana Knott Martinelli

Dean, Associate Professor, Widmeyer Professor in Public Relations

Ph.D. (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Dr. Diana Knott Martinelli was named dean of the College of Media in 2019, after serving as the College's associate dean for eight years and as acting dean of the College of Media from 2015-2016.

She earned both her bachelor's and master's degree from the former WVU P.I. Reed School of Journalism and returned to WVU in fall 2005 as the first Widmeyer Professor in Public Relations.

She earned her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a Park Fellow, after working for nearly 15 years in various public relations and communications positions, including those in broadcasting, health care and federal programs. 

Under Martinelli’s leadership, the College of Media has received full reaccreditation from the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and earned the Certification for Education in Public Relations in 2018, making it one of only 39 certified programs internationally and the only one in West Virginia.

She has helped facilitate the development of new interdisciplinary majors and has received university-wide teaching awards at both WVU and at Ohio University, where she was previously on faculty. In 2013, she was selected to be one of 17 participants in the Scripps Howard Academic Leadership Academy at Louisiana State University, and in 2017, she represented WVU as a Big 12 Faculty Fellow at the University of Oklahoma.

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 Leadership West Virginia Class of 2012.