Dr. Suzanne Horsley


J. Suzanne Horsley, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Advertising and Public Relations.

Her research interests focus on crisis and disaster communication, government public affairs, and the history of women in public relations. She has published in the Journal of Public Relations Research, International Journal of Strategic Communication, Journal of Applied Communication Research, Journal of Communication Management, and Journal of Business and Technical Communication. She also has published book chapters in Women’s Use of Public Relations for Progressive-Era Reform: Rousing the Conscience of a Nation,and in the forthcoming Handbook of Crisis Communication.

Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Alabama, Dr. Horsley taught for three years at the University of Utah. She has taught a variety of courses including Introduction to Public Relations, Public Relations Campaigns, Public Relations Writing, Public Relations Cases, Crisis Communication, News Writing, and a graduate seminar in Qualitative Methods. She also has taught for the graduate certificate program in Community Preparedness and Disaster Management for UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Public Health.

Dr. Horsley worked in public relations for 10 years in Virginia, primarily in state government, before she began her academic career. She earned degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Ph.D., Mass Communication), Virginia Commonwealth University (M.S., Mass Communication), and Mary Washington College (B.A., English). She also serves as a disaster public affairs volunteer with the American Red Cross.

Our Mission

The Plank Center’s mission is to help develop and recognize outstanding diverse public relations leaders, role models and mentors to advance ethical public relations in an evolving, global society. The Center works to achieve its mission by:

Advancing knowledge of leadership values and skills in the profession;

Supporting research, teaching, service, and professional educational efforts that help develop diverse, responsible and trustworthy leaders;

Bridging the interests and vision of the practice and education; and

Collaborating with other groups and associations to nurture the ethical and effective practice of public relations.