Dr. Elizabeth Toth, 2012 Educator Honoree

Elizabeth L. Toth, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, joined the Department of Communication of the University of Maryland, College Park, in the fall of 2004.

Toth has co-authored Women and Public Relations: How Gender Influences Practice and Public Relations: The Profession and the Practice.  She edited The Future of Excellence in Public Relations and Communication Management: Challenges for the Next Generation.  She co-edited The Velvet Ghetto: The Increasing Numbers of Women in Public Relations, Beyond the Velvet Ghetto, The Gender Challenge to Media: Diverse Voices from the Field, Rhetorical and Critical Approaches to Public Relations and Rhetorical and Critical Approaches to Public Relations II.

Toth edited the Journal of Public Relations Research for six years.  She served as associate editor for Journalism Studies, an international journal. Her co-edited book Rhetorical and Critical Approaches to Public Relations won the NCA PRIDE Award.  She has published over 100 articles, book chapters, and papers. She received the 1998 $2000 Institute for Public Relations Pathfinder Award for her research on gender issues and public relations. She received the 2000 Jackson, Jackson & Wagner $1000 Behavioral Science Prize from the Public Relations Society of America. She received the 1983 national PRSSA Outstanding Advisor (Frederick Tehan) Award.  In 1994, she received PRSA’s Outstanding Educator Award.  In 2007, she received the PRSA National Capital Chapter’s Diversity Champion Award.  In 2010, she was selected for the PRSA College of Fellows. She holds a B.A. in Speech from Northwestern University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Communication from Purdue University.

Toth chaired the PR Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.  She chaired the AEJMC Standing Committee on Research and chaired the AEJMC Publications Committee.  She also chaired the Educators Academy of the Public Relations Society of America and the PR Division of the International Communication Association.  She advised three PRSSA chapters.

She was elected vice-president of the Association for Journalism and Mass Communication and will serve as its president in 2014.

Toth chaired the PRSA Commission on Work, Life, and Gender Issues and was a member of the PRSA Foundation.  She served on the Institute for Public Relations Board.  She is a member of the Commission on Public Relations Education.  She is an elected member of the Arthur Page Society.

Toth has taught distance-learning courses for the S.I. Newhouse School’s Master’s in Communication Management and the Master of Science in Communication Management Program, University of Lugano, Switzerland. She has also lectured in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Brazil, and Beijing and done educational consulting in Hong Kong, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, UAE.

Prior to 2004, Toth was associate dean for academic affairs, chair of the public relations department, and full professor of public relations at the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

She previously taught at Southern Methodist University and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

Her eight years of professional experience were in government relations.  She was a community relations officer for the City of Charlotte, North Carolina and a public information officer for the State of North Carolina’s Coastal Management Program.

She was principal investigator of a $21,000 grant from the PRSA Foundation to study the status of public relations master’s education in the United States.

Toth has been the major advisor for 18 master’s theses and 9 doctoral dissertations.  Among her doctoral advisees, Dr. Linda Aldoory is the endowed director and associate professor of the Herschel S. Horowitz Center for Health Literacy at the University of Maryland.  Dr. Brenda J. Wrigley is associate professor at Syracuse University.  Her other former doctoral students are assistant professors at McMaster’s University (Canada), Purdue University, San Diego State University, John Stockton College of New Jersey, Monclair State University, and St. Louis University.

Toth created the Syracuse University S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications Future Professoriate Program, a mentoring and teaching seminar for doctoral students and new faculty to the school.

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