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Professor Deline joins School of Communication public relations faculty

image of Mary Beth Deline

Mary Beth Deline

The public relations program’s faculty grew by one this fall. Professor Mary Beth Deline, a native Canadian, joined the School of Communication (SoC) with a background that includes industry experience and post-doctoral work in public relations.

Deline earned her Ph.D. from Cornell in 2016, where her dissertation focused on internal public relations as people resist change campaigns in the workplace. After earning her doctorate, she got another education in breakfast tacos while at the University of Texas at Austin as a post-doctoral fellow. There she studied information-seeking and information-avoidance among community stakeholders in the context of artificial earthquakes.  

“I’m so excited to join the faculty at ISU’s School of Communication,” Deline said.

Deline completed a second post-doctoral assignment at the University of Iowa this past year, continuing her focus on information avoidance, this time in the context of water pollution and safety.

“I’m so excited to join the faculty at ISU’s School of Communication,” Deline said. “The School’s focus on engaged teaching and learning is so important to ensuring vibrant and resilient communities. I’ve only been here a month and already I feel a great fit among the students, my colleagues, and myself. Plus I live on a street named ‘Maple,’ and that’s perfect for this Canuck.”

Nonacademic experience is an important part of Deline’s background, just as it is among the other PR faculty. Between 2000 and 2008, she held various positions in the political field, principally in Canada’s government. Deline was an electronic media adviser for the National Liberal Research Bureau during Canada’s national parliamentary election in 2000 to 2001. She then was a writer for Canada’s prime minister for three years. After that assignment, she worked as a communication officer for Canada’s National Crime Prevention Strategy, focused on communicating crime prevention efforts, such as national anti-bullying campaigns. She then moved to Public Safety Canada where she helped develop and launch their first social marketing campaign devoted to encouraging Canadians to get emergency kits and plans.  

“I’m really enjoying getting to know Normal, and look forward to working with students at all levels,” said Deline.

“I’m really enjoying getting to know Normal, and look forward to working with students at all levels. I’m especially excited to be the new faculty adviser for ISU’s very strong PRSSA Chapter. Getting to know the School’s traditions, like the tailgate at ISU’s Homecoming football game and COM Week is going to be great.”

Any story ideas or general feedback? Please contact Pete Smudde at psmudde@ilstu.edu.

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