Dr. Beth E. Michalec is a West Virginia native and proud WVU alumna. She joined the College of Media’s faculty in Summer 2007 as an adjunct instructor and has taught multiple advertising and public relations courses online and on campus.
Dr. Michalec is currently a full-time faculty member and internship coordinator in the Corporate Communication Department at Penn State University Lehigh Valley (PSU-LV) located in Center Valley, PA. The Corporate Communication Degree Program at PSU-LV was recently ranked #10 in Niche’s 2020 listing of top communication programs in Pennsylvania.
Michalec earned her Ph.D. in Rhetoric in 2020 from Duquesne University’s Department of Communication & Rhetorical Studies. Her doctoral work included dual emphases in integrated marketing communications and the rhetoric and philosophy of technology, as well as a special interest in communication ethics. She has presented multiple single-authored papers at state, regional, national and international conferences, and her diverse research interests include corporate social responsibility, philanthrocapitalism, integrated marketing communication, social media, crisis management, and the ethical intersection of the public and private spheres of communication and innovation. Additionally, she has taught service-learning courses that combine academic instruction, community service, and reflective thinking to enhance student learning and civic engagement.
Prior to her career in academia, Michalec served as program manager and executive director of the Robert H. Mollohan Family Charitable Foundation, Inc. She also worked as an instructor at Bethany College in Bethany, WV, and Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA, and was an instructor and teaching assistant at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. Michalec has taught a variety of courses, including: public speaking, business and professional communication, advertising, public relations, communication ethics, risk and crisis management, and corporate communication at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
As a self-proclaimed lifelong learner, Michalec has a deep passion for international travel and learning from and within other cultures. She has worked to expose students to different cultures, ideas, and ways of living and communicating. In 2013, Michalec served as faculty-in-residence at Duquesne University’s Italian Campus in Rome, Italy. Among the highlights of that experience was sharing Pope Benedict XVI’s final General Audience with the intercultural communication students in Piazza San Pietro, as well as the white smoke and emergence of Pope Francis I at the conclusion of the papal conclave. In addition to the time spent embedded with students in Rome, Michalec accompanied students on several trips throughout Italy and to other places, notably Barcelona, Spain and Istanbul, Turkey. Since arriving at PSU-LV, Michalec has traveled with students as part of embedded, short-term study abroad courses to The Netherlands and Greece. Recently, Michalec was named a Fulbright Specialist and expects to spend a future semester working with Dr. Marjiana Grbesa, former visiting professor at PSU-LV, and colleagues at the University of Zagreb in Zagreb, Croatia. The Fulbright Specialist Program is a program of the U.S. Department of State with funding provided by the U.S. Government and administered by World Learning. The Fulbright Specialist Program sends U.S. faculty and professionals to serve as expert consultants on curriculum, faculty development, institutional planning, and related subjects at academic institutions abroad for a period of two-eight weeks.
Michalec earned bachelor’s degrees in Communication and English literature from Bethany College and a master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from WVU.