Deanna Pelfrey

Deanna Pelfrey

Deanna Pelfrey (she/her/hers) joined the public relations department in the S.I. Newhouse School  of Public Communications in Fall 2022 as an assistant teaching professor with more than twenty-five years of professional public relations agency practice experience and 13 years of university teaching. In 2022-2023 she taught undergraduate classes in Writing for Public Relations: Media and Messaging, Ethics for Advocacy and Bateman Campaign Competition along with a graduate class in Public Relations Writing for the Master of Arts in Public Diplomacy and Global Communications.

Prior to joining Syracuse University, Pelfrey was a senior lecturer and member of the full-time faculty for 13 years at the University of Florida (UF), College of Journalism and Communications (CJC), Public Relations Department.  She taught both undergraduate and graduate courses, including Public Relations Writing, International Public Relations, Principles of Public Relations, Public Relations Campaigns, and Bateman Public Relations Research as well as a graduate course, Public Relations Management.  She also taught Strategic Communication in Public Diplomacy at the UF Paris Research Center in France.

For 12 years she served as faculty advisor and coach of the UF Bateman Team which was named #1 in the nation in 2011 and 2014, #2 in the nation in 2012 and 2015 and in the top 15 teams every year from 2007 to 2019.

For six years, Pelfrey served as advisor to the UF Alpha Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) as well as Alpha Productions, a student run agency. The UF PRSSA Chapter was named #1 chapter in the nation in 2011 and hosted the National PRSSA Conference in Orlando for 1000 university students from across the nation that year.

In Madrid, Spain in 2010, Pelfrey led a UF CJC student-run agency team in a month-long communications effort on behalf of the UF College of Design, Construction and Planning; the communications team received First Place for Communications in the Solar Decathlon international university environmental design competition.

Prior to UF and for more than 25 years, Pelfrey was President/CEO of Pelfrey Associates, Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky; the firm served local, regional, national and international corporate and not-for-profit clients.  

Always active in community arts, education and cultural not-for-profit service, she has taken multiple leadership roles in the industry. For six years, she served as a member and was elected an officer of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) national board of directors; also, she twice chaired the PRSA International Interest Section. In 2000, Pelfrey was a founding member and chair of the international executive council of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management (Global Alliance), currently a collaborative of 78 national public relations associations representing 320,000 members worldwide.

From 2004 to 2010, she served on the national board of directors of the 92 World Affairs Councils of America (WACA) based in Washington, DC. As a member of a WACA ten-person leadership delegation, Pelfrey was invited by the European Union to Brussels for a week of executive-level briefings on international issues. From 2012 to 2015, she served as a member of the Professional Advisory Board at the University of Iowa.  And, she has served on the Editorial Review Board of the Best Practices in Public Relations and Communication Management: A Research Annual, Department of Communication, University of Maryland at College Park.

A frequent lecturer at professional conferences and on university campuses, Pelfrey has addressed, among others: the annual international conference of the Legal Netlink Alliance, a network of 85 international law firms; the Entertainment and Sports Law Society conference at the Levin College of Law, UF; the ABERJE (Brazilian Association of Business Communication) Conference; the United Nations Department of Public Information Communications Conference; and the international conferences of PRSA (USA), CPRS (Canada), PRISA (South Africa), IPR (United Kingdom) and CONFIARP (Latin America).

Pelfrey was recognized as UF Teacher of the Year in 2016 and received the UF Faculty Service Awards in 2012 and 2017. She was named UF International Educator of the Year 2009. In 2003 she received the national Patrick Jackson Award from the national Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). In 2004 she received the Loretta Richards Distinguished Alumni Award from her undergraduate university, Mount St. Joseph University. She was recognized in 2001 with the national PRSA President's Award for outstanding leadership in facilitating the formation of the Global Alliance.  

Pelfrey was elected to the UF Faculty Senate and for two years chaired the University Senate‚Äôs Council on Academic Freedom, Quality and Welfare.  She was appointed to the Advisory Council for the UF Center for Teaching Excellence. And, she was elected to the UF CJC Faculty Senate for multiple years and was chair in 2015-2016 and, again, in 2016-2017. 

Her experience is supported by a M.A. degree from Xavier University/Cincinnati and a B.A. degree from Mount St. Joseph University. At the University of Louisville, she did post graduate work focused on community development. In 1991 she was conferred Accredited Public Relations (APR) by PRSA and in 1997 was inducted into the PRSA College of Fellows.