Michael Smith, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Communication, Strategic Communication
Communication Center 223

If it has strings, Mike Smith can play it, and he has been playing music since he was in seventh grade. In addition to music, Mike is passionate about running, public relations, teaching, and his family.

Mike teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in public relations, organizational communication, and conflict. PR and teaching are part of a “family business” for him—his dad was a long-time PR pro, and there are many teachers on his mother’s side of the family.

Mike has been honored as a Distinguished Lasallian Educator, and he was recognized with the Anthony Fulginiti Award for his dedication and commitment to education by the Philadelphia chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).

Areas of Expertise

  • Public Relations and Activism
  • Public Relations and Community
  • Public Relations teaching


  • Ph.D., Purdue University
  • M.S., Administration, M.A., Communication, Central Michigan University
  • B.A.A., Public Relations & Communication, Central Michigan University


  • Approaches to Public Relations
  • Approaches to Organizational Communication
  • Communication Conflict Management



 with Denise P. Ferguson (2012) “No Frackin’ Way: Activism in the Marcellus Shale Region.” In Goralski, M.A. (Ed.), Business Research Yearbook. International Association of Business Disciplines.

 with Terry L. Retner, Jennifer L. Wood, and Garry R. Nolan, (2012). “Service-learning in the Public Relations Curriculum.” In DeSanto, B.J. & Sallott, L.M. (Eds.) Learning to Teach Public Relations. New York: Public Relations Society of Americas Educator’s Academy.

— with Denise P. Ferguson (2010) “Activism 2.0” in Heath, R.L.,The Sage Handbook of Public Relations. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage.


“The Balance of Benefits in Community Relations Programs: An Analysis of PRSA Silver-Anvil Award Winners.” Paper presented to the National Communication Association PR Division, New Orleans, 2011.

“Empowering Students in the Agency-Partner Relationship: Service-Learning in the PR Management Course.” Paper presented to the Eastern Communication Association Instructional Communication Division, Arlington, VA, 2011.


  • B.A. Central Michigan University
  • M.A. Central Michigan University
  • Ph.D. Purdue University