We are excited to welcome Dr. Hollie Smith to the Harrington School’s Public Relations program! She joins our faculty as an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies where her interests in teaching and research will shine.
“The University of Rhode Island and the Harrington School seemed like a perfect fit for my background and interests. I love teaching Public Relations and preparing students for careers through socially engaged curriculum,” said Smith. “The Harrington School’s focus on engaged learning and professional experience aligns with my teaching philosophy and approach to education.” On top of that, Smith will be able to incorporate her research, which fits well with the school’s approach to interdisciplinary research. This will allow her to continue her work on wind energy adoption in the Northeast.
During her undergraduate experience, Smith applied her love of writing to attaining a degree in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. She jumped right into the field during college, with part-time jobs in the Journalism and Public Relations industries where she fell in love with the work. “I really enjoyed meeting so many interesting people and learning new things everyday.” Following graduation, she worked as an editor and journalist and became involved in community outreach and public relations efforts for hospitals and educational organizations in her community.
After working for a couple of years, Smith made the decision to go back to school and attain her MA in Communication from Washington State University and a PhD in Communication from the University of Maine. During her time as a graduate student, she taught Media Writing, PR Campaigns, Mass Media Theory, and Environmental Communication.
While she was at the University of Maine, Smith was a research fellow under an interdisciplinary National Science Foundation grant. Her dissertation focused on the intersections of science, media, and policy. “I have a deep interest in environmental issues and used wind energy in the Northeastern US as a focal point to study these intersections,” Smith said. “I studied media coverage, political regulation, and the use of science in decision-making as they related to wind energy in the state of Maine.”
As Smith joins the Harrington School, she is honored and excited to teach and help her students learn. “The PR program is already doing great work to prepare students for careers in a variety of fields, and I’m excited to help the program grow even more.” Smith is looking forward to working with everyone in the Harrington School community, including students, faculty, and external partners.
Smith brings the innovation, creative thinking, and interdisciplinary approach to teaching and her research that the Harrington School represents. Regina Bell, PR program, states, “I am thrilled to welcome Dr. Smith as she will add another dimension to our PR Program; environmental communication.”
Advice to Harrington School students
“The best advice I ever received was that your career starts with your education. If you literally think of school as a job, show up on time, and make the most of all the work you do, you can grow immensely and gain important skills. I think it’s important to remember that classmates, faculty members, and organizations that you work with might one day be the very network of people who help you succeed in a career.”