New Harrington Professor Diamond Highly Values Interdisciplinary Approaches

by Evan McAlice

With the fall semester at the University of Rhode Island in full swing, we are excited to introduce Dr. Emily Diamond, a recent Ph. D. graduate from Duke University who joins us with a joint-appointment in both Marine Affairs and Communications Studies. Diamond earned her Ph. D. in Environmental Policy in 2019, focusing on political science and environmental communication. Her passion for environmental communication and diplomacy was developed through her years of experience working as a Human Capital Consultant with Deloitte Consulting in Atlanta, Georgia. There, she would work with numerous Fortune 500 companies to develop strategies for engaging people with sustainability efforts these companies would implement.  Diamond discovered how she loved the way communication impacts policy. “So,” Diamond states, “I decided to pursue a Ph.D. in environmental policy but with a focus on understanding how people develop their attitudes towards environmental issues and how communication impacts the way that they form these attitudes and the way that people feel about environmental protection”

    Having been raised in upstate New York, Diamond is eager to be back up north after spending the last fifteen years in the southeast United States, treating this experience as somewhat of a “homecoming” for her. Diamond is already impressed with URI’s commitment to interdisciplinarity — which is one of the many things that initially attracted her to URI. As someone who is very committed to the idea of interdisciplinarity, being joint-appointed in both Marine Affairs and Communications Studies, Diamond finds herself excited by the number of different disciplines students are involved in around campus. “Students at URI don’t seem to be afraid to step out of the little box that academia can often put people in to get things done and ask big questions”, she says. It’s this type of interdisciplinary thinking and research that Diamond hopes to apply to the classroom.

    Diamond also seeks to apply her years of experience in the business world into the classroom, hoping to give her students a behind-the-scenes look into a career in communications. While working in corporate America with Deloitte Consulting developing change management strategies for many massive corporations, Diamond says that she learned the value of communication and its impact on the way people view certain policies. She states, “Within the corporate communications world, the way that your communication about things can really make or break a major change that you’re trying to implement”.

    For Diamond, the name of the game is professionalism. She hopes that her classes, as well as the Harrington School, will help students focus on building a sense of professionalism that will help them succeed at landing jobs in their desired fields. Thriving both inside and outside the classroom is something that Diamond strives for her students to achieve, and she hopes that these students will one day go on to become shining examples of the level of excellence URI has to offer. “I want people to not only be top competitors for jobs in the communication industry but when they hire them, I want them to be blown away by how professional and well-prepared the Harrington School students are,” she says. Additionally, Diamond hopes that students will begin taking more of an interest in interdisciplinary studies, as well as hoping to strengthen the connections between the Harrington School and Marine Affairs. “I think there’s a lot of potential there to start to develop some more muscle and power in the world of environmental communications, and I think that Harrington can start to be a leader in that”.