Professor of the Month: Terry Hapney

Terry Hapney
Professor of public relations and journalism

School: Marshall University

Location: Huntington, West Virginia

Dr. Terry L. Hapney, Jr., tenured full professor of public relations and journalism in the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications in the College of Arts and Media at Marshall University, is a 30+ year journalism and mass communications scholar-practitioner who has worked professionally in public relations; marketing; advertising; radio; television; for newspapers; for magazines; as a university administrator; and as a public relations, journalism, communication, English, marketing, and advertising professor. 

Terry served as the chief integrated strategic communications administrator for a state university in Ohio for many years, and worked in a similar capacity for a large broadcasting company — at which his on-air work was named the highest-rated midday and evening radio shows in the market’s ratings. His many years at the public university in the “Buckeye State” found him in the roles of director of communications, assistant to four university presidents, and journalism/communication/English professor. 

Terry with his wife and children

Currently serving as the faculty adviser to MU’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter (one of the oldest chapters in the United States), Terry’s experience also includes a decade’s work as an adviser to a student newspaper at the university level, in addition to advising a college student radio group. 

Terry serves as a news anchor for a Tri-State radio broadcasting company, and a writer and columnist for newspapers and magazines in the southern Ohio, northeast Kentucky, and western West Virginia region. He hosts a weekly radio show on two radio station over-the-air signals — streaming live worldwide and offered through a podcast distributed internationally. 

Terry holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication (B.A.) from the University of Kentucky, a Master of Arts in journalism (M.A.J.) from Marshall University, and a Master of Arts in public relations (M.A.) from Kent State University; his Ph.D. is from the University of Dayton.

Terry was named “The Dr. Hal Shaver, APR: Public Relations Educator of the Year” by the West Virginia chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). His research is published in state, national, and international scholarly/peer-reviewed journals. Terry’s undergraduate and graduate students at MU have conducted many PRSA-award-winning campaigns for local and regional nonprofit organizations, raising a substantial amount of awareness and more than $150,000 for worthy causes. Awards include state PRSA Crystal Awards, regional PRSA Tribus Awards, as well as PRSA Diamond Awards (six-state region, including West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Michigan).

For nearly a quarter century, Terry has served as the broadcast coanchor for the Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Day Parade — the longest-running Memorial Day parade in the United States — carried via a live stream to people worldwide. He is also a long-time, active member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), having served as founder and president of the River Cities Chapter and secretary of the West Virginia Chapter.

Terry is a lifelong resident of the Tri-State area. He and his wife have two biological sons and a daughter they adopted from China. They reside on the banks of the Ohio River, along with their dogs and cats.

We asked Terry a few questions. His answers are below.


I use both the “PR Principles: Current. Proven. Practical.” e-textbook by Ward and Agozzino and the “Advertising: Selling in Today’s World” e-textbook by Sheehan and Russell in my JMC 330, Advertising and Public Relations Principles and Ethics course (mainly sophomores and juniors). I also use the “Market Research Essentials” e-textbook by Stromp and the Mimic Social simulation in my JMC 408/508, Research and Analytics course (for seniors and graduate students). While I have used many textbooks during my 27 years of college teaching, the Stukent resources are the BEST, and the support an instructor gets from Stukent is second to none. 


One big requirement in all of my classes is that students are an integral part of the discussion, meaning they are required to contribute to class discussions during each class session in a variety of ways. This expectation that they pick up the material we cover and apply it in a real-world scenario gives them the opportunity to better understand the content we cover. It also creates some wonderful classroom discussions with more depth. I emphasize portfolio building in all of my classes. My advertising and public relations undergraduate and graduate students carry out integrated strategic communications campaigns for a variety of nonprofit organizations in the Tri-State region of southern Ohio, northeast Kentucky, and western West Virginia. Therefore, they are helping a great cause, building their portfolios with research-based strategies and tactics used to implement their campaign plans and attain organizational goals through time-based and measurable objectives, and getting their bachelor’s and master’s degrees along the way. Their portfolios land them great jobs!

Dr. Hapney with his students after an ad-PR campaign event


I host a weekly gospel music radio show carried on an AM/FM simulcast radio station covering southern Ohio and northeast Kentucky. It also streams live worldwide, and is offered as a podcast. In addition, I am a news anchor on that station and two others owned by the same company. I also enjoy cheering on my alma maters — the University of Kentucky Wildcats, the Marshall University Thundering Herd, the Kent State University Golden Flashes, and the University of Dayton Flyers! 

Terry hosting his radio show




Thank you, Terry, and congratulations!

If you’d like to nominate someone for Professor of the Month, fill out our nomination form.

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