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Rochelle Ford - Elon University. Elon, NC, US

Rochelle Ford Rochelle Ford

Dean of the School of Communications and Professor of Strategic Communications | Elon University


Rochelle Ford is one of the foremost experts in diversity and inclusion in the public relations, advertising, and communications industries.



Dr. Rochelle L. Ford, APR, is dean of the Elon University School of Communications and one of the foremost experts in diversity and inclusion in the public relations, advertising, and communications industries. She has led hundreds of presentations and conducted award-winning research funded by several organizations including the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Foundation, Carnegie Foundation, Plank Center for Leadership, and Arthur W. Page Society.

Prior to joining Elon, Dr. Ford served for four years as a professor and the chair of the Public Relations Department at the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, securing the PRWeek Education Program of the Year two years in a row. Through a provost faculty fellowship, she co-chaired the university's successful Middle States reaccreditation and initiated a university-wide required common first-year experience. Previously, Dr. Ford taught as a professor for 16 years at Howard University's School of Communications, where she served as the associate dean for research and academic affairs for six years and as the former director of the Preparing Future Journalism Faculty Program.

A 2018 PRWeek Hall of Fame inductee and Fulbright scholar, Dr. Ford has received numerous accolades including the PRSA National Capital Chapter’s Diversity Champion Award and PRSA’s National D. Parke Gibson Multiculturalism Award, among others. In 2014, she was inducted into the Arthur W. Page Society. A frequent contributor to several national publications including PR Tactics, Strategist and the New York Times, Dr. Ford has authored than 100 articles and four books.

Areas of Expertise (7)

Public Relations Pedagogy Public Relations First Year Experience, Higher Education Diversity Assessment Advertising Multicultural Communication



Rochelle Ford Publication Rochelle Ford Publication



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ENN: Interview with Rochelle Ford- New Dean of the School of Communications Season 5 Episode 10: Interview with Dean Rochelle Ford Dr. Rochelle Ford on Cheryl Procter Rogers' Leadership



Accomplishments (2)

Hall of Fame Inductee, PRWeek (professional)


Outstanding Education Program, PRWeek (professional)


Education (4)

Harvard University: Graduate Certificate, Higher Education Administration 2012

Southern Illinois University, Carbondale: Ph.D., Journalism 1999

University of Maryland College Park: M.A., Public Relations, Journalism 1995

Howard University: B.A., Journalism/Public Relations 1993

Media Appearances (8)

The PRWeek Podcast: Rochelle Ford

PRWeek  online


On the afternoon before the Evening for Elon event in New York City, Communications Dean Rochelle Ford made a guest appearance on the weekly PRWeek podcast. Joined by hosts Steven Barrett, PRWeek’s editorial director, and Frank Washkuch, PRWeek’s news director, Ford discussed a myriad of topics relating to the public relations industry and educating future professionals during the 35-minute interview.

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PRWeek U.S. honors six giants of the comms industry in its Hall of Fame Class of 2018

PRWeek  online


Rochelle Ford became dean of the School of Communications at Elon University this year after a long and storied career at Syracuse and Howard Universities.

She was chair and a tenured professor in the PR department of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, as well as provost faculty fellow. Under Ford’s leadership, the S.I. Newhouse PR department won PRWeek’s Education Program of the Year award for two consecutive years.

Prior to that, she spent 16 years in the School of Communications at Howard University in Washington, DC.

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A free press is essential to democracy, freedom

The Herald Sun  online


In this opinion column, Rochelle Ford, dean of the Elon School of Communications, touts the importance of engaging with the news on a regular basis.

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Meet Elon University's Rochelle Ford, newly named dean of the School of Communications

Triad Business Journal  online


A profile of Ford after she was named dean of the Elon University School of Communications.

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Where are black men in PR? At the Men of Color in Communications' first luncheon, apparently

PRWeek  online


PRWeek's web editor Perry Simpson attended the event and recalls the sense of "power" in the room, but wonders how PR can have a diversity problem amid such a gathering.

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The 'Angry Black Woman' Makes Real Women Angry

Ad Age  online


The article examines the negative imagery and stereotype of the "angry black woman," and includes Ford's insights into the issue.

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NBPRS: Black PR pros staying in the industry, but opting for nontraditional roles

PRWeek  online


The National Black Public Relations Society found in a recent report that the industry is making some progress on improving diversity, but it must extend that to senior positions.

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Journalists at NABJ Convention Discuss the State of Black Media

The Root  online


Black journalists have flocked to Boston for the 39th annual National Association of Black Journalists Convention & Career Fair, which is being held at Hynes Convention Center. It’s the first time NABJ has convened in the city once notorious for racial antagonism and tension.
Syracuse professor Rochelle Ford said that it’s imperative that black outlets communicate through the platforms their audience uses, which are largely mobile, but, she said, “Unfortunately, our media aren’t there,” notes WGBH.

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