Associate Professor of Public Relations
Colleen Lemza is an associate professor in the public relations program, where she teaches introductory and advanced courses in public relations. She serves as faculty adviser to the award winning student-run PR agency, Cardinal PR. She is also the founder of the Shine On! conference designed to build resiliency in elementary school girls. With more than a decade in the corporate world handling various facets of public relations for International Paper, her experience covers crisis communication, labor relations, employee relations, building cohesive community partnerships, large-scale event planning, and public affairs and environmental lobbying. Lemza has launched a small business of her own and enjoys sharing the trials and tribulations of being an entrepreneur as examples for her students.
Prof. Lemza’s research interests have included the use of social media as an election tool in rural politics and the use of social media in rural small businesses. Currently she’s researching the effect of character traits, including how increased resiliency reduces negative behaviors in adolescent girls and the correlation of character and success in business. Lemza is actively engaged in the community, serving on several community boards. She holds a Master’s in Public Relations from the Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University as well as a second Master’s degree in mental health counseling from SUNY Plattsburgh. Lemza and her husband have three children, a golden retriever and two cats.