Texas Tech University

Debbie Davis

Assistant Professor of Practice & Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs
Public Relations & Strategic Communication Management

Email: debbie.davis@ttu.edu

Phone: +1.806.834.6207


Twitter: @DebbieDavisPR
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-debbie-davis/

Ed.D. (Higher Education) Ball State University
M.A. (Public Relations) Ball State University
B.A. (Journalism) Franklin College

View CV

Debbie Davis


Dr. Debbie Davis ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA, is an award-winning educator, communications practitioner and former TV news producer. To the classroom, she brings extensive experience in corporate communications for multiple Fortune 500 companies, including Eli Lilly and Anthem. She is an assistant professor of practice in the Department of Public Relations and Strategic Communication Management and advises/teaches the student-run agency, RaiderComm PR.

Her research interests focus on student-run agencies and PR pedagogy with articles published in the Journal of Public Relations Education and Journalism and Mass Communication Educator. Previously, she led Ball State University's nationally recognized undergraduate public-relations program and led PRSA CEPR re-certification efforts for both the undergraduate and graduate programs. She also served as faculty adviser to Cardinal Communications, one of the longest-operating student-run agencies in the nation. In 2016, she co-advised a collaboration of BSU and University of Indianapolis PR students who successfully hosted the PRSSA National Conference.

Her more than 20 years of professional public relations work also attest to her ability to span boundaries between the professional and academic public relations environments. Debbie's expertise in crisis communications and media relations has supported major product launches in the highly regulated pharmaceutical industry, garnered media coverage that favorably shaped public perception and policy in the insurance industry, and guided organizations through high-stakes strategic changes and business crises. Debbie oversaw the successful national PR launch of a life-changing medicine, won global attention for the world's first infertility procedure performed live on the Internet and helped guide advocacy efforts in a $20 billion merger.

Dr. Davis is involved in numerous organizations dedicated to public relations and the education of its future practitioners. She serves on the executive committees for both the College of Fellows and Educators Academy - as Co-Chair of Education Initiatives for the Fellows and as a director-at-large for EA. Debbie is the ethics chair/assembly delegate for the West Texas PRSA Chapter and serves as chair of an ad hoc committee on non-tenure track faculty for the AEJMC Public Relations Division.

She has received numerous local, regional and national awards, including twice being named Indianapolis IABCs Communicator of the Year. Debbie is accredited by both the International Association of Business Communicators and the Public Relations Society of America. In 2016, she was inducted into the prestigious College of Fellows, an honorary organization within PRSA comprised of more than 350 senior practitioners and educators, each of whom has left a significant footprint on the public relations profession.


My research primarily focuses on impact of student-run agencies and the scholarship of teaching and learning within public relations education.


  • Survey
  • Qualitative Interviews
  • Content Analysis

Research Areas

  • Student-run agencies
  • Public Relations Pedagogy
  • Faculty advising

Selected Publications

Ranta, J. A., Davis, D. A., Bush, L., Vincent, H. & Fondren, W. E. (2021). Student-run agencies: Replicating the professional agency experience to prepare budding practitioners. Journal of Public Relations Education 7(2).

Ranta, J. A., Davis, D., & Bergstrom, A. (2019). Career confidence: Fostering professional self-efficacy through student-run agencies and integrative learning. Journalism & Mass Communication Educator. 75(20), 196-209. DOI: /10.1177/1077695819884175

Davis, D. A., & Gilliland, R. A. (2017). PRSA Educators Academy National Conference, PRSA Educators Academy, Boston, MA, "The Pedagogy of Conference Planning”.

Ranta, J. & Davis, D. A. (2017). International Public Relations Research Conference, Orlando. “Fostering Self-Efficacy in Strategic Communications Through Student-Run Agencies: Equipping the Next Generation of Communicators”.

Davis, D. A., Wessel, R. D., (2016). NACADA National Conference, NACADA, Atlanta, “Student Perceptions of Faculty Academic Advising and Influence on Retention: A Study of First-Generation and Continuing-Generation College Students”.

Davis, D. A., (2016). International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, University of Illinois, "Guiding Future Public Relations Professionals: How Faculty Perceive Their Advising Styles for Student-Run Agencies".

Teaching Focus

  • Student-Run Agencies
  • Global Strategic Communication
  • Research Methods

Leadership & Awards

Dean's Award, “Outstanding Professionalism” College of Communication, Information, and Media, Ball State University 2016 Excellence in Teaching Award Finalist, Ball State University 2015 Best of Ball State, “Best Professor”, Ball State University 2015 Dean's Award, “Outstanding Teaching” College of Communication, Information, and Media, BSU 2014 Best of Ball State, “Best Professor”, 2nd place, Ball State University 2014 National Marketing Award of Excellence, Boy Scouts of America 2012 Omicron Delta Kappa, alumna citation, Franklin College 2010 National Marketing Award of Excellence, Boy Scouts of America 2010 National Marketing Award of Excellence, Boy Scouts of America 2009 Jackson/Sharpe Award, International Public Relations Research Conference 2009 National Marketing Award of Excellence, Boy Scouts of America 2008 Best of Blue – Public Affairs, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association 2005 Communicator of the Year, Indianapolis IABC Chapter 2004 and 2001 Keystone Award of Excellence for Crisis Communications, Indianapolis PRSA Chapter 2001 Round-up Award of Excellence for Crisis Communications, PRSA East Central District 2001 Round-up Award of Excellence for Media Relations, PRSA East Central District 2001 EPIC Award of Excellence for Media Relations, Indianapolis IABC Chapter 2000 Silver Quill Award of Excellence for Media Relations, IABC District 7 2000 Silver Quill Award of Merit for Crisis Communications, IABC District 7 2000 EPIC Award of Excellence for Crisis Communications, Indianapolis IABC Chapter 2000