[TEN]nessee Questions with Dr. Maureen Taylor
AS: Why did you want to come to the University of Tennessee Knoxville?
MT: It is one of the top Advertising and Public Relations programs in the country, and I wanted to be a part of it.
AS: Why did you choose this field of work [Public Relations]?
MT: I chose Public Relations because I value how relationships between organizations and publics create the foundation for society.
AS: What motivates you each morning?
MT: Knowing that I can make a difference in people’s lives. Whether they are here in Knoxville, in The United States, or around the world.
AS: Describe your teaching style/ philosophy?
MT: Professors need to be experts. They need to motivate students to be curious, and they should tie conceptual knowledge to practical application. [In my classes, I include lots of reading. I then apply the readings to real world situations.]
AS: How will your background and experiences strengthen this academic department?
MT: I will use my previous experience in mentoring junior faculty to help the junior faculty here at UT.
I will take my experience in research, and apply it to writing grants and supporting others who are writing grants and conducting research. And I will take my background in teaching and essentially help others in their teaching and prepare the next generation of Advertising and Public Relations professionals as they enter an incredibly complex profession.
AS: What are your current research interests?
MT: I Study how Public Relations contributes to Civil Society. Public Relations has an ability to build relationships and build understanding and it just doesn’t have to be used by for profit organizations. It can be used by any group… activists, bloggers, etc. Any group can use Public Relations to influence how society functions.
AS: What are two of your proudest professional accomplishments?
MT: I have been inducted in the Arthur S. Page Society, which is an executive level Public Relations and Strategic Communication group, made up of Fortune 100 Corporate Communication Officers. http://www.awpagesociety.com/author/taylorm/
The United States Agency of International Development and State Department [among other agencies] has asked me to conduct research on how Strategic Communication helps to rebuild societies emerging from conflict.
AS: What do you look forward to most about being here? What scares you?
MT: [With a huge smile on her face] I look forward to the people, more specifically the teachers, students, and faculty. I look forward to being apart of something great. Something that’s moving forward.
MT: [I wouldn’t say scares me], I think it is difficult to walk into an organization that has been in transition. I know that communication is important in every step, and listening is as important as talking.
AS: What advice do you have for our students?
MT: Students, take every opportunity to develop your conceptual knowledge and skills in your field of practice. Take outside classes, learn new computer programs, go into internships, and join student organizations around your professional practice.
AS: What do you want to be known for?
MT: “Dr. Taylor listens.” It’s that simple [three words.]