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ADPR Alum Wins, Top Teaching Paper at AEJMC

Karen FreeburgMeet School of Advertising and Public Relations Alum: Karen Freberg, Ph.D.

Written by Kyungji Lee, MS Student in the School of Advertising & Public Relations

Karen Freberg graduated from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 2011 with a Ph.D. in Public Relations. Karen is internationally recognized expert in social media. Chris Strub, the editor of Digital storytelling and mobile live streaming video in Medium, named Dr. Freberg as one of the “100 micro-micro influencers”. Her websites (, and communication channels are popular content sites.

Dr. Freberg has had an amazing year in 2017!

First, Karen became a tenured Associate Professor of Strategic Communication at the University of Louisville. Karen teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in social media, public relations, crisis communication, and emerging technologies.

Second, Karen’s research has won national awards. Her paper entitled, “Developing a Blueprint for Social Media Pedagogy: Trials, Tribulations, and Best Practices” won 2nd place in the Top Teaching Papers at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) Annual Conference in Chicago. Her research was also recognized as the top downloaded article for Journal of Public Relations Education.

Third, Dr. Freberg has been elected the Chair of Public Relations Division at the National Communication Association. Karen takes on this leadership role beginning in November 2017. Karen will lead a 400-person division dedicated to public relations research.

Additionally, all faculty, staff, and graduate teaching assistants in University of Louisville nominated Dr. Freberg to the “faculty favorite for 2016-2017” for her positive impact as a professor, a mentor, and an advisor.

Dr. Palenchar, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Communication and Information at UT has said: “Karen was an excellent graduate student and is an even better associate professor. She represents our college and the School of Advertising and Public Relations very well in her research productivity, presentations at national and international conferences, and all the service she does for our discipline.”

Congratulations School of Advertising and Public Relations alum, Karen Freberg, Ph.D., for an outstanding 2017! Looking forward to even more awards in 2018!