Our People

Headshot of Denise Bortree

Denise Bortree

dsb177@psu.edu

Associate Professor, Advertising/Public Relations
Director, Arthur W. Page Center

Denise Bortree is an associate professor in the department of advertising and public relations in the College of Communications at Penn State University and the director of the Arthur W. Page Center. She brings more than 10 years of industry experience to the position, including work as communications manager for two Fortune 500 companies. Bortree’s research focuses on sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and nonprofit communication. Her award-winning research has been published in over 25 peer-reviewed journal articles. She is a leading expert in volunteer communication, and her work on this topic led to her selection by the United Nations Volunteers to write for its State of the World’s Volunteerism study.  Her work at the Page Center has resulted in two co-edited books and a number of peer reviewed publications.

Bortree is the head of the public relations division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the largest division of public relations faculty in the world, and she is the  chair of the executive committee of the association/nonprofit section at the Public Relations Society of America.

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Headshot of <p>Lee</p> Ahern

Lee Ahern

laa182@psu.edu

Associate Professor, Advertising/Public Relations
Senior Research Fellow, Arthur W. Page Center
Project Manager, Sustainability Communications Initiative

Lee Ahern joined the faculty at Penn State in 2008 as an assistant professor, after a 20-year career in industry. Most recently he was marketing manager for an international custom publishing company, where he also oversaw development and implementation of all new media products. His Ph.D. and current research focus on environmental communications, applying empirical research and communications theory in the areas of persuasion, advertising, public relations and ethics. In particular, he has explored psychological effects and cognitive processing implications of different environmental message factors. In an international context, Ahern also studies the roles of culture and media system development on environmental attitudes and behaviors.

In 2007, Ahern received the Betsy Plank Graduate Student Research Award, which is presented annually at the Public Relations Society of America International Conference. He has presented multiple papers at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication annual conference.

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George Anghelcev

gua4@psu.edu

Associate Professor, Advertising/Public Relations
Senior Research Fellow, Arthur W. Page Center

George Anghelcev brings an array of international teaching and research experience to his position. He previously worked as assistant professor of advertising at Babes-Bolyai University (Romania) and was visiting lecturer at University of Nantes (France) and Eotvos Lorand University (Hungary). His industry experience highlights include working in strategic planning for Campbell-Mithun Advertising in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and for Romania’s Ministry of Public Information.

His research lies at the intersection of psychology and strategic communication. He studies how advertising can be used to promote ideas and social values in addition to products and brands. He has examined how emotions and mood influence psychological responses to advertisements in multiple social advertising domains (including public health, volunteering, environmental protection and the support of charitable organizations) as well as in the area of product and brand advertising. His most current research focuses on cultural differences in emotional and cognitive responses to environmental communication and public health advertising.

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Headshot of <p>Colleen</p> Connolly-Ahern

Colleen Connolly-Ahern

cuc15@psu.edu

Associate Professor , Advertising/Public Relations
Senior Research Fellow, Arthur W. Page Center

Colleen Connolly-Ahern brings a strong research background and a commitment to educating future public relations professionals to the Arthur W. Page Center. An associate professor in advertising/PR, Connolly-Ahern researches international political advertising and health communications. She also focuses on culture, media framing and media access in strategic communications.

She has been published in a wide range of peer-reviewed journals, including Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly; Journal of Public Relations Research (JPRR); and Communication, Culture and Critique. Connolly-Ahern is also former head of the Public Relations Division of AEJMC and a member of the editorial board of JPRR.

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Headshot of Marcia DiStaso

Marcia DiStaso

mwd10@psu.edu

Associate Professor, Advertising/Public Relations
Senior Research Fellow, Arthur W. Page Center

Marcia DiStaso is an associate professor in the department of advertising and public relations in the College of Communications at Penn State University. She is an Arthur W. Page Society member, chair of the Public Relations Society of America Educators Academy, research editor for the Institute for Public Relations Social Media Research Center, and a board member of the International Public Relations Research Conference. She has over 70 publications in journals, books, and in online outlets. She often presents on social media and public relations with over 80 presentations around the world. Her public relations campaigns have received national recognition winning: A 2013 Silver Anvil Award of Excellence, Hermes Creative Awards in 2013 and 2014, a 2013 MarCom Award, a 2014 Communitas Award, and was a 2013 IPRA Golden World Award finalist.

Her work at the Page Center has resulted in a co-edited book and a number of peer reviewed publications.

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Elaine Files

efs2@psu.edu

Coordinator of Research Administration, Staff

Elaine Files is the main contact person for the Arthur W. Page Center. She joined the College of Communications in December of 2012 after working 12 years in the University research administration area of Penn State. Her educational background in English and Business added to her 14 years in research administration has benefited her ability to help write and submit proposals and budgets for faculty. She assists faculty with the budgeting and monitoring of funded accounts for the College of Communications. Her past experience has helped to streamline the Grant process for the Legacy Scholar program in the Page Center. She has received an award for her excellence in customer service and facilitates collaboration between the faculty in her college and the university.

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Headshot of Michel M. Haigh

Michel M. Haigh

mmh25@psu.edu

Associate Professor, Advertising/Public Relations
Senior Research Fellow, Arthur W. Page Center

Michel M. Haigh brings a mix of practical and teaching experience to her position in the Department of Advertising/Public Relations. Haigh teaches the public relations writing, campaign courses, research methods and freshmen seminar. She has also taught Mass Comm and Society as part of the LEAP program.

She has authored more than 35 conference presentations, seven of which have been recognized with a "Top Paper" award, and published more than 30 articles. Haigh’s recent research examines how social media messages impact stakeholders’ perceptions of the organization – public relationships, corporate social responsibility, and future purchase intent. A Page Legacy grant examined how public relation practitioners handled negative, user-generated content. A more recent study examined how negative, user-generated content impacts stakeholders.

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Headshot of <p>Jonathan</p> <p>McVerry</p>

Jonathan McVerry

jfm171@psu.edu

Communications Strategist, Staff
Communications Strategist, Arthur W. Page Center

Jonathan McVerry is a communications strategist for the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication, a research center in Penn State’s College of Communications. He also teaches COMM 260W:News Writing and Reporting as an adjunct lecturer.

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