People Directory

Bill Mahon

Senior Lecturer, Advertising/Public Relations, Journalism


Bill Mahon joined the College of Communications faculty in January 2013 after working in Penn State's Office of University Relations for 28 years, most recently as vice president for university relations. He teaches courses focused on public relations and journalism.

In addition, Mahon consults internationally on strategic communications issues with both commercial and non-profit organizations.  He has written two online courses focused on strategic communications.

Mahon began his career in newspapers working as a reporter and editor. He joined Penn State in 1984, first as an assistant manager and then as director of the Department of Public Information. In 2001, he was named assistant vice president for University Relations and he was appointed vice president in 2007.

In his role as vice president, Mahon was responsible for internal and external communications. During his tenure, Penn State earned a reputation among its peer institutions for its creative use of technology and its use of market research to inform decision making and messaging. Penn State was one of the first schools in American higher education to creat a marketing department and has been a pioneer in the use of marketing research.

Under Mahon it was also one of the first universities to establish branded Facebook and YouTube sites, and one of the first to embrace the use of Twitter, Tumblr and other social media platforms. In addtion, under Mahon's direction Penn State launched the first university digital news service in 1988, the Penn State Newswire. Today the Newswire system distributes between 600-800 Penn State stories monthly to more than 500,000 subscribers from 100-plus countries. 


  • Crisis Communication
  • Public Relations
  • Use Of Social Media And New Communications Platforms