Dr. Michele R. Papakie, a 1993 alumna of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Journalism Department, returned in spring 2007 as a full-time, tenure-track faculty member. She brings with her 20 years of experience in journalism and public relations, and she is eager to share it all with her students. She became a research associate for the Mid-Atlantic Research and Training Institute for Community and Behavioral Health (MARTI) in 2013.
Papakie teaches Writing for Media, PR Presentation Making, Problem Solving in PR, Entertainment PR, Journalism and Mass Media and PR in the Public Sector. Each summer, she teaches a two-week workshop for high school students as part of IUP’s Summer Honors Program. Papakie serves as the faculty adviser to PRSSA- IUP, a student-run public relations firm, which is an official chapter of the international organization, Public Relations Student Society of America. She is a co-director of Reflective Practice, an active program within IUP’s Center for Teaching Excellence and also a co-adviser of IUP’s Veterans Organization. She serves on the Veterans Outreach Group at IUP and was recently named a Research Associate to MARTI in order to study Veteran reintegration issues as well as family risk and resiliency. Her service to APSCUF includes chairing the Student/Faculty Liaison Committee and serving on Legislative Assembly. In February, she was named President’s Associate for Strategic Visioning, where she will lead a team to discover various publics’ perceptions of IUP as the university moves into a new strategic visioning cycle.
Papakie is celebrating her 26th year of military service this year. She is a lieutenant colonel in the 171st Air Refueling Wing of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard. Although she has spent her entire career as a traditional guard member (reservist) in Pittsburgh, her service has taken her to at least 15 countries and more than half of the United States. She has served as the unit’s public affairs officer and equal opportunity officer, and she is currently serving as the unit’s inspector general. She served as the sexual assault prevention and response program manager for six months in Afghanistan in 2010 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
In her community, Papakie is serving a six-year term as a Brush Valley Township supervisor. She is a Paul Harris Fellow in Rotary International and attends weekly Indiana Midday Rotary Club meetings at St. Andrew’s Village. She is a Competent Communicator within Toastmasters International, and she is the public affairs/membership officer of the Indiana Chapter of TMI, which meets twice a month at Caffe Amadeus.
Her civilian work experience includes time spent in the following positions: reporter for Gateway Publications; client liaison for a strategic planning company; public relations coordinator for Chartiers Valley School District; public information officer for the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police; adjunct instructor of communications at Robert Morris University; and director of public affairs for California University of Pennsylvania.
Papakie earned her Master of Arts degree in regional planning at California University of Pennsylvania in 1996 and her Doctor of Science degree in communication and information systems from Robert Morris University in 2002.