The graduation ceremony for the Department of Journalism featured guest speaker Michele Papakie ’93,
a Journalism professor and a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force.
Currently serving in a six-month deployment in Afghanistan, Papakie’s speech was viewed over the Internet by thirty graduating students at the May 9, 2010, ceremony. The full video of Papakie’s graduation speech is available on YouTube.
Originally from the Pittsburgh suburb of Allison Park, Michele Papakie came to IUP in 1986 as a graduate of South Fayette High School. She graduated in 1993 and subsequently worked as a reporter for Gateway Publications in the Pittsburgh area; as a liaison
for a strategic planning company; as public relations coordinator for the Chartiers Valley School District; as public information officer for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police; as an adjunct instructor at Robert Morris University; and as director of
public affairs for California University of Pennsylvania.
Papakie holds a master’s degree in regional planning and a doctorate in communication and information systems.
Starting from her freshman year at IUP, Papakie has served with the Pennsylvania Air National Guard 171st Air Refueling Wing, and has risen to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Air Force.