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Erica Ciszek

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Assistant Professor


Dr. Erica Ciszek (PhD, University of Oregon) is an Assistant Professor in Integrated Strategic Communication. She is a New England native, hailing from Boston where she worked as a strategic analyst for Mullen Advertising and Public Relations. She has worked in strategic analytics, market research and has contributed to LGBT newspapers and magazines in New England.

Dr. Ciszek’s research is focused on the intersections of identity, communication, and technology and how organizations communicate with marginalized and minority populations. Her research has been published in peer reviewed journals, including Public Relations Review and the Journal of Public Relations. She has a chapter in the first ever book on LGBT issues in strategic communication.

Dr. Ciszek is a member of the International Communication Association (ICA) and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC).


  • PhD, University of Oregon, School of Journalism and Communication
  • MS, Boston University, College of Communication
  • BA, Colby College

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Research Interest

  • Critical/cultural approaches to strategic communication
  • Public relations
  • Activism, advocacy, & social justice
  • Social media & digital communications
  • Diversity & communication

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Teaching Interest

  • Principles Of Public Relations
  • Strategic Social Media
  • Research Methods
  • Nonprofit Public Relations
  • Strategic Planning And Campaigns
  • Communication & Diversity

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Selected Publications

  • Ciszek, E. (2017). Activist strategic communication for social change: A transnational case study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender activism. Journal of Communication.
  • Ciszek, E. (2017). Todo mejora en el ambiente: An analysis of digital LGBT activism in Mexico. Journal of Communication Inquiry. DOI: 0196859917712980.
  • Ciszek, E. (2017). Public relations, activism and identity: A cultural-economic examination of contemporary LGBT activism. Public Relations Review, DOI: 10.1016/j.pubrev.2017.01.005
  • Ciszek, E. (2017). Advocacy communication and social identity: An exploration of social media outreach. Journal of Homosexuality, DOI: 0.1080/00918369.2017.1293402
  • Ciszek, E. (2016). A corporate coming out: Crisis communication and engagement with LGBT publics. Case Studies in Strategic Communication, 5, article 5. Available online:
  • Ciszek, E. (2016). Digital activism: How social media and dissensus inform theory and practice. Public Relations Review, 42(2), 314–321. 
  • Ciszek, E. (2015). Bridging the gap: Mapping the relationship between activism and public relations. Public Relations Review, 41(4), 447-455. 
  • Ciszek, E. (2014). Cracks in the glass slipper: Does it really 'get better' for LGBTQ youth, or is it just another Cinderella story? Journal of Communication Inquiry, 38(4), 325-340. 

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Award and Honors

  • University of Oregon, Lokey Doctoral Scholarship (2013-2014)
  • Waterhouse Family Institute for the Study of Communication and Society Grant, Villanova University (2013)

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