Judy VanSlyke Turk, PhD, APR, Fellow PRSA, is Professor Emerita in the Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture (formerly the School of Mass Communications) at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). She retired from VCU as a professor of public relations in May 2013. During the 2014-2015 academic year, she was a visiting professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Florida International University (FIU). She maintains an association with FIU as a research fellow in the university’s Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication.
From March 2002 through June 2010, Turk was the VCU School’s director. Prior to joining VCU in March 2002, she was founding dean of the College of Communication and Media Sciences at Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates, a position she held for 2 and ½ years. Previously, she was dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of South Carolina, director of the journalism and mass communications program at Kent State University and a faculty member at the University of Oklahoma, Louisiana State University and Syracuse University.
Turk is past president of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communications and of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (AEJMC), the largest association of journalism faculty and administrators in the United States. She has held every elected position in AEJMC’s Educators Academy and Council of Divisions. She was president (2010-2012) of the Arab-U.S. Association of Communication Educators.
Turk has been involved for more than two decades with the national accreditation of journalism and mass communication academic programs, and was a member of the Accrediting Committee of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication from 2009-2012.
Turk is a past chair of the College of Fellows of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and is currently co-chair of the Fellows’ Educational Initiatives Committee.
Turk worked professionally for The Associated Press and in university and corporate public relations before beginning her academic career and was named Outstanding Public Relations Educator in 1992 by PRSA. In 2005, she received the Pathfinder Award from the Institute for Public Relations for her lifetime contributions of research, and in 2006, AEJMC recognized her as its “Outstanding Woman in Journalism Education.”
She was founding associate editor of Journalism Studies, an international refereed journal. She is a member of the editorial advisory board for Journal of Public Relations Research, Public Relations Journal, Public Relations Review and Journalism and Mass Communications Quarterly.
Turk is co-editor, with Jean Valin and John Paluszek, of Public Relations Case Studies From Around the World (Peter Lang, 2014), a collection of 17 global case studies that illustrate “best PR practices” in countries on every continent and in corporate, not-for-profit and governmental organizations. She also is co-author of This is PR: The Realities of Public Relations (Cengage/Wadsworth Publishing, now in its 11th edition).
She is a member, representing public relations educators, of the board of the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communication Management, a consortium of national public relations associations representing 130,000 practitioners around the world. She has chaired several Global Alliance research and education initiatives, including the Research Colloquium held in conjunction with the 2014 World Public Relations Forum in Madrid, Spain.
She has consulted and lectured on public relations and journalism/mass communications teaching and curriculum issues in Eastern Europe, the Newly Independent States, the Baltics, Russia, the Middle East and Asia.