Pamela Harris


phPamela Harris
School of Journalism & Communication
Phone: 423.236.2728
Email: pharris@southern.edu

Pamela Maize Harris, PhD, APR, has taught at Southern Adventist University for 14 years. She was chair for six of those years then recruited by Walla Walla University to chair their Communications Department. Dr. Harris’s professional career includes being a

  • magazine editor,
  • newspaper editor,
  • investigative reporter,
  • photographer,
  • advertising consultant,
  • professional writer, 
  • drama director,
  • public relations consultant, and
  • freelance writer.

She has worked in corporate communication for a large health care financing company and consulted for several health care organizations. She was a strategic and research consultant for a $4 billion international nonprofit. She worked on issues related to viewership for media production, crisis communication, Internet and social media, branding and messaging.

Dr. Harris did broadcast production for the world’s largest marque’ automobile collectors’ club, feature writing, technical writing and photography. She joined the organization as head of special projects, editor of a monthly magazine, producer and scriptwriter for two video productions shot on-site at international conventions. She was responsible for recruiting and supervising talent for the productions, release and promotion of the product. She worked with Disney World on special projects and photo shoots.

Her doctoral degree in mass communication, journalism, information science, and public relations is from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Her master’s degree is from Vanderbilt University.          

Dr. Harris’s research, writing, publication editing, and poetry have won awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Insight magazine, the Associated Church Press, and the East Texas Advertising Association. She won the Research Award at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and her doctoral dissertation won the Doctoral Forum Award from the American Society for Information Science. Her research identified the earliest trigger for predicting issues that could explode into a national crisis through electronic media. Dr. Harris also won the MacDougall Competition for her legal research on newspapers and antitrust.

Dr. Harris’s additional research focuses on strategic use of the Internet and social media for influence and crisis prevention, and press coverage of civil rights pioneer Irene Morgan. Her research interests also include litigation public relations and apology. She is currently writing a book on tragedy, trauma and triumph. A second book on PR crises, “Duck, Delay, Deny,” is in the research stage. She is finishing a manuscript on Irene Morgan.

A university journalism educator since 1989, Dr. Harris has taught courses in public relations, advertising, family communication, advanced reporting, public speaking, gender communication, graduate and undergraduate research, health care communication, feature writing, journalism and mass media. She taught one of the first courses in the country about the internet.

She has directed and presented at week-long workshops in fundraising, freelance writing, and crisis communication. She has also directed dramas and plays including, “Up the Down Staircase,” “Twelve Angry Men,” “A Christmas Carol,” and “The Prodigal Son” among others. She taught speech and drama prior to coming to Southern.

She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America and holds the prestigious APR (Accreditation in Public Relations) from that organization. She has helped to start two professional chapters.

She has served as a writing judge, speech contest judge, judge for the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association’s newspaper literacy project, director of the graduate communication degree program at Andrews University, and as president of a national communications society.

Dr. Harris was inducted into the Phi Beta Mu, Kappa Tau Alpha, and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. She has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Education, Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities, and Who’s Who in the South and Southwest.

She served on the Church’s Media Board in Simi Valley, California, was elected to the Southern Union Executive Board, and was a delegate to the General Conference Session in Toronto, Canada. At the General Conference in St. Louis, Dr. Harris received the prestigious Bridge Award from the Communication Department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church for her contribution to communication education.

Dr. Harris’s work has been published in publications that include Insight, Liberty, Journal of Adventist Education, Adventist Review, Guide, The Legacy, Spectrum, and numerous regional newspapers and magazines.

At Southern, Dr. Harris serves as an advisor for the Southern Scholars and is an ordained elder at the Collegedale Seventh-day Adventist Church.

A professional organist, Dr. Harris is active in the Chattanooga Lookout chapter of the American Guild of Organists and serves on their executive board. She is involved in their Investment initiatives as a member of the Investment Committee. Dr. Harris collects old typewriters, old cameras, and textiles. She is an avid genealogist and user of social media. Her husband, Allen Dortch Harris, is a dental lab technician, and they have a daughter who attends Georgia Cumberland Academy.