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Meet Dr. María De Moya

María De Moya joins the Tombras School of Advertising & Public Relations in an endowed DE&I professorship. De Moya brings over 20 years of public relations experience with significant experience in diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Maria De Moya, PhD, Associate Professor

Before coming to The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, De Moya spent nine years at DePaul University as the Associate Professor of Communication, Associate Director of Regional Initiatives, Latin America, and Chair of the Public Relations and Advertising Program respectively.

There is much to learn about De Moya: Her journey in public relations, cultural experiences moving to Tennessee, teaching of DePaul University’s PRSA Bateman Case Study Competition team, and research

De Moya’s journey in public relations began at the Dominican Republic Catholic University, where she earned a bachelor’s in mass communication. She started her career working as a journalist, but found difficulty in her country working in the field. De Moya found opportunities at the U.S. Embassy working as a librarian and stumbled into public relations.

At New York University, De Moya earned her Master’s in Economic Reporting. Continuing her career, she earned a conjoined degree between the college of business and the college of journalism. Economic reporting, according to De Moya, was very fulfilling.  Satisfying her need to write and explain complex economic topics simply; one of the many skills needed in public relations.

Moving to DePaul University, De Moya spent nine years in an assortment of diversity roles and education programs, all while publishing research. One of the many complex topics in diversity she published is “Mentoring Students of Color.” There she discussed the complexities, lessons, and steps for being a selfless mentor.

Any mentor needs to understand the dynamics of preserving the student’s identity. Working with students who come from diverse backgrounds, listening is key. De Moya has written, “In every stage of their research, our students can explore how their ethnicity, race, class, gender, or other differences in their identity have influenced the design and/or direction of their research and teaching.”

The PRSA Bateman competition is a familiar contest known in public relations, and to De Moya. In 2014, 2016, and 2017 she taught De Paul’s Bateman competition team; all receiving honorable mentions. When asked if she would return to teach it again at UT, De Moya said, “I love teaching the Bateman competition, and it’s a lot of work. A lot of the lessons in public relations are learned on the go. I would be more than happy to teach it. At DePaul, the team precisely won the year I became chair. I am very proud of the work the students submitted.”

Tennessee is a long way from home if one isn’t from the south. Starting her journey from the Dominican Republic, De Moya is ready to fulfill the role of DE&I professorship at the Tombras School of Advertising & Public Relations. She’ll be a proud Vol in no time at all.

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