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Robertson School welcomes new faculty members

Jul 31, 2020

Posted in: News

Minhee Choi and Derek O'Leary

The Robertson School of Media and Culture is welcoming two new faculty members this fall semester. Dr. Minhee Choi will start as an assistant professor in the School's public relations sequence and Derek O'Leary as an instructor in the advertising sequence.

Choi is joining VCU from the University of South Carolina, where she earned her Ph.D. this spring. Her current research focuses on probing the effects of advocacy messages and communication strategies related to controversial social issues in social media on individuals’ perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors. She was the co-recipient of Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication Legacy Scholar Grant. She won the first-place Promising Professor Award from AEJMC as a graduate student. Her professional experience includes nonprofit public relations. Before academia, She worked internationally with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Korea University Business School (Please read a Q&A with Choi).

O'Leary has worked at several Richmond based agencies for the last nine years such as Barber Martin (now renamed Yebo), The Virginia Lottery, Big River, Storywerks and co-founded the design studio O’Fung Studios. He specialized in concept development, customer experience, social media and experiential marketing. He worked on Virginia Lottery’s Game Guy Social Media Refresh winner of the 2018 Virginia PR Awards Best in Show. He was chosen out of 15,000+ applicants to be a brand ambassador for the famous Oscar Mayer Wienermoblie representing the company across the country at events and national media hits. He earned his M.S in Art Direction from the VCU Brandcenter (Please read a Q&A with O'Leary).

Joshua Smith
Josh Smith

"We are very excited to have Minhee Choi and Derek O'Leary joining the Robertson School. Our students will greatly benefit from their research and professional expertise in our classrooms." said Director Dr. Marcus Messner. "I'd also like to congratulate our faculty member Josh Smith on being selected for a new tenure-track position." 

Robertson School faculty member Josh Smith will take on this new position this fall semester. Smith has worked in the School as a term instructor and as a term assistant professor since 2015. He was selected in a national search this spring for the new tenure-eligible assistant professor position in the School. He will also serve as the School's Director of Communications (Please read a Q&A with Smith).