Chair, Department of Public Relations and Strategic Communication
Director of Public Relations Programs
Associate Professor of Public Relations
Carolyn Mae Kim, Ph.D., APR, is an award winning scholar, educator and public relations (PR) professional. She currently serves as an assistant professor at Biola University and she has a background working with global charities and national non-profits, developing creative PR and marketing campaigns. Her research interests include credibility, digital strategy, social media and PR education.
Professor Kim’s research has been published in several journals and her book, Social Media Campaigns, launched in July of 2016. Her research on PR education and social media has also been presented nationally, receiving recognition such as the first place teaching paper award from the Public Relations Division of the Association of Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication in 2015, and third place in 2016. She is an Accredited Public Relations (APR) professional and a speaker who regularly addresses audiences on the topics of social media, credibility and digital communication.
Her teaching has gained national attention, receiving the Ginger Rudeseal Carter Miller Teacher of the Year in 2014 from the Association of Educators in Journalism & Mass Communication (AEJMC) Small Programs Interest Group due to her effective engagement in the classroom and innovative teaching projects. In addition, she was a 2015 Great Ideas for Teacher Competition (GIFT) finalist. Some of the courses she designed include "PR Leadership and Advanced Campaign Design"; "PR Management, Philosophy, and Ethics; Social Media, SEO, and Digital Strategy"; "Journalism & PR Research Methods"; and "Crisis Public Relations."
Maintaining an active role in the profession, Professor Kim has served in numerous leadership roles within the industry. She is the chief research editor for the Institute for Public Relation’s Digital Media Research Center. In addition, she is an active member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and also engaged with the local Orange County PRSA Chapter, where she served on the board of directors for three years. She has held leadership positions in PRSA’s Educators Academy executive committee, the Association of Educators in Journalism and Mass Communications (AEJMC) Public Relations Division, and AEJMC’s Small Program Interest Group. She was selected by the Arthur W. Page Center as a Legacy Scholar to help develop an online ethics curriculum, worked with the PRSA in creating the online training program for the Certificate in Principles of Public Relations, and served as a co-chair for one of the chapters from the 2017 Commission on Public Relations Education report focusing on standards in public relations programs.
During her time at Biola University, Professor Kim designed and launched the PR major, with the number of students in the program doubling under her leadership. Through her mentorship, an award-winning, student-run firm was launched which received national affiliation within two years. She also worked with the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) Biola chapter to help them grow from 3 active students to over thirty. In addition, she helped the chapter have an officer serving on the PRSSA National Committee for four consecutive years, a first in Biola University’s history for the program. She also launched a PR honors program, PR Fellows.
Identifying her significant contributions to the profession, the Orange County PRSA Chapter presented her with the Distinguished Service award in 2016. In addition, recognizing of her work to rebuild the PR program at Biola, she received the Award of Excellence at the prestigious Silver Anvil ceremony for the Public Relations Society of America in 2016, as well as a PROTOS award from the Orange County Public Relations Society of America (OC PRSA) in 2015 and the Award of Excellence for Community Relations and Institutional Programs in 2012 from OC PRSA.
Professor Kim received her Ph.D. in communication from Regent University, writing her dissertation on organizational credibility within social media. She received her master's and bachelor's degrees from Biola University.