Dr. Terry L. Hapney, Jr., associate professor of public relations in the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Marshall University (MU), is adviser to MU’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter and a writer/columnist for a newspaper in the Tri-State area of Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia.
A former journalism and communication professor at a state university in Ohio where he spent over a decade of his career, Hapney served as adviser to the student newspaper and student radio group there. Prior to his faculty role at Shawnee State University (SSU), Hapney was director of communications and assistant to the president at the university—the chief public relations administrator— working with four different presidents during his tenure there. Before SSU, Hapney served as director of promotions and public relations for a major radio broadcasting company with 10 radio stations (two of which were the highest-rated stations, according to Arbitron, in the market). He was the highest-rated evening and midday radio air personality during his time there.
Hapney has taught public relations, journalism, advertising, mass communications, communication studies, English, and business communications graduate and undergraduate courses since 1994. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication (B.A.) from the University of Kentucky, a Master of Arts in journalism (M.A.J.) from Marshall University, a Master of Arts in public relations (M.A.) from Kent State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Dayton.
In 2013, Hapney was named “Public Relations Educator of the Year” by the West Virginia chapter of Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). His research on student newspaper governance on public university campuses is published in multiple state, national, and international scholarly/peer-reviewed journals. His undergraduate and graduate students at Marshall University have conducted many PRSA-award winning campaigns for local nonprofit agencies, raising awareness and tens of thousands of dollars for worthy causes. Awards include state PRSA Crystal Awards as well as regional PRSA Diamond Awards (six-state region, including West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Michigan).
With well over a quarter century of professional experience in public relations, marketing, radio and television broadcasting, advertising, and as a print journalist in the Huntington-Ashland and Lexington, Ky., markets, Hapney has served for nearly two decades as co-anchor for the Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Day Parade (longest-running Memorial Day parade in the U.S.) broadcast on OK-TV (Ohio/Kentucky television) on Time Warner Cable in Lawrence County, Ohio, and Boyd and Greenup counties in Kentucky. He is also a board member for Public Relations Society of America—West Virginia chapter.
Hapney is a life-long resident of the Tri-State area of Ohio/Ky./W.Va. (with the exception of the years he lived in Lexington while at UK). He and his wife have two biological sons and a daughter they adopted from China. They reside on the banks of the Ohio River along with their dog, Willow, and cats, Yoda and Luke.