Bey-Ling Sha, Ph.D., APR, Fellow PRSA, is a higher education leader whose work has influenced scholarship, education and practice in public relations and communications.
Research. Dr. Sha’s primary research program examines the intersection of identity and public relations; her theory of intercultural public relations is the subject of two scholarly books. She was the 2018 winner of the Institute for Public Relations’ Pathfinder Award, a lifetime achievement award recognizing an original program of scholarly research. Her other research areas include international public relations, activism, diversity, and gender. Dr. Sha’s scholarly work has been published in Journal of Public Relations Research, Public Relations Review, Public Relations Journal, Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, and Journal of Promotion Management, as well as various book chapters. She was the 2016-2021 editor-in-chief of the Journal of Public Relations Research, the pre-eminent scholarly journal in the discipline.
Teaching. For her teaching, Dr. Sha was honored by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) as its 2012 Outstanding Educator of the Year. She also won the 2007 Outstanding Faculty Award from San Diego State University and the 2004 Outstanding Faculty Award from the University of Maryland, College Park. With Dr. Glen Broom, Dr. Sha co-authored the 11th edition of Cutlip and Center’s Effective Public Relations, one of the world’s leading textbooks in the field since its first edition was published in 1952 by original co-authors Scott Cutlip and Allen Center.
Practice. Prior to becoming a full-time educator, Dr. Sha worked as a public affairs officer for the U.S. Census Bureau, where she helped oversee the execution and evaluation of the promotional campaign for the 2000 census. The census campaign won a 2001 Silver Anvil Award of Excellence from PRSA. Dr. Sha has also done paid and pro bono consulting work in public relations, with such clients as Microsoft Corp., Perrier-Vittel, and Premier Aircraft Sales, Inc., among other organizations. The San Diego Chapter of PRSA named Dr. Sha its 2007 Professional of the Year. Her pro bono professional work won the 2010 Outstanding Advocacy Award from the National PTA® and the 2005 President’s Award from the International Listening Association.
Service. Dr. Sha was the 2014 chair of the Universal Accreditation Board, which oversees the world’s largest professional certification program for public relations practitioners. She was the 2010 and 2011 chair of the PRSA National Committee on Work, Life, and Gender. San Diego State University honored Dr. Sha with a 2018-2019 Distinguished Faculty Award for her “extensive contributions to [her] discipline and to the university.” In 2019, Dr. Sha was honored by the Public Relations Society of America with its D. Parke Gibson Pioneer Award, which is the society’s “highest individual honor presented to a PR professional who has contributed to increased awareness of public relations within multicultural communities and has participated in promoting issues that meet the needs of these diverse communities.” She received a 2021 President’s Award for her service to the Society of Professional Journalists, and she was inducted in 2022 into the Hall of Fame of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. Also in 2022, Dr. Sha received the Bruce K. Berger Educator Mentor Award from the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations.
She holds a Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Maryland, College Park, and is Accredited in Public Relations by the Universal Accreditation Board. She is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society and the College of Fellows of the Public Relations Society of America.