Member Spotlight: Pamela Brubaker

Pamela Brubaker desires to impact others in this world of changing technology. Before becoming a communications professor at Brigham Young University, Brubaker did public relations for a small business, a large corporation, and a public relations firm, all of which were for the technology industry. Needless to say, she became fascinated with technology in communications.

She didn’t always plan to center her career on technology. Brubaker’s interest in technology was sparked when she was studying public relations as an undergraduate student at BYU, and her senior capstone was a project for a technology company. She says, “I ended up landing jobs in the tech industry because I had worked for a tech company!”

“I’m not an early adopter of technology by any means,” Brubaker says, “But I love researching it.” As part of her position as a professor, she is required to research, so Brubaker studies technology’s role in communication.

Since she is no longer directly in the public relations field as a professor, Brubaker feels that researching technology helps her stay updated on ever-changing communications strategies—and she’s passionate about it.

Brubaker says, “I love to stay up to date on how can we be more effective communicators using social media. I mean, I’m doing research on memes and emojis, and how using emojis can build relationships. How cool is that?!”

In order to stay in the loop, Brubaker also participates in PRSA. “It’s an evolving industry. I go to PRSA to learn about what is going on in the industry, what is occurring with the changes in technology and communications, and how we can leverage that in public relations,” she says. “PRSA is a connection to the PR world. It helps me to bridge PR practice with my responsibilities as a faculty.”

In addition to learning about updates on technology communications, Brubaker often uses PRSA to find case studies to apply in teaching situations with her students.

Brubaker feels that her experience in the tech industry gives her a unique set of skills to share with her students. “I loved getting complex topics and making them understandable to laymen,” she explains. “That’s the most beneficial think I learned, is to write to make my message understandable to any client. I think that is so important.”

She also feels that technology opens the door for effective communication. She says, “I understand the power communications can have on the lives of others, and I want to help others be a powerful source for good. That’s my life’s mission.” In fact, that’s one Brubaker’s motivations for being a professor.

She compares the ripple effect of teaching to a message on social media. “If students know how to effectively communicate then their influence grows, just like on social media. You can communicate with just your friends, then your friends share what you give them, and then they share it with more people, so that sphere of influence grows,” says Brubaker. “Students are my sphere of influence, and they take what I teach them to impact the world.”

Brubaker helps foster leadership in her students. One of her past students, Andrew Cook, said, “I had the opportunity to take two classes from Dr. Brubaker. Looking back now I am grateful for the ways that she helped me to accelerate my growth and to set high expectations for myself and my fellow students.” Cook is currently the national president of PRSSA.

Brubaker is an example of what she teaches. Through her position as a professor and her knowledge of technology, she completes her life mission to help others be a source of good.

She says, “Because of my understanding, I’m able to help my students be that influence for good. I think that’s my greatest contribution and impact.”

Written by Sharlene Shelton

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