Since June 2014, Dr. Rochelle L. Ford, APR has served as a professor and chair of the public relations department at the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Additionally, she currently is as a Provost Faculty Fellow responsible for co-chairing Syracuse University’s Middle States regional accreditation self-study and assisting with implementing the University’s Academic Strategic Plan.
An internationally sought after speaker and 2016 Fulbright Specialist to The Gambia (West Africa), she has presented to organizations such as Bermuda’s Department of Communications and Information, the Management School of London, Omnicom, AdColor, Council of PR Firms, 4A’s, AAF, PRSA, Edelman, National Black Meeting Planners Association, Association for Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication and Brigham Young University. A coordinator of a series of diversity podcasts, she wrote the monthly column “Diversity Dimensions” for Public Relations Tactics and two books about the sustainability of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Her scholarship has appeared in The New York Times, book chapters and refereed journals. She received PRSA’s national D. Parke Gibson Multiculturalism Award, PRSA’s National Capital Chapter Diversity Champion Award, the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations Milestones in Mentoring Award, the National Black Public Relations Society Founders Award, the International Award for Innovative Teaching, Learning & Technology and PRWeek’s 30 Under 30 Award.
She earned a graduate certificate in higher education management and leadership from Harvard University. From 1998-2014, she served as a faculty member and administrator at Howard University where she championed diversity and conducted interdisciplinary research through her more than $2.14 million in grants. At University of Tennessee at Martin (1995-1998) and at Howard University, she advised chapters of PRSSA, NABJ and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. She also served on the boards of The Journal of Public Relations Research, the Howard Journal of Communication, the Accrediting Council for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, the AAF Mosaic Center Executive Committee, the Scholarship Academy and Jumpstart HBCU Initiative. Ford chairs the Champions (Friends) of PRSSA and the PRSA Foundation Program Committee. Ford served as the AARP Area 3 communications executive and as a consultant for such organizations as the National Council of Negro Women, Montgomery Public Schools and District of Columbia. She holds a Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, a M.A. from University of Maryland at College Park, and a B.A. from Howard University. A mother of three, she leads a Single and Parenting Ministry and has served as a short-term missionary in Kenya.