Category: Global Community

News and information about the global activities of Gaylord College.

OU Professor and U.S. State Department Exchange Program participants meet with President Obama

Professor Elanie Steyn (middle) with the five Burmese delegates at the White House event with YSEALI.

Elanie Steyn, associate professor in the Gaylord College at the University of Oklahoma, and a delegation of five business leaders from Myanmar in the U.S. under a State Department grant administered by the University of Oklahoma, joined 70 other emerging leaders from Southeast Asia to meet today with President Barack Obama during the President’s Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative event at the White House.

YSEALI is the President’s signature initiative to strengthen leadership development across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), deepen engagement with young leaders on key regional and global challenges, and strengthen people-to-people ties between the United States and Southeast Asia, said the White House press release. ASEAN is comprised of Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar.

“One of the most powerful statements that President Obama made during the event was that the success of a country can be “measured by how it empowers its women and girls,”” said Steyn. “This is why the grant programs we do at Gaylord College are so important. The majority of our participants are women and through our programs we have seen them grow as leaders, which in turn promotes democracy in their countries.”

The White House event corresponded with the end of the delegation’s month-long visit to Oklahoma where they had professional placements with Oklahoma business leaders and entrepreneurs from technology and marketing companies, as well as the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture.

Steyn along with Gaylord College Dean Joe Foote and Jeff Moore, director of OU’s Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth, are co-investigators for an U.S. State Department exchange program between the University of Oklahoma and Bangladesh, Nepal and Myanmar. She serves as the area head for journalism in the Gaylord College and is an experienced international trainer/educator with a specialization in media leadership and management with a particular emphasis on women’s leadership.

OU’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication has become a major contributor to the University of Oklahoma’s international emphasis. It has developed an impressive international focus, becoming one of the State Department’s International Press Centers; serving as one of the founding hosts for the Edward R. Murrow Fellows program; providing training and study programs on four continents; administering eight State Department grants in South Asia (Myanmar, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka).

Global Public Relations Executives Visit Gaylord College

NORMAN, OKLAHOMA – The Gaylord College at the University of Oklahoma will host Rob Flaherty, CEO and senior partner of Ketchum PR, and David Gallagher, CEO and senior managing partner of Ketchum-Europe, on Thursday, April 23. The executives will present a public lecture as part of the Global Public Relations Presidential Dream Course.

Ketchum is one of the largest and most geographically diverse global public relations agencies with offices in 70 countries providing marketing, branding and corporate communication services for brands like Kleenex, Special Olympics, Delta, Wendy’s and Barbie.

“I am honored to meet and network with two prestigious public relations experts from Ketchum Inc. Their viewpoints will help students to integrate strategic communications into the international context. As an international student, I value the work they have done around the world because they are passionate about promoting diversity and building multicultural relations worldwide,” said Anna María Restuccia, senior Public Relations major from Venezuela studying at the Gaylord College and a student in the Global Public Relations Dream Course.

Rob Flaherty, Ketchum PR
Rob Flaherty

Rob Flaherty is senior partner, CEO & president of Ketchum, one of the world’s top communication firms and PRWeek’s 2012 Agency of the Year. Flaherty leads Ketchum’s Worldwide Executive Committee to guide the strategy, client service and performance of the agency.

Since joining Ketchum in 1989, Flaherty has been involved in all aspects of the firm’s business, including having successfully led its largest office, one of its global practices and several of its largest client engagements. Flaherty became president of the agency in 2008 and today is one of the industry’s most sought-after client counselors.

David Gallagher, senior partner and CEO of Ketchum’s European operations and chairman of the UK agency, has more than 20 years of public relations experience, both as a client and as a senior agency adviser with some of the world’s leading brands and companies.

David Gallagher, Ketchum PR
David Gallagher

Gallagher oversees Ketchum’s nine European agencies and their specialist services, which include consumer public relations, healthcare communications, corporate affairs and social responsibility, public affairs, change management, and clinical trial recruitment. He also is a member of Ketchum’s global Executive Committee and chairs the company’s corporate social responsibility initiatives.

The Ketchum Lecture is part of a Global Public Relations Dream Course taught by Dr. Katerina Tsetsura, Director of Graduate Programs for the Gaylord College. President David L. Boren initiated the OU Presidential Dream Course in 2004. The competitive Dream Course program provides extra resources to instructors to bring distinguished speakers to campus. Dream Courses cover important topics for concerned and engaged citizens in the 21st century. This is Tsetsura’s second Dream Course to host.

The public lecture will take place on April 23 at Noon in the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation Auditorium, Gaylord Hall room 1140, on the Norman campus. The lecture is free and open to the public. For accommodations based on disability, please contact the Gaylord College at 405-325-2721.


OU Public Relations Students Present Research to German Town Leaders

Erfurt Group
OU public relations students Katherine Fikes, Nathan Robertson and Katherine Brannen traveled to Germany with Professor Katerina Tsetsura to make a research presentation to City of Erfurt leaders.

Four public relations students and a professor from the Gaylord College traveled to Erfurt, Germany May 15-17, 2014, to present the results of a year-long research program they conducted for the City Marketing Department.

Katherine Brannen, Dusti Gasparovic, Katherine Fikes and Nathan Robertson were competitively selected from the Public Relations Research class of over 40 students to collect additional data and prepare a professional presentation for the representatives of the city of Erfurt. The research project was conducted as part of Tsetsura’s OU Presidential Dream Course on Public Relations Research last fall.

Students conducted surveys and interviews with more than 400 people in Oklahoma and Texas to learn what motivates U.S. tourists from these states to travel to Europe, and specifically to Germany. Over the course of the year, the students focused on getting research insights and analyzing the data. Then, the winning team of four identified the most useful information and conducted additional research. The team presented the results of the year-long research efforts in person to representatives of the City Marketing Department of Erfurt on May 16.

“This research presentation was a huge opportunity for us as American students. One thing that cannot be taught well in a classroom is how the international dynamic can affect a business setting. The chance to present four months of research and receive feedback from the client in their home country was a rare opportunity for an undergraduate student,” said Nathan Robertson, member of the winning team.

“This trip was a great chance to show OU’s partners in Erfurt the quality of programs we possess at the Gaylord College. While our research only goes as far as validating strategic recommendations, it showcases the communication research methodology that is taught at this institution,” said Robertson.

“The students were excited to present their research project in Erfurt. The results of the research were of great interest to the city of Erfurt on how to attract travelers from states like Oklahoma and Texas, which are at the heart of the USA,” said Dr. Katerina Tsetsura, the Gaylord Family Professor of public relations at the Gaylord College.

OU President David L. Boren initiated the OU Presidential Dream Course in 2004. The competitive Dream Course program provides extra resources to professors to invite distinguished speakers to campus and to offer unique opportunities to OU students. Dream Courses cover important topics for concerned and engaged citizens in the 21st century. This was the first time a required public relations research course has been designated as a Dream Course.

Dr. Katerina Tsetsura has partnered with the University of Erfurt to bring University of Oklahoma students to study communications in Germany for several years.

NOTE: Variations of this article have been published as part of the PRSSA FORUM newsletter.

The City of Erfurt has also published it on their website and local newspaper.