Lois A. Boynton joined the faculty in 2001 and has been head of the public relations specialization since 2008. She teaches ethics and public relations classes, is a fellow in the University’s Parr Center for Ethics, and was named to the University’s Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars. She won the School of Journalism and Mass Communication’s David Brinkley Teaching Award in 2007.

Her research focuses on ethical decision-making by public relations practitioners, professionalism and social responsibility. Other research interests include agenda building, persuasion and nonprofit public relations challenges. 

Her work has appeared in academic journals including Communication Yearbook, Public Relations Review, Journal of Mass Media Ethics, Journalism and Mass Communication Educator, Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, PRism, Journal of Promotion Management, and The Successful Professor. She also has co-authored three book chapters — two on ethics and another on successful teaching techniques. Boynton has presented research papers at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) convention, the International Public Relations Research Conference and the AEJMC Southeast Colloquium.

Prior to academia, Boynton worked as a reporter and features editor for the Observer-News-Enterprise in Newton, N.C., and later as public relations/advertising supervisor for a tech company, Siecor Corp. 

She continues her public relations work as a volunteer with Cornucopia Cancer Support Center as newsletter editor and producer of a weekly live radio program, “That Cancer Show.” She is a member of the Public Relations Division and Media Ethics Division of AEJMC, International Communication Association, and the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics.

Education

  • Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • M.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • B.A., Lenoir-Rhyne College

Citations

  • Boynton, L. A. (2013). Objectivity – Ideal or Unreal? In Media Studies: Point/Counterpoint. Eds. J. D. Greer and W. D. Sloan (pp. 159-174).
  • Boynton, L. A. and Rhew, A. (2013). Friend of the Victim: The Case of the Murdered Student. Media Ethics in Action: True Stories from New Professionals. Eds: L. A. Peck and G. S. Reel. (pp. 215-224). Thousand Oaks, Calif.: CQ Press.
  • Boynton, L. A., and Knott, D. M. (final edits; publication expected late 2013 or early 2014). Teaching the fundamentals of public relations: Ideas for the introductory course. In B. Neff and T. L. Johnson (Eds.), Learning to teach: What you need to know to develop a successful career as a public relations educator (4th ed.). Public Relations Society of America Educators Academy and College of Fellows and the Educational Affairs Committee.
  • Knott, D., & Boynton, L. A. (2004). Teaching the fundamentals of public relations: Ideas for the introductory course. In L. Sallot (Ed.), Learning to teach: What you need to know to develop a successful career as a public relations educator (3rd ed.). Educators Academy and Public Relations Society of America.
  • Boynton, L. A. (2002). Professionalism and social responsibility: Foundations of public relations ethics (pp. 230-265). Communications Yearbook 26, Sage.