It all started with swim lessons. I knew then that I wanted to teach. Years have passed and the kids I taught to swim are grown, teaching their own little ones to swim. Those summers during college set me on my course. I worked at the community newspaper in the morning and headed to the pool after lunch, life guarding and teaching lessons until sundown.

Sarah Maben head shot

Along my educational path (BA, Journalism, Baylor University; MA, Journalism, University of Georgia; PhD, Higher Education, University of North Texas), I was an adjunct professor teaching journalism and public relations courses at Baylor University, University of Georgia, and Texas Christian University. Now, I teach graduate and undergraduate courses at Tarleton State University's Department of Communication Studies.

My research examines experiential learning in communication programs, public relations education, media ethics, and social media in the classroom. My referred publications have appeared in Teaching Journalism & Mass CommunicationInternational Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher EducationSouthwestern Mass Communication JournalJournal of Effective Schools Project, among others. My work also appears in two books: Contemporary Media Ethics, 2nd ed. (2014, Marquette Books), with co-author Jacque Lambiase, and Strategies for Establishing and Sustaining Social Presence in the Online Learning Environment in Student-Teacher Interaction in Online Learning Environments (IGI Global, 2014), with co-authors Credence Baker and Jennifer Edwards.

I have presented at the National Communication Association (Top 5 Paper in 2015), Southwest Education Council for Journalism and Mass Communication Symposium, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Mid-winter Conference, SSCA, Howard/Bowie State's Social Media Technology Conference & Workshop, and others.

My industry experience includes serving as director of communication at a large trade association, and working for a daily newspaper and print publications, before serving as director of communication for the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce—where I worked with White House officials and foreign dignitaries when President Bush (“43”) traveled to his nearby ranch.  Our team's media-relations efforts led to stories in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Times, and other national news sources.

When I joined Tarleton in 2011, a group of professors was forming the Texas Social Media Research Institute. I am ever thankful that they invited me to serve as one of the founding board members. We saw a need for an academic journal devoted to social media and mobile technologies, so Credence Baker, myself and two undergraduate students (Maylee Friemel and Hannah Miller) got to work. The Journal of Social Media in Society was created in 2012, and I have been so pleased with the response of authors and reviewers from around the globe.

What else do you need to know? I have been a Rotarian since my early 20s, and have helped our club, district and zone with their public relations efforts. I serve as a faculty member and mentor for TCU's Certified Public Communicator Program and am a past president for SWECJMC.

Even with the three-legged stool of expectations of academia, I still LOVE teaching. I was honored to serve as a Faculty Fellow for my college, helping others with their teaching. Some of my proudest moments have been helping our students present at the national and regional level.

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