Faculty Profiles


Rick Scott

Rick Scott

Rick Scott is a lecturer in the Communication Arts Department where he teaches courses in the public relations sequence. He came to UWF in 1999 following a career in the Army where he served in a variety of command and staff assignments, culminating as a Pentagon spokesman and director of public affairs planning for the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Scott holds a bachelor's in criminology from Florida State University and a master's in journalism from the University of South Carolina. Additionally, he is a graduate of both the basic and advanced Defense Department Public Affairs Officer Courses. Scott is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America and the Florida Public Relations Association. He is also a Certified Public Relations Counselor.

Scott's areas of interest include strategic public relations planning and crisis response. He has given numerous presentations on a wide range of public relations topics including media relations, employee relations, crisis communication, and press on the battlefield.


Disraelly Cruz

Disraelly Cruz

Disraelly Cruz is an Assistant Professor of communication. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri, Columbia and a M.A. in Integrated Marketing and Management Communication from Florida State University. In addition to serving the university through a teaching capacity, Dr. Cruz explores issues affecting the nonprofit sector. She is primarily interested in issues of identity, volunteerism, nonprofit management, and overall nonprofit sector sustainability. Dr. Cruz also conducts research related to work-life enrichment and conflict.


Athena du Pre'

Athena du Pre'

Athena du Pre', Ph.D. is a professor of communication and director of the Strategic Communication & Leadership master's degree program and the Health Communication Leadership graduate-level certificate program. She is the author ofCommunicating About Health: Current Issues and Perspectives (3rd ed.) as well as other books, journal articles, and chapters on communicating effectively in modern organizations. Her research interests include patient-caregiver communication, coping with health crises, humor and healing, and workplace dynamics. Dr. du Pre' is a former journalist and hospital public relations director. She received a Ph.D. in communication from the University of Oklahoma in 1995. Since joining the UWF faculty, she has twice been honored with Distinguished Teaching Awards by the student body.


Chris Fenner

Chris Fenner, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of communication and Director of the UWF Speech & Debate program. He holds a Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale in Organizational Communication & Public Relations, and an M.A. and B.S. from Suffolk University. Dr. Fenner teaches courses within the public relations sequence and oversees the nationally ranked competitive speech and debate program. He conducts research primarily in the areas of public relations & forensic pedagogy, and the links between computer-mediated communication and persuasion. Prior to arriving at UWF, Dr. Fenner established a competitive speech team at Florida Southern College, where he coached students to 32 national titles. He also serves as the Vice President of the Florida Intercollegiate Forensic Association, and is an executive council member of the Novice National Forensic Association.


Keith Goldschmidt

Keith Goldschmidt

Keith Goldschmidt earned a B.A. in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 1976 and worked as a print journalist for 22 years and a public information specialist for nine years before joining the UWF faculty full time in 2007.


Ying Huang

Ying Huang

Dr. Huang joined the Department of Communication Arts in 2011. She earned her Bachelor of Law in Administrative Management from Fudan University, Shanghai in 2000, a Master of Arts in Media Management from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 2006 and her Ph.D. in Advertising and Visual Communication from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in 2011.


Michele Jones

Michele Jones

Dr. Michele Jones is an assistant professor in the Communication Arts Department where she teaches courses in journalism and mass communication. Dr. Jones earned a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an M.A. from the University of Florida, and a B.A. from the University of West Florida.

Her journalism career included work as an online editor for The Gainesville Sun and for TBO.com, the converged website of The Tampa Tribune and WFLA News Channel 8.


Tom Groth

Tom Groth

Tom Groth is a professor emeritus of advertising in the Department of Communication Arts at the University of West Florida, Pensacola and head of its advertising program since 1988. He has also served as Interim Chair of the department. The University of West Florida advertising program has been recognized by a House Resolution of the State of Florida House of Representatives. As advisor to American Advertising Federation university chapters, Groth lead student “agencies” to AAF National Student Advertising Competition district championships 10 times. His teams went on to win the NSAC National championship a record 4 times in 1986, 1989 1996 and 1997. He has received several Distinguished Teaching Awards as well as an Excellence in Academic Advising Award.

Professor Groth has a Masters in Advertising from the University of Illinois and a Bachelors in Advertising Design from Iowa State University. Groth worked for a large New York City advertising agency (BBDO) servicing clients such as Campbell Soup, Sheraton Hotels and General Electric. He was a full professor and Head of the Advertising Sequence at Iowa State University for 13 years. There he designed and ran 6 European study programs in advertising and mass communication. Professor Groth is a member and former Chair of the National American Advertising Federation Academic Committee. He has served on the national AAF board of directors and on the board of American Advertising Foundation and on the Board of Directors of The Pensacola Bay Area Advertising Federation. He is a member of Pensacola Museum of Art, Artel Gallery, American Advertising Federation, AAF Pensacola, Arts Council of N.W. Florida, the Japan-America Society. He has taught in several countries and including a sabbatical in Japan.

His academic work has been featured in many publications from Advertising Age to Ad Week as well as in several advertising texts.


Tressa Kelly

Dr. Tressa Kelly earned a Ph.D. focusing on feminist rhetorical criticism at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. In 2010, Dr. Kelly was awarded the Distinguished Teaching Award by the students of the University of West Florida.  In the classroom, she teaches courses at both the graduate and undergraduate levels including: Speech Writing Analysis and Delivery, Rhetorical Criticism, Communication Research Methods, Intercultural Communication, and Strategic Presentational Speaking.  Dr. Kelly also serves as the department’s Basic Course Director.


Mark Lambert

Mark Lambert

Mark Lambert earned his B.A. (1980) from Pennsylvania State University and his M.A. (2004) from the University of West Florida.


Eileen Perrigo

Eileen Perrigo

Eileen Perrigo, M.Ed., APR, is an accredited public relations professional, instructor, speaker, author, and consultant. She is the sequence head for the Public Relations program and internship director in the Department of Communication Arts

Eileen has taught public relations courses internationally. She was selected as the Mary Ball Washington Scholar at the University College Cork in Ireland and was a visiting professor at the Osaka Communication Arts College in Japan.

An award-winning instructor, Eileen has won UWF's Distinguished Teaching Award, Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and the Florida Teaching Incentive Program Award. Her students have won five FPRA Golden Image awards since 2002 for their PR campaigns for local nonprofit organizations. In 2006, Eileen was honored as a recipient of FPRA's Doris Fleischman award.

In 1998, Eileen co-authored a textbook, Business and Professional Communication for the 21st Century, with Deborah Gaut.

Professional memberships include the Public Relations Society of America, the Florida Public Relations Association, and Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society. Community involvement includes serving on the Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival board and volunteering for WUWF public media and Learn to Read of NWFL. She also works with Internship Pensacola in partnership with the Pensacola Young Professionals.


Bruce Swain

Bruce Swain

Bruce Swain earned A.B., M.A.T., and Ed.D. in College Teaching degrees in English at Davidson College, Harvard University and Columbia University.

His journalism career included reporting and editing jobs at a Wisconsin weekly, the Madison Capital Times and the Louisville Courier-Journal, as well as part-time reporting for the Chicago Sun-Times, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The New York Times. He has also written numerous freelance magazine articles.

Swain taught journalism at the University of Kentucky, the University of Georgia and Ithaca College and headed the journalism programs at the University of Kansas and the University of Central Missouri before coming to UWF in 2001 as chair of the Department of Communication Arts. In 2009 he returned to full-time teaching of reporting, editing and graduate courses.

He is the author of the book "Reporters' Ethics" and a monograph on the Progressive magazine prior restraint case, as well a number of academic journal articles and conference papers on journalism history, reporting practices and ethics


Kristine Weglarz

Kristine Weglarz

Kristine Weglarz is an Assistant Professor of Telecommunication and Film. Her dissertation and research focused on the political economy of live rock performance, constructions of authenticity, protest rock, mediaphemes, and “liveness” as cultural constructions. She teaches courses on television production, popular music and media studies, minorities in the mass media, principles of mass communication, and the political economy of media. She received her PhD and MA in Communication Studies from the University of Minnesota and her BA in Political Science from the University of Toronto. Her edited collection with co-editor Mark Pedelty of the University of Minnesota, entitled Political Rock, was released in July 2013 from Ashgate Press.