Lee Bush

Associate Professor of Communications
Long 208A
2850 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
lbush3@elon.edu (336) 278-5778

Brief Biography

Lee Bush is an associate professor in the School of Communications at Elon University, where she teaches courses in communications research, public relations and strategic campaigns.  In 2007, she established Live Oak Communications, Elon’s student-run communications agency.  She has published papers on student-run agencies, written professional articles on brand marketing, and conducted ethnographic research on surfing women.  Prior to joining Elon, her professional experience included 20 years as an advertising and public relations agency executive.  Most recently, she was senior vice president of Ketchum Communications in Chicago, and senior vice president of Ogilvy PR in Chicago and London. Her clients have included Kimberly-Clark, Con Agra, Jim Beam Brands, Quaker Oats, Wendy’s, BP Amoco and Snap-on Tools.


M.S. Communications, Northwestern University, 2003

B.A. Communications, Missouri Western State University, 1984
Concentration:  Public Relations

Courses Taught

Communications in a Global Age

Communications Research

Public Relations and Civic Responsibility

Strategic Campaigns

Creative Thinking and Problem Solving



“U.S. student-run agencies: Organization, attributes and advisor perceptions of student learning outcomes,” published in Public Relations Review, December, 2011.

 “The nature of online social good networks and their impact on nonprofit organisations and users,” published in PRism Journal, Volume 7, Issue 2, 2010.

“Student Public Relations Agencies:  A Qualitative Study of the Pedagogical Benefits, Risks and a Framework for Success,” published in Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, Spring, 2009.

“Student Communications Agencies Groom Entry-Level Applicants,” published in PR Insiders column, PR News, July 8, 2010.

“Conversational Marketing:  Engaging the Networked Community in a Dialogue with Your Brand,” published in PRSA Tactics and the Strategist Online, July 30, 2008.

“Beyond Media Relations; Winning Our Seat at the Brand Marketing Table,” published in PR Strategist, Spring, 2007.


Paper Presenter, “Creating Our Own Lineup:  Identities and Shared Cultural Norms of Surfing Women in a U.S. East Coast Community,” at the Fall 2013 International Organization of Social Science and Behavioral Research Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, October, 2013.

Presenter, “Brand Marketing, Integration and the Power of the Human Network,” at the 2012 Public Relations Society of America Southeast District Conference, Chattanooga, Tennessee, September, 2012.

Paper Presenter, “U.S. student-run agencies: Organization, attributes and learning outcomes,” at the 2011 AEJMC Conference, St. Louis, Missouri, August, 2011.  Received top paper award in the PR Education division.

Speaker, “Trends in Marketing,” at the annual board meeting for Alamance County Arts Council, May, 2011.

Panelist, “Utilizing Media to Build Awareness of Community-Based Organizations and Issues,” at the Gulf Coast Summit on Service Learning and Civic Engagement, Nashville, Tennessee, March, 2008.

Luncheon speaker, “Mass Participation:  Engaging Your Audience in a Dialogue with Your Brand,” Triad PRSA, October, 2007.

Paper Presenter, “PR Practitioner as Consumer Agent,” at the Ninth Annual International Public Relations Conference, Miami, Florida, March, 2006.

Luncheon speaker, “PR and the Brand-Defining Idea,” Triad PRSA, October, 2005.


Best Paper Award, 2013
International Organization of Social Science and Behavioral Research

Recipient of the National Communications Association PRIDE Award, 2012

Summer Fellowship, for ethnographic research project on surfing women, 2012
Elon University

Top Paper Award, PR Teaching Division, 2011
Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication

Diversity Infusion Grant, 2011
Elon University

Honorable Mention, 2011
NC PRSA Inspire Awards, awarded to Live Oak Communications

Best Web Site and Best Event, 2010
Triad PRSA Spinks Awards, awarded to Live Oak Communications

Excellence in Leadership Award, 2009
School of Communications, Elon University

Community Friends Award, 2008
EarthShare North Carolina, awarded to Live Oak Communications

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