By Alexis De La Rosa

Graduating from the University of Miami School of Communication in 2017, Zifei “Fay” Chen earned her Ph.D. in Communication with a focus on public relations. Originally from Hangzhou, China, Fay is working as an assistant professor of public relations and strategic communication in the Communication Studies department at the University of San Francisco, and is already a leader in the public relations industry.

Her research focuses on public relations, social media, corporate social responsibility, crisis communication, and consumer psychology. Fay's work has been published in leading refereed journals including the Journal of Public Relations Research, Computers in Human Behavior, Internet Research, and International Journal of Strategic Communication. She has also contributed chapters to scholarly and professional books such as Social Media and Crisis Communication and New Media and Public Relations.

Fay is currently on the advisory committee for the International Public Relations Research Conference (IPRRC). She is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the 2015 Don Bartholomew Award for Excellence in Public Relations Research from Ketchum and the Institute for Public Relations, Top Student Paper Award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), and the 2017-2018 Arthur W. Page Legacy Scholar.

According to Fay, the three years she spent as a ‘Cane opened a variety of professional and academic doors for her.

“The three years of Ph.D. studies at UM was truly amazing. It was not only the rigor of the curriculum, but also the great mentorship and collegiality that really makes the program excellent,” said Fay

Although Fay named all SoC professors as “top-notch,” one stands out most when she reminisces about her time at the U. Fay credits Dr. Don Stacks, his challenging classes, and his tremendous mentorship for helping her become a better scholar and teacher.