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College of Information and Communications

Faculty and Staff

Shannon A. Bowen, Ph.D.

Title: Professor
Department: School of Journalism and Mass Communications
College of Information and Communications
Phone: 803-777-3764
Fax: 803-777-4103
Office: School of Journalism and Mass Communications
800 Sumter Street, Room 120
Columbia, SC 29208


B.A., Journalism and Sociology (double), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
M.A., Journalism and Mass Communications, University of South Carolina
Ph.D., Communication and Mass Communication, University of Maryland


Dr. Shannon Bowen is an elected member of the Board of Trustees of the Arthur W. Page Society, and sits on the Board of Directors of the International Public Relations Research Conference. Until 2012, Bowen was tenured in the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, but was happy to return home to South Carolina. Her Ph.D. is from the University of Maryland; her dissertation on Kantian ethics won the Robert Heath Outstanding Dissertation Award. Her master's degree is from the University of South Carolina (so she is a double Gamecock), and her bachelor's degree is from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 


Recipient of the Inaugural College of Information and Communications Leadership in Scholarship Award - Spring 2020

Bowen is a Page Legacy Scholar and a winner of the International Association of Business Communicators Research Foundation Grant.


Bowen's research focuses on ethical decision making within the highest levels of organizations. She teaches and researches ethics across corporations, pharmaceutical firms, governmental entities and the public relations industry. Bowen is one of three joint-editors for the journal Ethical Space: The International Journal of Communication Ethics.

Grants and Funded Research

Bowen, S. A. (2020). Ethical organizational listening for stakeholder engagement and responsibility in issues management. Grant funded by Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication at Penn State University; Page Legacy Scholar.

Principle Investigator. 2013-2014. Exploring the role of the dominant coalition in creating an ethical culture for internal stakeholders. Grant from the Arthur W. Page Center for Integrity in Public Communication at Penn State University for the ‘Page Legacy Scholars’ RFP on Ethical Stakeholder Engagement; $3,500 winner from a competitive pool of proposals.

Bowen, S. A., Heath, R. L., Lee, J., Painter, G., Agraz, F. J., McKie, D. Toledano, M. (2006). The business of truth: A guide to ethical communication perspective. San Francisco: International Association of Business Communicators Research Foundation.

Details: Bowen, S. A., Principal Investigator. (2003-2006). Grant from International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Research Foundation to study Business Communication Ethics. $30,000 winner from a competitive pool of proposals to conduct global research with an international team of scholars assembled for data collection.


Bowen's work with Ph.D. students has led to publications and top paper awards for the student at IPRRC and PRSA. Bowen's students will be the first to tell you that her courses are rigorous and she expects a lot from them. Much of the material she teaches is difficult or highly theoretical. However, she puts a great deal of effort into helping the students rise to the challenge that her courses provide. Two of her referred journal articles in PR Review (Bowen, 2003, 2009) and one in PR Journal (2013) focus on pedagogy in public relations. Each of these research articles provides prescriptive recommendations for what should be taught in a public relations major, such as research methods, management and ethics.

Recent Publications

Bowen, S. A., Rawlins, B. L., & Martin, T. M. (2019). An overview of the public relations function (2nd ed). New York: Business Expert Press.

Men, R. L., & Bowen, S. A. (2017). Excellence in internal communication management. New York: Business Expert Press.

Bowen, S. A. & Erzikova, E. V. (2013). The international divide in public relations ethics education: Advocacy versus autonomy. Public Relations Journal, 7(1), np.

Bowen, S. A. (2013). Using classic social media cases to distill ethical guidelines for digital engagement. Journal of Mass Media Ethics: Exploring Questions of Media Morality, 28(2), 119-133.

Bowen, S. A., Rawlins, B. L., & Martin, T. M. (2010). An overview of the public relations function. New York: Business Expert Press.


External Advisory Board member, Research & Development Unit, LabCom, University of Beira Interior, Portugal. 

Public relations ethics columnist for PRWEEK.

Page Legacy Scholar

Board of Trustees, Arthur W. Page Society

Board of directors, Public Relations Research Conference (IPRRC)

Journal editorial board, Journal of Mass Media Ethics

Contributing editor, Media Ethics magazine. 


Dr. Bowen’s father is also a Gamecock who graduated with a degree in chemistry in 1972.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.