Colleen Connolly-Ahern

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Colleen Connolly-Ahern

Colleen Connolly-Ahern

Associate Professor of Advertising/Public Relations



  1. PhD, University of Florida
  2. MA, University of Florida
  3. BA, Georgetown University


Colleen Connolly-Ahern joined the Penn State faculty in 2004. She brings a mix of teaching, research and public service that match well with the College of Communications’ mission to train future communications professionals for careers and for life.

Connolly-Ahern’s research interests include international political advertising and health communications, as well as issues of culture, framing and media access in strategic communications. She has published more than a dozen peer-reviewed articles, as well as one law review article, and her work has appeared in journals such as Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Journal of Public Relations Research, and Communication, Culture and Critique. Since coming to Penn State, she has presented more than 25 papers at academic conferences. She is a former head of the Public Relations Division of AEJMC, a member of the editorial board of JPRR, and has served as a member of the Advisory Board for the Penn State Yearbook, La Vie.

Connolly-Ahern teaches a wide range of undergraduate advertising and public relations classes, and serves as the course co-coordinator for COMM 420 Advertising and Public Relations Research. She also teaches graduate seminars (COMM 511 Qualitative Research Methods and COMM 597 International and Intercultural Strategic Communications). Colleen Connolly-Ahern graduated from Georgetown University with an undergraduate degree in medieval history, but because Romanesque cathedrals are scarce in the United States, she took a job in the advertising industry. Among other positions, she worked as managing editor for Marine Log Magazine and promotion manager for USA Today before starting her own marketing communications firm, Abbey Lane Marketing.

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