Denise Bortree

Advertising/Public Relations

Denise Bortree

Professor, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

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  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Nonprofit Communication
  • Sustainability
  • Volunteerism


  • Bachelor's: Geneva College
  • Master's: University of Florida
  • Ph.D.: University of Florida



Denise Sevick Bortree is associate dean for academic affairs, professor in the department of advertising/public relations, and the director of the Arthur W. Page Center. She brings more than 10 years of practical experience to her teaching, including positions as communication manager, public relations manager and marketing manager for a number of organizations.

She was selected for the Big 10 Academic Leadership Program in 2019-2020, and she received the 2020 Milton S. Eisenhower Award for Distinguished Teaching for her mentorship and instruction. In 2010 Bortree received the Deans' Excellence Award for Research and Creative Accomplishments from the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State, and in 2016 she received the Dean's Excellence Award for Integrated Scholarship. She was selected to participate in the Scripps Howard Leadership Academy in 2013.

Bortree researches and writes on nonprofit organizational communication and sustainability. She has authored more than 30 peer-reviewed journal articles that have been published in journals such as Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journal of Public Relations Research, Nonprofit Management and Leadership, Public Relations Review, the International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing and the International Journal of Volunteer Administration. She has co-edited two books, one titled Talking Green: Exploring Contemporary Issues in Environmental Communications that published in 2012 and the other titled Ethical Practice of Social Media in Public Relations that published in 2014.

She was selected by the United Nations Volunteers to write a background paper titled “Volunteerism as a Force for Social Inclusion” for its 10-year report on volunteerism, The State of the World’s Volunteerism.

She has guest edited three special issues of journals on topics including corporate social responsibility (Public Relations Journal), nonprofit public relations (Journal of Public Relations Research), and nonprofit organizations relationship building (PRism). She has presented more than 30 conference papers at national and international conferences where she has won numerous top paper awards.

Bortree sits on the editorial boards of the Journal of Public Relations Research and the Journal of Public Interest Communication, and she has held leadership roles with the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) including chair of the PF&R committee and head of the public relations division. In addition, she is a past chair for the Association/Nonprofit Division of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).


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Denise Bortree
201G Carnegie Building