Erich Sommerfeldt

Assistant Professor
Faculty

Ph.D., University of Oklahoma

301-405-6528
2124 Skinner Building
Professional Interests: 

Dr. Sommerfeldt specializes in public relations, with research emphases in activist group communication, civil society and development communication, social capital, and social network analysis. He is a two-time winner of the Best Article of the Year Award from the Public Relations Division of the National Communication Association. Sommerfeldt is also interested in research and evaluation metrics for international development projects and public affairs. Dr. Sommerfeldt has participated in applied civil society research projects in developing nations around the world, including Haiti, Jordan, Ukraine, China, Indonesia, and Pakistan. His doctoral dissertation, based on field research conducted in Peru, was given the 2010-2011 James E. and Larissa A. Grunig Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Public Relations Division of the International Communication Association.

Sommerfeldt serves on the editorial boards for Journal of Applied Communication Research, International Journal of Strategic Communication, and Corporate Communications: An International Journal. His research has been published in the Journal of Public Relations Research, Public Relations Review, Journal of Applied Communication Research, and the International Journal of Strategic Communication, among others. He is the 2016-2017 Chair of the Public Relations Division of the National Communication Association.

Curriculum Vitae

Graduate Advising Philosophy

Representative Publications:

Sommerfeldt, E. J., & Xu, S. (in press). Making a “difference” with digital media? The evaluation perspectives, practices, and challenges of Chinese NGOs. Chinese Journal of Communication. doi: 10.1080/17544750.2016.1210184

Sommerfeldt, E. J. (2015). Disasters and information source repertoires: Information seeking and information sufficiency in post-earthquake Haiti. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 43(1), 1–22. doi: 10.1080/00909882.2014.982682

Paquette, M., Sommerfeldt, E. J., Kent, M. L. (2015). Do the ends justify the means? Dialogue, development communication, and deontological ethics. Public Relations Review, 41(1), 30–39. doi: 10.1016/j.pubrev.2014.10.008

Sommerfeldt, E. J. (2013). The civility of social capital: Public relations in the public sphere, civil society, and democracy. Public Relations Review, 39(4), 280–289. doi: 10.1016/j.pubrev.2012.12.004