Donna Downs

Dr. Donna Downs

Donna Downs

Department Co-Chair & Associate Professor of Communication

Office Location: Rupp 235
Phone: (765) 998-4927

Specialties: advising, journalistic writing, mcm new majors orientation, public relations writing & campaigns, senior portfolio development


Vitae PDF: Dr. Donna Downs's Printable Vitae

Donna J. Downs



One-year Advancing Women in Leadership Program through Indiana Wesleyan University, March 2013.

Introduction to Major Gifts Fundraising, online course through Azusa Pacfic Online University, Winter 2012.

PRSA APR class. September-November, 2012. 

Multimedia Story Telling course, Ball State University. July 2009.

Digital Photography course, Taylor University. Fall 2008.

Seminar in Narrative Writing, Poynter Institute. July 2007.

St. Petersburg, FL

Ed.D. Adult, Community and Higher Education with a cognate in journalism, May 2005

Ball State University, Muncie, IN

M.A., English, Speech Communication, May 1988

Ball State University, Muncie, IN

Correspondence Course in Basic Newswriting, August 1994

Christian Writer’s Institute, Florida

B.A., English, Speech Communication, with teaching certificate 7-12, May 1980 Indiana University, Bloomington, IN



Taylor University, Upland, IN                 

August 2001 - Present

Associate Professor of Communication Arts, teaching journalistic writing, public relations, and other media related courses.  I also advise the student newspaper and have advised the yearbook. In fall of 2010, I began co-chairing the newly established Media Communication Department.


Taylor University, Upland, IN                 

July 1996 - August 2001

Associate Vice President of University Relations, overseeing a staff of nine people.  Our department produced a quarterly magazine, a biweekly employee newsletter, the official university web site and press releases for the university.  We were also responsible for conferences, special events, all media coverage and other miscellaneous programs.  I served on PCAP, University Cabinet, Martin Luther King Jr. Day Committee, Campus Compact, Community Plunge and other committees.


Taylor University, Upland and Fort Wayne     

August 1987 - May 1996

Adjunct instructor (up to 12 hours per semester) of communication courses, including public speaking, interpersonal communication, corporate communication and yearbook advising on both campuses.  I also developed and taught an introduction to public speaking correspondence and on-line course, 1995-1999.


Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion, IN     

May, 1992 - 1996

Facilitator for the LEAP program, facilitating learning in the Bachelor’s level professional communication course, Associate’s level speech communication course, and the Master’s level organizational communication course, teaching mainly at the Keystone, Indianapolis facility, but also in Kokomo and Marion, IN.  I also taught introduction to public speaking, traditional campus, spring semester 1996.


Personal Tutor                       

August 1987 - May 1993

Personal tutor for various high school students in the area of grammar and composition.


Substitute Teaching                      

August 1981 - August 1987

Substitute teacher for the Madison-Grant and Marion School districts, focus in English.



Member of

  • REST Ministries/Shepherd’s Gate Inn Board of Directors (2012 - present)
  • Association of Christian College Media, 2011- present
  • Hoosier State Press Association, 2005 - present.
  • Indiana Collegiate Press Association 2005 – present.
  • North Central Indiana Youth for Christ Board of Trustees, 2001 - 2004.
  • Vo Pro Planning Committee for local schools (Marion Chamber), Sept.1999 - 2001.
  • Marion Grant County Business Education Partnership, 1997 - 2001.
  • Upland Chamber of Commerce, 1996 - 2001.
  • Public Relations Society of America, Indiana Chapter, 1996 - present.
  • Secretary for School Board, Lakeview Christian School, July 1995 - January 2001. Chair of Parent / Teacher / School Relations Committee, Lakeview Christian School, 1995 - 1997.  Chair of Strategic Plan Committee, beginning July 1999.
  • College Media Advisers, 1994 - 1996, 2001 - present.
  • Speech Communication Association, 1993 - 1996.
  • Parent Teacher Fellowship President for Lakeview Christian School, 1991, 1993.
  • Jones Chapel Christian Church



  • Presented a Service Learning session for Indiana Campus Compact with Kathy Bruner, September 2013.
  • Presented a session on Dealing with Death & Difficult Situations at CMA New York City convention in March 2013.
  • Led a Mentoring workshop through CTLE January 2012.
  • Served on a Community Partnership Panel at Taylor Spring 2012.
  • Presented a Service Learning session for CTLE with Kathy Bruner September 2011.
  • Beth Moore Living Proof Seminar, November 2007, August, 2008, August 2009, June 2011.
  • Poynter Institute Seminar in St. Petersburg, FL, Summer 2007.
  • Presented a session at College Media Adviser’s Convention with four students October 2006.
  • Presented dissertation research at Midwest Research-to-Practice Conference, September 2006.
  • CCCU PR Directors’ Conferences in Virginia, 1998, and Seattle, 1999.  Also attended various other one- to two-day seminars on management, public relations, supervisory skills, media relations and the Internet.
  • College Media Advisers Seminars in New Orleans, Nov., 1994; Washington, D.C., November 1995; Orlando, Nov. 2002; Dallas, Nov. 2003; Nashville, Nov. 2004; Kansas City, Nov. 2005; St. Louis Nov. 2006; Washington DC, Nov. 2007; Kansas City, Nov. 2008; Austin, Nov. 2009; Louisville, Nov. 2010; Orlando, Nov. 2011; New York City, March 2013.
  • Christian Writer’s Institute Workshop, Wheaton, IL, Summer 1993.
  • Speech Communication Association Seminar in Nashville, TN, Summer, 1993.
  • Various computer workshops at Taylor University, including Front Page 2000, Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint in addition to every T-4-T workshop since they began.
  • Various CTLE workshops offered by Taylor University.



  • Third place in Barton Rees Poetry contest April 2011.
  • Poem considered for market research for Blue Mountain Arts cards, 2010.
  • Online Article published at ACCM Web site, “Women make strides down journalism career path,” 2007.
  • Book Review published in College Media Adviser’s newsletter, 2006.
  • Editor, photographer and writer for The Communicator, Converse Christian Church biannual magazine, 2004-2006.
  • Two devotional articles in This Cloud of Witnesses, TU Devotional, December 1999.
  • Creator, Editor and Publisher of Lakeview Christian School’s monthly newsletter, Lions’ Pride, 1991, 1993, 1996, 1998.
  • Finalist in poetry contest, Blue Mountain Arts, December 1999 (published in the Internet). 
  • Various articles for Taylor Times, 1997 - 1999.
  • Self-published children’s book August 1997.
  • Poems for Grit Magazine, July and November 1995. 
  • Article published for Indiana Wesleyan University’s Connection, Winter / Spring issue, 1994.



  • Speaker at CCCU Seattle conference, July 1999.
  • Speaker at Lakeview Christian School (for various chapels), 1992 - 1996 and other local elementary schools and senior groups 1997 - 1998.
  • Speaker for Youth Conference, Taylor University, 1995, 1996 and chapel January 1998.
  • Spring Carnival Coordinator, Lakeview Christian School, 1988-1994 (total planning, management and purchasing supervision).
  • Co-editor and writer for The Communicator, church magazine. May, 2004-2010.
  • Bible study leader with senior students. August 2006-present.
  • Led Media Communication major through 8-year review process, 2008-9.
  • Grant proposal writer/coordinator for Upland Fire Department: awarded $2500 from Community Foundation and $12,800 from Boren Foundation. Summer 2009
  • Grant proposal co-writer for Monroe County Dive Team: awarded $15,000 from Bloomington and Monroe County Community Foundation 2010.
  • Led Lenten service at Taylor University, April 2011.
  • From a proposal written by a student (I serve as project manager) in my PR Writing & Production class, the Kings Academy received a grant for around $3000 for recess equipment.
  • Grant proposal co-writer for Barton Rees Pogue Library in Upland; awarded $3200 from Grant County Community Foundation.
  • I received a $2500 from the Women’s Giving Circle to carry out a spring 2013 Right to Life event in Marion (October 2012).
  • I received $500 from BCTLE to present at the spring 2013 CMA convention.
  • I received $2000 from the Fund for Faculty Scholarship for my trip to Ecuador (fall 2012).
  • I finished writing a short fiction book called The Auction.
  • I hold an Indiana State Teaching license for grades 7-12, English and Speech Communication.

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