Dr. Bonita Dostal Neff

Title: Professor Emerita
Company: Indiana University Northwest
Location: Munster, Indiana, United States

Bonita Neff, Professor Emerita at Valparaiso University, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in communication and speech theory instruction.

Currently a Professor Emerita with Valparaiso University, from 2013 to 2018 Dr. Neff provided superior education as a professor and chair of the department of communication with Indiana University Northwest in Gary, where she developed the public relations curriculum for the undergraduate and graduate levels at IUN and advised the Public Relations Student Society of America. She has published numerous papers and conducted presentations on speech act theory, technology, and teaching as well as public relations in respect to theory, practice and related areas of intercultural, global, and integrated communication issues. Additionally, she has prospered as chair of the board of directors of Lakeshore Public Television and Radio serving the greater Chicago region between 2011 and 2013 as well as between 2014 and 2016.

After initially obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in communication with minors in English and music in 1964 and a Master of Arts in communication and a nor in English in 1966 with the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Dr. Neff continued her education with a Doctor of Philosophy in communication in 1973 from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She then followed with a fellowship with the Institute for Educational Leadership in 1976 at George Washington University and an Associate of Arts in AA in dance, cum laude, in 1980 from Lansing Community College in Michigan.

Dr. Neff has taught communications worldwide, as a visiting professor with the University of Zadar and University of Zagreb in Croatia from 2002 through 2004 and with Sogang University in Seoul, South Korea in 2005. Additionally, she chaired the public relations division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication in 2007. From 1992 through 2003, as an associate professor of communications with Valparaiso University, she developed public relations curriculum and SPARK, a nationally recognized student agency partnered with the Public Relations Student Society of America.

Dr. Neff attributes her success to tremendous curiosity, asking questions, being able to identify constraints in society, and doing what she thought should be done. She grew up in a family that was very much would work with other cultures including Native American and Czech communities. Her mother was an educator and felt strongly that education was the conduit to obtaining the kind of understanding she needed to do with what she was doing. In the coming years, Dr. Neff sees herself continuing to publish and continuing great activity on her editorial boards as well as mentoring students and staff. 

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