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Sara Steffes HansenSara Steffes Hansen, Ph.D., Chair

Associate Professor
Office: Sage 3489
Phone: (920) 424- 7147



Sara Steffes Hansen joined the journalism department as an assistant professor in strategic communication in 2009. Hansen completed her Ph.D. in mass communication at UW Madison, where her research focused on brands in social media. She has a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) from the University of Colorado-Denver and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from UW Eau Claire.

Hansen has presented at conferences for the International Communication Association, American Academy of Advertising, Association of Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, Association of Internet Researchers and Games+Learning+Society. Her research has appeared in the Journal of Marketing Communications, Journal of Interactive Advertising, Web Journal of Mass Communication Research, Journal of Marketing Management and Journal of Electronic Commerce Research.

She has 15 years of professional experience as a director, manager and consultant in strategic communication, largely with high-tech and Fortune 500 companies. For several years, she worked in the Denver area as a marketing consultant for J.D. Edwards (now Oracle Corp.), Director of Marketing and Corporate Communications at CIBER, Inc., and Media Relations Manager for Kinder Morgan, Inc. Locally, she worked as a consultant and Director of Marketing for an IT services company, Oracular. She started her career as a reporter and state news editor for the Marshfield New-Herald in Marshfield, Wis. and as an account executive for a Denver-based financial public relations firm.

Hansen teaches courses in public relations and advertising and oversees the department’s social media initiative. Her course list includes Principles of Public Relations; Advertising Media; New & Emerging Media; and Application of New & Emerging Media. She also has taught Research in Strategic Communication; Planning and Management Case Studies in Public Relations; Principles of Advertising; Ad Copy, Layout and Production; Strategic Campaigns in Advertising; and Media Organization and Management.