Rebecca Cooney logo

Rebecca L. Cooney


WSU Logo with Cougar

The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, Washington State University

  • Scholarly Associate Professor, Strategic Communication
  • Co-Investigator, Center of Excellence for Natural Product-Drug Interaction Research
  • Undergraduate Assessment Coordinator

Research Areas

  • Strategic communication
  • User experience
  • User-centered design
  • Public relations
  • Integrated communication
  • Digital communication
  • Digital metrics and analytics


  • Kopenhaver Fellow: Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Center for the Advancement of Women in Communication (2022-present)
  • Granger Cobb Faculty Fellow: Granger Cobb Institute for Senior Living (2022-present)
  • PhDigital Fellow: Knight Foundation (2022)
  • LIFT Fellow: Office of the Provost WSU Tranformational Change Initiative (2018)
  • Visiting Professor in Social Media: Scripps Howard Foundation (2015)
  • Educator Fellow: The Betsy Plank Center (2014)

Service & Engagement

  • 2021-2024: Elected member, Faculty Status Committee
  • 2018-present: Faculty representative, Entrepreneurship Faculty Ambassadors
  • 2018-present: Faculty representative, Creative Corridor – Academic Outreach and Innovation
  • 2018-2023: Murrow Online Programs representative – Global Campus Academic Council
  • 2019-2021: Member At-Large – LMS Governance Committee
  • 2019-2021: Voting member – Graduate Studies Committee

Special Projects

  • Journalism Fellows Program  | Communication Strategy | Summer 2023-present
  • Murrow Executive Education Program | Program Coordinator | Fall 2021-present
  • Spark Design Studio Brand Challenge | Professor| Aug 2022 – May 2023
  • Core to Career | Faculty Facilitator| Oct 2021-present
  • Adobe Creative Jams | Faculty Representative & Volunteer | 2018-2021

Awards Highlights

  • 2023-2026 Lester M. Smith Distinguished Professor
  • 2023 Stukent Professor of the Month (March)
  • 2021 Best Practices in Teaching (AEJMC)
  • 2021 President’s Distinguished Teaching Award
  • 2019 Provost Featured Faculty Member
  • 2019 Oaks Academic Technology Award
  • 2016 WaCLA PR Campaign #ifeelinspired
  • 2015 Scripps Howard Visiting Professor in Social Media
  • 2014 Plank Center Educator Fellow

Educator, training facilitator, and entrepreneur.

I am a Les Smith Distinguished Professor at Murrow College at Washington State University, with expertise in strategic communication, branding, and digital marketing. With 26 years of experience in professional communication, I focus on pursuing projects and scholarly activities that advance the field of integrated marketing communication, and have a passion for developing innovative learning experiences for my students. I am honored to be an award-winning professor whose talents in teaching and scholarship have been recognized by multiple organizations including six educator fellowships, President’s Distinguished Teaching Award for Career-Track Faculty, and the Muriel Oaks Award for innovation in teaching. Outside of teaching, I am a co-investigator and communications strategist on a NCCIH/NIH-funded grant called the Center of Excellence for Natural Product-Drug Interaction Research, primary coordinator for undergraduate assessment initiatives for Murrow College, and serve on the Board of Trustees for FāVS News. I also recently concluded nine years of service as Director of Murrow Online Programs. I am professionally certified in learning experience design (LXD) and hold a bachelor’s and master’s degree in communications.

Current Roles

Scholarly Associate Professor

Washington State University (2012-present)

Social media engagement, digital media campaigns, integrated communications, strategic communications, branding and consumer behavior, advertising, user experience design, learning experience design, and instructional design for online course and program delivery.

Recent Courses:
– MA Capstone (COMSTRAT 701)
– Professional Digital Content Promotion (COMSTRAT 563)
– Advertising Agency Operations and Campaigns (COMSTRAT 480)
– Consumer Insights and Branding (COMSTRAT 476)
– Digital Content Promotion (COMSTRAT 310)
– Media & Society (COM 101)


Center of Excellence for Natural Product-Drug Interaction Research (2015-present)

Dean Bruce Pinkleton and I serve on the Informatics Core that is responsible for establishing a permanent, publicly accessible, repository for the resulting data and creating a user-friendly public portal for dissemination of the findings.

We lead communications strategy for brand and messaging, support cross-channel subject recruitment campaigns, and oversee the Center’s social media calendar and content.

Undergraduate Assessment Coordinator

The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication (2023-present)

As the Assessment Coordinator, I am responsible for developing and implementing effective assessment practices for strategic communication and journalism degree programs. I collaborate with college leadership and faculty members to design appropriate research and assessment methods, coordinate assessment efforts for our programs in Pullman, Everett, Vancouver, and online, and analyze program assessment results. I work closely with faculty and WSU’s Office of Assessment for Curricular Effectiveness to develop assessment materials, analyze data, and prepare reports for program stakeholders.

Principal Consultant

Stickperson LLC

Stickperson is a team of innovative creators and educators who are passionate about learning experience design and online education. We seek to inspire others who are currently teaching college courses online or want to learn how to improve the quality of their classes and materials. We offer a range of services in learning experience design. We specialize in developing training programs and course materials. We also design and host webinars and online training programs. Our principals and extended team work together to create and deliver content and materials that are ready for distribution.


Master of Science, Communication
Eastern Washington University (2003)

Bachelor of Arts, Organizational Communication
California State University Sacramento (1996)

Certified, Learning Experience Design
Oregon State University (2021)

Past Experience

Director, Murrow Online Programs

The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication (2014-2023)

I provided long-term and day-to-day management of the college’s online degree programs and certificates. It was my responsibility to ensure the quality of curriculum design and delivery, personalized attention in advising and mentoring, faculty training and orientation in development and execution of content in the digital space.

Director of Marketing and Business Development

University of Colorado Lockheed Martin Engineering Management Program (2010-2012)

Developed and generate awareness of the engineering management degree with prospective students, corporations, and associations through earned, owned and paid marketing methods, digital campaigns, customer relations management, and metrics. Launched sustainable recruitment and retention campaigns.

Director of Regional Marketing & Web Coordinator

University of Idaho (2007-2010)

Managed marketing, outreach and web initiatives for three regional university centers, served as interim Director of Web Communications managing staff and training web authors and managed special outreach assignments for leadership.

Adjunct Professor

Whitworth University & Eastern Washington University (2005-2008)

Communication Studies Departments – Designed and delivered multiple courses focused on public relations, transitioning graphic designers into the workplace and integrated campaigns.

Associate Director of University Relations

Eastern Washington University (1997-2003)

Managed staff of 16 to execute university marketing, web marketing, event promotions, publications development, strategic planning, creative concept development, branding and image development. Served as a brand ambassador and project manager and served on multiple committees within and outside EWU.

Senior Account Manager

CW Crocker Communications (1994-1997)

Managed project supervision, quality control, copywriting, production coordination, marketing management, event coordination, and implementation, PR project development and advertising management.

Grants & Contracts

  • Google Play Academy via Stickperson LLC | Instructional Designer/Content Creator | 2021-present
  • Pacific Northwest National Labs (PNNL) StoryLab on Demand Video Series via Stickperson LLC | Instructor and Facilitator | Oct 2020- Feb 2021
  • Aga Khan University Graduate School of Media Communications and the Center of Excellence in Journalism at the International Business Institute via Stickperson LLC | Instructor and Facilitator | Sep-Dec 2020
  • Syracuse University Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) via Stickperson LLC | Instructor and Facilitator | July 2020
  • Miller Coors/Alcoholic Beverage Medical Research Foundation | “Great Plays”; Consultant – Web Development, Analytics, and Reporting (2013-2014)