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Meet the Program Director: Public Relations and Advertising

Ron Culp
Ron Culp

"Experiential learning is at the heart of my teaching philosophy. In addition to practical assignments where students personally interact with numerous ad and PR professionals, I help students build and expand their networks as they prepare for careers in the profession I love. "

On the MA in Public Relations and Advertising Program
DePaul's Public Relations and Advertising (PRAD) program is located in the heart of Chicago, the second largest agency city in the United States. As a result, most of our classes feature agency and corporate executives who provide first-person insights that provide valuable real-world experiences not available at many other universities.

On the Type of Student PRAD Seeks
Our program is designed for individuals with a passion for public relations and advertising who seek additional hands-on training or wish to transition from a job in another field.

Why our Program is a Unique Place to Study Public Relations and Advertising
Ask any graduate of our program and they'll most likely cite the balance of theory and experiential teaching as a unique feature of the DePaul PRAD program. Our location in the heart of Chicago is surrounded by more than 200 advertising and public relations agencies, thousands of nonprofit organizations and corporations — all providing potential internships and job opportunities for our students.

Our academic and professional faculty employ innovative teaching approaches that engage students in practical classroom and field assignments that touch on every experience you'll face in the in your career. With a teaching approach centered on providing essential technical and professional preparation for public relations and advertising jobs, students learn by doing. They are prepared for what awaits them in their PR and advertising careers.

DePaul's PRAD faculty provides a perfect balance between the best minds in academia and top professionals who tap their knowledge and networks to ensure a valuable educational experience.

What Drew You to the Discipline?
Throughout my career, I have visited colleges to speak with students about careers. A couple of years ago, Teresa Mastin asked if I would consider teaching at DePaul, and I jumped at the opportunity to be a part-time adjunct professor. Six months later, the dean asked me to become the first professional director of the PRAD graduate program. I promptly quit my highly paid agency job in order to do something far more rewarding at this time of my life. Hearing from students who are landing jobs in the profession has become a high point of my life.

My focus is squarely set on helping young people prepare to launch their careers. My blog — — provides advice for individuals pursuing careers in public relations, and I have mentored hundreds of promising professionals over my long career.

Why Do You Teach at DePaul?
After a long, successful career in major corporations and agencies, I wanted to dedicate this chapter of my life to helping others who share my passion for communication. Although not a Catholic, I am impressed with the Vincentian culture that permeates the atmosphere of the university. Faculty, administration and students truly care about each other and they love the institution. It's infectious and motivating for everyone associated with DePaul.

What Makes Chicago a Special City to You?
I travel often, but I can't wait to get back home since I love the unique Chicago vibe. I'm lucky to live in the city so I can enjoy the amazing architecture and riverfront as I walk to work.