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PR department welcomes new professor Sadia Cheema

by brockportnews
Tue, Sep 18th 2018 09:20 pm

 

When freshman and transfer students move into a new learning environment, they tend to  be anxious. However, when a new professor, who has traveled across the globe settles into a new school, it can be both exciting and rewarding. 

Just ask Sadia Cheema Ph.D, who has joined the faculty at The College at Brockport as the new assistant professor in public relations. Prior to that, Cheema ventured all over the world. 

Cheema was born in Pakistan, where her father worked as a government official. She earned her education from universities across the globe, such as the University of Cambridge in England. Cheema has a background in marketing and finance, while also working, and later teaching, consumer behavior in advertising in Pakistan. However, she didn’t enjoy how the manipulative and unethical advertising industry was functioning at the moment and felt more comfortable with her ethics in the research field.

Later, when Cheema came to the United States, where  she had been living for eight years, she received a master’s degree in communication studies at Stephen F. Austin University, in Texas. Once she finished that, she decided to do her doctoral program in mass communication at Texas Tech University and graduated with a focus in public relations.

Cheema became really interested in social behaviors, where her research focuses on finding ways media organizations can impact younger adults to get more involved and care about issues facing their communities. You can tell as soon as you meet her that Cheema cares. She has the willingness to understand and engage more with her students, rather than just lecturing and having them take notes. 

“I liked using classrooms to learn and grow as a person and making sure I can bring the same to the new generation. I enjoy that interaction from the teaching institution,” Cheema said.

She described herself as a “ very research-oriented” Cheema has been part of many research institutions, including work with the Chipotle app game, Scarecrow and Snapchat. Cheema researched how teens shape their views and express themselves through these apps. Also, Cheema is noticing how important a number of likes or hearts are to teens, just as it is in a video game, whether you are moving up in levels or prestiging; it all means something. 

There were various reasons why Cheema came to Brockport. Besides the teaching institution, there were opportunities this campus offered and supported to get students involved and grow in the PR department. She plans on popularizing the PR club by starting a podcast, where students can interact and debate about issues in the news, such as the recent Nike campaign with former NFL starting quarterback, Colin Kaepernick. 

“My plan is to do these interesting things to make students on campus learn about who we are, what we do and get them excited. I think Brockport has given me this great platform to make students grow, understand and apply PR in various ways,”Cheema said. 

Cheema understands that the PR field has died down in recent years, but she hopes students who are interested in PR, can use her as guide. 

Cheema has had some key mentors in her life, including her parents. Her parents raised her in a multicultural environment, exposing her to many cultures when she moved from place to place. Also, Professor Melissa Gotlieb, an advertising professor at Texas Tech. University, had a great impact on Cheema’s life. Cheema and Gotlieb worked closely with one another in the research field and Gotlieb was the one who introduced and influenced Cheema to focus her research of social behavior through games and apps. 

When Cheema is not teaching, she is  buying the entire Petco,  she is a big animal lover. She shares a ten month old husky named Max, with her husband, Alex. When she  lived in Chicago, she had a couple of parakeets and almost bought a cat, but her husband talked her out of it. She loves to stay in shape by doing yoga and she also enjoys watching documentaries. 

Most recently, her husband who is a professor at Coastal Carolina University in South Carolina, was impacted by Hurricane Florence. Her husband drove twelve hours straight to Cheema’s apartment, after being told to evacuate from the state last week when the storm became more evident. 

“It’s a hard and challenging situation. It’s not good for the world and not good for the people in general, so we do hope people come out of it safely,” Cheema said.

Of course, semesters have their ups and downs and already, some students are experiencing obstacles. To all the Brockport students, Cheema offered a little advice to make it through a challenging semester. 

“The best thing you can do is to reach out and find a person you can connect with and to be mindful of your social behavior. Be respective, be tolerant, embrace how the world is changing and be part of something new and important.”