Sonya DiPalma, Ph.D., APR, is an associate professor of mass communication at the University of North Carolina Asheville and the recipient of the 2015 Ginger Rudeseal Carter Miller Teacher of the Year Award through the Association for Educators of Journalism and Mass Communication.

ieiMedia Institute selected Sonya as a 2015 Faculty Research Fellow for the Urbino, Italy journalism practicum in multimedia storytelling. In 2011 she received a fellowship with the American Red Cross through The Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations, located at The University of Alabama.

Prior to transitioning into academia, she worked as a public relations practitioner for the West Virginia Department of Education, a private natural gas distribution company, and a Fortune 500 energy company. She lives in Asheville with her husband Frank.