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  Spring/Summer 2011
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Professor Nance McCown finds fulfillment in central Pennsylvania

Messiah College professor Nance McCown

Fueled by her passion for communication and public outreach, Nance McCown uses her skills as a writer, educator and public relations professional to cultivate meaningful relationships with Messiah students and throughout central Pennsylvania on a daily basis.

As an assistant professor of communication, McCown spends much of her time teaching courses ranging from crisis planning and media relations to introductory communication studies and public relations writing. Outside the classroom McCown is a freelance writer, vice president of the Central PA chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, a volunteer at her children’s school and a member of her church’s worship team.

McCown’s journey to Messiah started as a teenager looking for a college that would challenge her both academically and spiritually. Citing that desire, she made her way to Messiah College and received her degree in English with a secondary education certification.

After graduation, McCown taught high school English for a year, but realized it was not the path she wanted to pursue. Instead she came back to Messiah as an administrative assistant in the communications office and was eventually promoted to director of publications, a job she held for four years.

During this time, McCown began taking graduate courses at Temple University where she earned a master’s degree in journalism. With her master’s degree in hand, McCown became an adjunct professor at Messiah and played a key role in developing the communication program’s public relations concentration as it is today. After many years, and with the anticipation of completing her doctorate degree, McCown was promoted to a full-time faculty member and assumed her current position of assistant professor of communication.

“I love working in an environment where people are respectful, professional, committed to their faith and committed to the students we serve,” says McCown. “I am supported and valued as an employee, and our organizational leaders work hard at making sure we know we are valued. They listen, they respond and they invite participation in decision-making. I find all of that refreshing; it boosts both my morale and my productivity.”

McCown is wife to Jon, an internet security analyst for Verizon Business, and mother to three children: Stephen, 19, a freshman at Cedarville University; Kate, 17 and Christie, 15. McCown’s daughters attend Northern York High School and are each very involved in music and track, leading McCown to volunteer with both groups. She also helps plan events, work at concession stands, do publicity and promotion and, most recently, co-led costume procurement for the spring school musical, “Bye, Bye Birdie.” And, at West Shore Evangelical Free Church, McCown is a member of the worship team and helps with youth group.

As a lifelong resident of central Pennsylvania, McCown is thankful for all it has to offer. “It is nice to be close to metropolitan areas, yet still get a small-town feel through friendly communities, strong neighborhood ties and the overall traditional values of the region,” says McCown.

From her years at Messiah, she believes the College plays a very important role in this community feeling. “Our students enrich the surrounding area through countless hours of volunteer service, assisting businesses as interns, student teaching at local schools and, in many cases, through staying in the area beyond graduation and contributing as local citizens and employees,” says McCown.




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