Amanda Ruth-McSwain

Associate Professor

Address: 7 College, Room 305

Dr. Ruth-McSwain’s teaching and research interests are in strategic communication placed in agricultural contexts. More specifically, her specializations are in leadership communication and organizational public relations. Since her 2005 start at the College of Charleston, Dr. Ruth-McSwain has taught over 12 different courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including Leadership Communication, Strategic Communication Campaigns, Public Relations Cases, Business Communication and Ethics in Leadership Communication. 

Dr. Ruth Mc-Swain has served in a variety of leadership roles at the College. From 2011-2021, she served as the Director of the Bully Pulpit Series. She also served as the Interim Associate Dean for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences from 2019-2021, and as Director of the Master of Arts in Communication program from 2013-2019.

Dr. Ruth-McSwain came to the College of Charleston from the University of Florida, where she earned her Ph.D. in Agricultural Communication. During her graduate work, Dr. Ruth-McSwain received the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Jack Fry Teaching Excellence Award and the University of Florida’s 2005 Graduate Student Teacher of the Year Award for her role as a graduate instructor. In addition to her teaching background in strategic communication, she has professional experience in nonprofit public relations and market research. 

She has received several research recognitions, including Outstanding Graduate Student Research Paper for two consecutive years from The Association for Communication Excellence, as well as Outstanding Faculty Research Paper in 2005 and 2006. Her dissertation, titled “Sources of Agricultural News: The Media Relations Environment of Agricultural Communication Professionals” won the 2006 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Association for Communication Excellence. In 2009, Dr. Ruth-McSwain received the article of the year distinction from the Journal of Applied Communication.

Under her direction, Dr. Ruth-McSwain’s students have won awards from both the American Marketing Association and the Public Relations Society of America for their campaign work.

Three fun facts: two kids, dog lover, loyal chai drinker


Ph.D. and M.S., Agricultural Education and Communication | University of Florida

B.S., Agricultural Economics | Clemson University


Research Interests

  • food communication
  • risk communication
  • health science communication

Honors and Awards

  • 2020 - Distinguished Service Award (College of Charleston) 
  • Faculty of the Year (Department of Communication, College of Charleston)
  • Graduate Faculty of the Year (Department of Communication, College of Charleston)
  • EXCEL Graduate Faculty of the Year
  • Chair's Award (Department of Communication, College of Charleston)
  • CofC PRSSA Champion Award
  • 2009 - Journal of Applied Communication Article of the Year


Dorrance, E., Ruth-McSwain, A., & Ferrara, M.H. (2016, May). Models of health: Exploring memorable messages received from parents about diet and exercise. Journal of Communication in Healthcare.

Benigni, V. L., & Ruth-McSwain, A. (2014). Learning to Teach: What You Need to Know to Develop a Successful Career as a Public Relations Educator. In Dr. Bonita Dostal Neff (Ed.), (4th ed.). New York: Educators Academy of the Public Relations Society of America.

Ruth-McSwain, A. (2012). Eating Green: Newspaper coverage of the Locavore MovementJournal of Extension, 50(5), 5FEA7.

Ruth-McSwain, A. (2011). Gatekeeper or peacekeeper: The decision-making authority of public relations practitioners. Public Relations Journal, 5(1).

Kopfman, J. & Ruth-McSwain, A. (2011, April). Public Information Campaigns. In M. Lee, G. Neeley, & K.B. Stewart (Eds.) The Practice of Government Public Relations, Routledge.

Benigni, V. & Ruth-McSwain, A. (2009). Public Relations Strategies and Tactics: Instructor’s Manual and Test Bank (9th ed.), Allyn & Bacon.

Ruth-McSwain, A. & Telg, R. (2009). To bother or not to bother: Relationship development strategies of agricultural communication professionals. Journal of Applied Communications, 93(1/2), pp. 47-60.

Ruth-McSwain, A. (2009). Penchant for print: Media strategies in communicating agricultural information. Journal of Applied Communications, 93(31/2), pp.19-32.

Lundy, L. K., Ruth, A., & Park, T. (2008, May). Simply irresistible: Reality TV consumption patterns. Communication Quarterly, 56(2), pp. 208-225.

Lundy, L. K. & Ruth, A. (2007). Entertainment and agriculture: An examination of the impact of entertainment media on perceptions of agriculture. Journal of Applied Communications, 91(1/2), pp. 65-79.

Irani, T., Ruth, A., Telg, R., & Lundy, L. K. (2006). The ability to relate: Assessing the influence of a relationship marketing strategy and message stimuli on consumer perceptions of Extension. Journal of Extension, 44(6).

Lundy, L.K., Ruth, A., Telg, R., & Irani, T. (2006). It takes two: Public understanding of agricultural science and agricultural scientists' understanding of the public. Journal of Applied Communications, 90(1), pp. 55-68.

Ruth, A., Lundy, L., & Park, T. (2006). Glitz, glamour and the farm: Portrayal of agriculture as the Simple Life. Journal of Applied Communications, 89(4), pp. 21-37.

Ruth, A., & Eubanks, E. (2006). Mad news: Framing of the mad cow media coverage. Journal of Applied Communications, 89(1), pp. 39-54.

Ruth, A., Lundy, L., Telg, R., & Irani, T. (2005, September). Trying to relate: Media relations training needs of agricultural scientists. Science Communication, 27(1), pp. 127-145.

Ruth, A., Bortree, D., Braun, S., Flowers, K., & Ford, R. (2005, August). Web site media relations: A new direction for public relations professionals. Journal of Applied Communications, 89(1), pp. 9-23.

Ruth, A. & Lundy, L. (2004). Reaching Florida opinion leaders: Uncovering preferred communication channels. Journal of Applied Communications, 88(4), pp. 7-21.