Susan Balcom Walton, APR, is the vice president for university and public affairs at the University of North Dakota. Since 2006, Walton has been a faculty member in the Brigham Young University (BYU) department of communications. She worked for nearly 20 years in public relations and communications in higher education and for Fortune 500 companies, including The Dow Chemical Company, where she completed a nearly two-year assignment in Switzerland managing European and global plastics communications. She was also the director of corporate communications at Boise Cascade Corporation, where she oversaw communications activities for the company’s rebranding and its acquisition of OfficeMax. In addition, she served as director of corporate communications for Harley-Davidson Motor Company in Milwaukee, Wis.
Walton writes and lectures extensively on change management communication, workplace culture and PR ethics. Her articles have appeared frequently in the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) publications.
As a member of the Utah Journalism and Education team, Walton has conducted workshops and training to help strengthen working relationships and collaboration between practicing journalists and educators/education spokespersons. She co-authored a book on the subject earlier this year.
From May 2009–May 2012, Walton served as associate chair of BYU's department of communications, where she had administrative oversight for the department's public relations, advertising and print/broadcast journalism labs. She has served as advisor to the BYU Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) for six years, and has also provided oversight for her department’s public relations internship programs, which provides her with a unique perspective on preparing public relations students to meet workplace expectations. She has served on PRSA’s Strategic Planning Committee and Certification Task Force, and chaired PRSA’s Member Research Task Force. She has served as a Certification for Education in Public Relations (CEPR) site examiner, a Silver Anvil judge, and Delegate-at-Large to the 2010 PRSA National Assembly. She has served as a Director-At-Large on the PRSA National Board of Directors since 2011. She is also a member of the Commission on Public Relations Education (CPRE).
Walton holds a Bachelor of Independent Studies degree and a master’s degree in English from BYU. She and her husband are the parents of three daughters. As a girl, Walton made a list of “must-see” travel destinations across the globe and set a goal to visit them all. As an adult she has spent much of her free time in that delightful pursuit.