Faculty Profile for Paul Villagran

profile photo for Paul Villagran
Paul Villagran
Asst Professor of Practice — School of Jrnlism & Mass Comm
LAMP 203
phone: (512) 245-2656

Biography Section

Biography and Education

Assistant Professor of Practice in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Texas State University. With a background of more than 20 years of experience as an Air Force Public Affairs officer, his focus is on the Public Relations sequence with emphasis on the impact social media has had on the practice, crisis communication and support for Veteran’s in higher education.

During his tenure at Texas State University, he has been a co-primary investigator on a $3 million grant designed to address various Veteran-related issues in higher education and is currently working as the interim Communication Director on a $2 million grant which focuses on data science and data science certifications for members of the State of Texas workforce.

Recent grant work includes public relations director for promoting programming on a $2 million award designed to generate a data science certification for students as well as working professionals with corporations in the region.

Created the go-to "in-house" media training program for university health scholar fellows affiliated with the university's Translational Health Research Center.

Villagran is also the founder of PR GO, a non-profit, student run public relations agency designed to provide strategic communication counsel to small businesses in the local community. He has also provided public relations counsel to various other civic organization and non-profits including the San Marcos Transit System, the local DARE program, the Greater San Marcos Youth Council and the University Police Department.

In addition to teaching, grant execution and community service, Villagran is the faculty advisor for the Public Relations Student Society of America chapter at Texas State. Under his leadership, the chapter membership has increased more than 300%, received Star Chapter and Pacesetter awards from the national headquarters as one of the top chapters in the nation and raised more than $40k and hosted the National Conference with more than 1,000 attendees.

Prior to coming to Texas State University, Villagran was the Deputy Director for the United States Air Force Public Affairs Agency. In addition to having oversight of the Air Force’s premiere combat camera photographers and videographers and two Department of Defense award-winning multi-media production centers, he also had management responsibilities of the Air Force’s social media programs, which currently have nearly 2 million followers.

In previous assignments, Villagran was the Director of the Air Force’s Special Operations Public Affairs, worked on the Air Force’s Press desk in the Pentagon and managed the Department of Defense’s televisions and radio broadcast network in the Republic of Korea. As a Public Affairs officer he has worked with national and international media including NBC, ABC, CNN, Fox, NPR, BBC and Al Jazeera.

Villagran has a M.A. in Communication from the University of Oklahoma and a B.S. in Public Relations and Broadcast Journalism from the University of Oregon. He also has a M.S. in Military Operational Art and Sciences from the Air Force’s Air Command and Staff College. In 2010 he was a two-time Public Relations Society of America Silver Anvil award recipient including the top national PR campaign of the year.

Teaching Interests

Crisis Communication
Impact of Digital Communication on PR

Research Interests

Veteran/University Integration

Selected Scholarly/Creative Work

  • Villagran, P. D. (2022). Sparking student engagement and cultural understanding thRough service learning (p. 3). New York, New York, US: PRSA. Retrieved from https://www.prsa.org/home/get-involved/professional-interest-sections/educators-academy
  • Villagran, P. D. (2003). Relational Progression as a Dialectic: Examining Turning Points in Communication among Friends. Comm Monographs.
  • Villagran, P. D. (2001). The Effects of Anger, Sadness and Happiness on Persuasive Message Processing:  A Test of the Negative State Relief Model.

Selected Awards

  • Award / Honor Recipient: Teaching Award of Honor, Texas State Alumni Association. March 2020 - Present
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Presidential Award for Excellence in Service. February 2019 - Present
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Foundations of Excellence Award, Student Organizations Council. April 1, 2022 - May 1, 2022
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Foundations of Excellence, Texas State University Student Foundation. June 2022 - Present
  • Award / Honor Recipient: Service Learning Faculty, Service Learning Office. November 2018 - Present

Selected Grants

  • Villagran, Paul David (Supporting). Data Science Pathways, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Federal, $1500000. (Funded: May 2022 - Present). Grant.
  • Villagran, Paul David. SHARE, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Federal, $900000. (Funded: January 2016 - Present). Grant.

Selected Service Activities

University Mentor
PRSSA Spring Professional Development Trip 22
April 2022-April 2022
University Mentor
PRSSA Spring Professional Development Trip 2019
April 2019-April 2019
University Mentor
PRSSA Spring Professional Development Trip 18
April 2018-April 2018
Academic Freedom
Texas State 125th Anniversary