New faculty and staff

Fall 2015 edition


Patrick Allen is associate development director for the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications. He was most recently the director of alumni relations and annual giving at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. Before that, he worked as the manager of sales and marketing with the Sports Turf Managers Association in Lawrence. Allen received an undergraduate degree in education from KU and an MBA from Rockhurst University. He is the husband of Krista Allen, development director for the University of Kansas Cancer Center.


Heather Lawrenz is a digital media specialist for the School of Journalism. Her job includes supporting students and professors using the labs in Stauffer-Flint Hall, as well as developing technology training modules for classroom and anywhere/anytime use by students. She is an Adobe Certified Associate in Photoshop and has worked extensively using Adobe products for nearly 20 years.

Lawrenz is a J-School graduate. She also holds an education degree and a master’s degree in instructional design and technology from Emporia State University.

Before returning "home" to the J-School, Lawrenz worked as a high school journalism and digital art teacher in the Blue Valley School District, and in Lawrence and Hays, Kansas. She is excited to put her love of learning, journalism and working with others to use at the J-School.


Frances Lyons, assistant dean for student services, leads a team of dedicated professionals in providing students the support they need to explore their academic, co-curricular and career interests. Her professional experience at KU began as an advisor in the University Advising Center, primarily working with first- and second-year students. This experience then led her to positions in the School of Business and the School of Engineering in roles related to recruitment, advising, student leadership programming, and retention. Lyons has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Kansas State University and a master’s degree in higher education administration from KU.


Steve Rottinghaus is the career and outreach coordinator for the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications, where he works closely with students seeking internships and employment. Before joining KU, Rottinghaus was the public relations director for 10 years at Baker University. His duties at Baker included media relations, managing the primary social media accounts, coordinating photography and internal communications, and serving as the lead writer and editor for the alumni magazine.

Rottinghaus previously worked 20 years in newspapers, with stints at the Topeka Capital-Journal, Dallas Times-Herald, Manhattan Mercury and Lawrence Journal-World. His duties included sports writing, column writing, feature writing, editing and page design. As the special sections editor at the Journal-World for three years, he managed the content for the KU Today publication. He also was a sponsor and mentor to the Journal-World’s teen advisory board. Rottinghaus earned a bachelor’s degree from the William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications and a master’s degree in management from Baker.


Hong Tien Vu is assistant professor at the School of Journalism with a courtesy appointment to the KU Center of East Asian Studies.

His research focuses on international communication, development communication and changes in newsroom practices amid the rise of technological innovations. His research has been published in journals including Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly; Journalism Studies; Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism; Asian Journal of Communication; Journal of Information Technology & Politics; and Revista de Comunicación.

Vu brings extensive professional experience in both journalism and public relations. He is a former information and communications manager for Oxfam in Vietnam and has nearly 10 years of journalism experience with various news organizations including The Associated Press. He has taught in the Professional Communications Department at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, an Australian university.

He has won a number of highly prestigious awards for his academic excellence and research potential at the University of Kansas and the University of Texas at Austin. He is a former Fulbright Scholar. Vu successfully defended his dissertation in November.