Dr Karen Sutherland - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Staff profile

Dr Karen Sutherland

PhD Monash, MMktg (with Merit) Newcastle(NSW), PGradDipArts(Research) Monash, BComn Monash

  • Lecturer, Public Relations
Email
Telephone
+61 7 5456 5277
Office location
D.1.25, Building D, USC Sunshine Coast
Campus
Sunshine Coast
Dr Karen Sutherland

Dr Karen Sutherland is a social media and public relations educator, researcher and consultant with more than 20 years industry experience in marketing, public relations and communication roles for organisations such as ABCTV, Fremantle Media, and the Australian Red Cross Blood Service. As the Program Coordinator for the Bachelor of Creative Industries (Social Media) program, Dr Sutherland is dedicated to demystifying the technology for local business, community, and nonprofits. Dr Sutherland’s passion also lies in connecting social media students to business-owners from the Sunshine Coast community who seek social media support.

Dr Sutherland’s work has been published widely in peer-reviewed journals and she is currently writing a book about social media management, due for release in 2020. Dr Sutherland has also presented her research at conferences and industry events in Australia, New Zealand and Portugal, led Social Media Study Tours to Vietnam and Hong Kong and regularly delivers social media workshops and coaching sessions to clients from a range of industries.

Stay in touch with Karen at:

Professional memberships

  • Social Media Marketing Institute

Current research projects

​Project Name 

​Project Description 

​Increasing Graduate Employability and Developing Social Media Proficiency as Professional Practice through Work Integrated Learning and Community Engagement 

​This project involves students engaging with Sunshine Coast businesses and not-for-profits to complete a Work Integrated Learning (WIL) activity.

Applying student voices in the evaluation of current blended learning initiatives at USC   

This project aligns with USC’s BL Strategy 2017–2020 and includes the student voice across USC to evaluate current BL initiatives and determine their preferences for specific BL pedagogies in their learning experience 

Research grants and commissions

Grant / project name 

​Investigators 

​Funding body and A$ Value  

​Year(s) 

​Focus 

​Applying student voices in the evaluation of current blended learning initiatives at USC   

​Dr Karen Sutherland & Dr Ginna Brock (Chief Investigators) 

​USC Commissioned Grant 

​$20k 

​2017-2019 

​The evaluation of current blended learning initiatives and determine their preferences for specific BL pedagogies in their learning experience 

​Increasing Graduate Employability and Developing Social Media Proficiency as Professional Practice through Work Integrated Learning and Community Engagement 

​Dr Karen Sutherland (Chief Investigator) 

​Umi Khattab 

​USC Exploratory Learning and Teaching Grant 

​$15k 

​2017-2019 

​Employer perceptions of social media skills and unprofessional behaviours impacting employability.

​Increasing student engagement and community via the integration of social media technologies to enhance/inform blended learning at USC 

​Dr Uwe Terton and Ms Irene Visser (Leads), Professor Cindy Davis and Dr Karen Sutherland 

​USC Exploratory Learning and Teaching Grant  

​$10k  

​2015-2016 

​To increase student engagement and community via the integration of social media technologies to enhance/inform blended learning at USC 

Social Media for Digital Leaders 

Karen Sutherland and Dr Susie Ho 

Better Teaching, Better Learning Grant, Monash University (A$2,000) 

2014-2015 

Multidisciplinary social media workshops for undergrads/social media pedagogy 

Publications

Sutherland, K.E. & Barker, R (2014) The Influence of Transmedia Storytelling Portfolio Examples on Employer Perceptions of Public Relations Graduate Employability – A Pilot Study, Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, Vol 15 No. 1 pp. 55–69.

Barker, R & Sutherland K.E. (2013) Employer expectations of public relations graduates’ transmedia storytelling proficiency, Prism Journal, 10(1), pp. 1–9.

Sutherland K.E & Symmons M (2013), Development of processes and assessment to facilitate a broad multidisciplinary Work Integrated Learning package, Asia Pacific Journal of Collaborative Education, 14(4) pp. 295–304.

Sutherland K.E, (2011), Utilising Facebook to create an online community for PR students, Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, Vol 12 No. 2 pp. 1–19.

Research areas

  • Social Media and employability
  • Social Media and Public Relations
  • social media pedagogy
  • Transmedia Storytelling

Teaching areas

  • Social Media
  • Social Media Pedagogy
  • Strategic Communication
  • Public Relations

Program coordinator

Dr Sutherland’s specialist areas of knowledge include social media for business and nonprofit organisations, work integrated learning, strategic communication, social media and employability, social media education, blended learning

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In the news

USC Newsroom
USC student wins social media marketing award
30 August 2019

An emotive social media campaign designed by a final-year USC Bachelor of Communications student has taken out the Best Student Campaign in the Social Media Marketing Awards for Australia and New Zealand.

USC graduate gets social with new business
16 May 2018

An entrepreneurial USC graduate from the Moreton Bay Region has set her career in full swing by launching her own social media business when she was still a student.