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Faculty Feature: Meet Pattye Moore

Faculty Feature: Meet Pattye Moore

December 20, 2023

By Tami Althoff

This article is part of a series highlighting the faculty in our Online Strategic Communication and Digital Strategy graduate program.

Pattye Moore has acquired an abundance of leadership experience in her lengthy, distinguished career. She’s led big-name businesses like Sonic and Red Robin through times of turbulence and change, and she’s been a key decision-maker on several corporate boards, including ONEOK, ONE GAS and QuickTrip Corporation.

Now, she’s inspiring a new generation of leaders as an instructor in the Online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Digital Strategy program at the University of Oklahoma. The program, offered through OU’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication and OU Online, provides a pathway for students to prepare for career growth by mastering the latest communication and digital strategy skills.

Bringing practical experience to the classroom

Moore teaches an online management and leadership course for the program. Like most OU Online classes, the eight-week course offers a mix of practical experience and research-driven knowledge. Since more than 60 students are enrolled, Moore shares teaching responsibilities with her colleague, Elanie Steyn.

“We are co-teaching because it’s a short class. It’s only an eight-week class, and we have 66 students. That’s too much for one online course,” Moore said. “We developed the curriculum and teach the same thing. We just split the students into two groups. We bring the students together a few times a year for panel discussions.”

Moore, who holds a public relations degree from OU, said it was an easy yes when Gaylord staff approached her about teaching in the online strategic communications program. She’d been serving on the Gaylord Board of Visitors for many years and previously taught business courses for OU in Arezzo, Italy, with Debbie Yount, co-area head of the program.

“I’ve been preaching to Gaylord for decades that we need to expose our public relations and advertising students to business. They’re going to work for businesses if they work for agencies, and they’re going to be promoting businesses. They need to understand how business works and how management works. They’re going to need to rise to running a department, and they need to know that,” she said. “I’ve learned a lot about management, business and leadership through the school of hard knocks. I don’t have an MBA, but I learned along the way. So, when they asked me to teach, I said yes. They partnered me with Elanie, and we built the class.”

Moore said instructors in the program, like herself, bring a wealth of personal experience to the classroom. She spent 12 years with Sonic, holding the role of president of the company before she retired. She also spent a year as interim CEO of Red Robin. In both roles, she led the companies through significant change. She said those experiences taught her a lot about disruption and stepping into uncomfortable positions, and she’s able to share those lessons with her students. While teaching in the online environment came with a learning curve, she absolutely loves it.

Engaging online environment

The students are highly engaged in the class and do well with the format and curriculum.

During the first two weeks of class, students focus on learning their personal leadership style. The following two weeks focus on managing a team, and the last four weeks are on change and disruption.

“We have a speaker for each segment,” she said. “We focus on real-life examples, and I think that’s rewarding and a point of differentiation for OU’s online program.”

Moore said they recently brought in two OU alums who tied current events to what the students were learning in class.

“One speaker was senior vice president of corporate communications at Carnival Cruise Lines. He talked about change and disruption during COVID,” she said. “Another speaker, also an OU alum, runs a movie production studio in Los Angeles. She talked about change and disruption during the actors and writer strike.”

Prepared for career success

Moore, now a franchise partner with Donato’s Pizza in Edmond, Oklahoma, serves on a new board, Sooner Nation Collective, an NIL organization benefitting student-athletes. Although she cherishes her roles, past and present, in business, management and leadership, preparing students for a better future in their own careers has become her passion.

“Just saying you have a master’s degree doesn’t necessarily get you a promotion. How you handle change will make or break your career. I truly believe that. Being a champion of change gets you promoted,” she said. “Most of these students are either at a point where they’ve been promoted to a leadership position, or that’s their next step. Having this master’s program and flexing that muscle that’s needed to move up in your career, that networking with professors and other students, I think is incredibly valuable.”

Are you interested in an online degree program? Visit the OU Online website to learn more about the strategic communications program and other online degrees offered at the University of Oklahoma.