Faculty/Staff | Troy University



Robbyn Taylor

Dr. Robbyn Taylor

Director, Hall School of Journalism and Communication
Assistant Professor of Journalism and Communication Studies

Robbyn Brooks Taylor is the director of Hall School of Journalism and Communication where she also teaches undergraduate, masters and doctoral students . She earned both her B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and M.S. in Strategic Communication from Troy University and completed her Ph.D. in Communication at Regent University. Dr. Taylor specializes in mobile journalism and multimedia journalism techniques, and also works with the department's broadcast, advertising and public relations students. Dr. Taylor was the student publications adviser for Troy's student newspaper, The Tropolitan, and the school's yearbook, The Palladium until June 2022 when she became the school's director. Before joining the Hall School's faculty, Dr. Taylor worked as a photojournalist at WSFA in Montgomery, a reporter at WNCF in Montgomery, a reporter, mobile journalist, columnist and editor for Freedom Communications in Northwest Florida (The Destin Log, The Northwest Florida Daily News and The Crestview News Bulletin), an international spokesperson and media coordinator for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in Washington, D.C. and as managing editor of The Messenger in Troy. Dr. Taylor has garnered awards for her journalism writing both in Florida and Alabama, and has won top paper awards from divisions in the Southern States Communication Association, the National Communication Association and the Religious Communication Association. Dr. Taylor is currently the immediate past-chair and nominating representative of the Political Communication Division of the Southern States Communication Association, the president-elect of the Southeast Journalism Conference and on the editorial board of Artifact Analysis. 


Dr. Bridgette Colaco

Dr. Bridgette Colaco

Assistant Professor of  Journalism and Communication Studies

Dr. Bridgette Colaco is an assistant professor in the Hall School of Journalism and Communication. She also serves as the Hall School's Graduate Studies Coordinator. She brings more than 25 years of professional and academic experience in journalism and international communications to the Hall School. Her last professional title was Assistant Editor of Hindustan Times English daily in Mumbai, India. She received her Ph.D. in Mass Communication and Media Arts from The University of Southern Illinois, Carbondale. She has obtained an International Diploma in Advanced Journalism from the Thomson Foundation at Cardiff University, Wales where she held a Jean Rich scholarship. She is a fellow of the Business Journalism Professors program at Arizona State University. 

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Amanda Diggs

Dr. Amanda Diggs

Associate Professor of Communication Studies

Dr. Amanda Diggs is an associate professor of communication in Troy University's Hall School of Journalism and Communication. She also serves as the Hall School's Coordinator of Assessment. She earned her B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and Social Science from Troy University, her M.A. in Communication from Auburn University and her Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences majoring in Pharmacy Care Systems with Communication and Socio-Behavioral emphases from Auburn University. Dr. Diggs' teaching interests are communication studies, health communication, strategic communication and cultural communication. 

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Morgan Drinkard

Morgan Drinkard 

Lecturer of Public Relations and Advertising

Morgan Hooper Drinkard is a lecturer of public relations and multimedia communication in the Hall School and serves as adviser for the university's yearbook, The Palladium. She received her B.S. in Broadcast Journalism/Public Relations from Troy University and her M.A. in Public Relations from The University of Alabama. Before joining Troy's teaching staff full-time, she served as the executive director of the Johnson Center for the Arts. 

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Stefanie East

Stefanie East

Lecturer of Journalism and Communication Studies

Stefanie Hicks East is a lecturer in the Hall School of Journalism and Communication, as well as the adviser for the university's student newspaper, The Tropolitan. She earned both her B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and M.S. in Strategic Communication from Troy University and is working toward her Ph.D. in Communication from Regent University. Ms. East worked in the media industry for nearly 20 years, most recently as the evening news anchor at Alabama News Network, the CBS and ABC affiliates for central, west, and south Alabama. While there she was awarded “Best TV News Anchor” by the Alabama Associated Press, and “Best News Series” by both the Alabama Associated Press and the Alabama Broadcaster’s Association. She began her career at WTVY in Dothan, Alabama, where she anchored and produced the morning newscast. After her news career, she transitioned into PR where she served as the director of communications for the State of Alabama's Office of Information Technology.

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Dr. Shari Hoppin

Dr. Shari Hoppin

Associate Professor of Journalism and Communication Studies

Dr. Shari Hoppin is an associate professor in the Hall School of Journalism and Communication. She earned a B.A. from the University of Ottawa, Canada, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Southern California. Dr. Hoppin is the author of The Dark Side of Persuasion. She has published articles and delivered conference presentations at regional, national, and international levels. Her current research interests include the philosophy of communication, persuasion and influence, and communication in health care contexts. Dr. Hoppin taught at the University of Southern California and at Florida State University before joining the faculty at Troy University. She is a member of the University’s graduate faculty and teaches in the Master of Science in Strategic Communication degree program in addition to teaching undergraduate courses. Her other professional and academic experience includes working as a reporter and editor and coordinating the Hall School’s internship program.  

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David "Doc" Kirby

David "Doc" Kirby

Lecturer of Journalism and Communication Studies

David Kirby has been a full-time lecturer for the Hall School of Journalism and Communication since 2006. He received his B.M.E. from Troy University and his M.S.E from Troy University and also holds 21 semester hours of additional graduate work in communications. Mr. Kirby specializes in broadcast journalism and communication technology, bringing decades of real-world broadcast experience to the classroom. Mr. Kirby is well-known for his radio daily book review show, his monthly column in Dixie Living magazine and his weekly half-hour interview show on the radio. Kirby works with the Troy University Jazz program in the John M. Long School of Music at Troy University. He continues to serve as a minister for the United Methodist Church, and is the Operations/Program Manager for Troy Broadcasting Corporation. 

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Ava Tabb

Dr. Ava Tabb

Lecturer of Journalism

Dr. Ava Tabb is a lecturer in the Hall School. She received her B.A. from The University of Alabama and her M.S. from Northwestern University and  her Ph.D. in Instructional Design from Auburn University. Her primary teaching interests are multimedia journalism, digital photography and advertising. Dr. Tabb's professional experience includes working as a general assignment at the Andalusia Star daily newspaper and as a writer for the Birmingham Business Journal. Prior to joining the Hall School's faculty, Dr. Tabb taught at Miles College. 

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Melissa Voynich

Melissa Voynich

Lecturer of Communication Studies

Melissa Voynich is a lecturer in the Hall School of Journalism and Communication. She earned a B.A. in Communication and Journalism at Mercer University, M.A. in Communication from Auburn University, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Adult Education at Auburn University. Having worked for more than ten years in higher education, Voynich has served in both faculty and staff roles as a marketing consultant and instructional designer in multiple colleges at Auburn University, including the School of Communication and Journalism and the Harbert College of Business. Voynich also has advised several Greek and student government organizations at Georgia Military College and her alma mater, Mercer University. She has garnered several awards for her research and marketing campaigns, including a Top Three Faculty Paper Award from AEJMC, Medallion Awards from the Public Relations Council of Alabama, and a Lantern Award by the Southern Public Relations Federation. Active/hybrid learning, managing massively open online courses (MOOCs), and using discussion to foster understanding in the classroom are primary areas of interest.

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