#FacultyFriday: Meet Michelle Rai

Professor Michelle Konn Rai specializes in public relations and integrated marketing communications. Prior to teaching, she worked in several different positions at PUC; as an enrollment counselor, assistant director of enrollment services, and director of public relations. She enjoys spending quality time with her two children, Sophie and Joshua, and husband, David; Instagramming the antics of her dog, Snowball; surfing when back in Hawaii; playing tennis, and experimenting with exotic cuisine.

Name: Michelle Rai    
Title: Assistant Professor of Communication and Department Chair
Email: mrai@puc.edu
Faculty since: 2006

Classes taught: Intro to Communication, Intro to Public Relations, Crisis Communications, Marketing Communications, Fundraising for Nonprofits, Junior Seminar, Senior Seminar

Education: B.A. in Communication & B.S. in Journalism from Pacific Union College; M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications from Golden Gate University

What made you decide to be a teacher?

Teaching found me and I’m so grateful. I was busy working as the PR director for PUC when I heard of an opening for a public relations professor. The academic dean and department chair at the time talked me into trying it, and it has been such a rewarding and fulfilling career.

What are some of your hobbies?

USTA league tennis, pet Instagramming, being a short order cook for my kids, attempting to practice yoga, online bargain shopping, and trying new foods any chance I get.

What’s something people might be surprised to know about you?

I really don’t enjoy public speaking.

What’s your favorite thing about PUC?

The people, hands down. There is something so special about this place. It attracts incredibly talented and engaging faculty, staff, and students to create a wonderful learning space and community.   

What’s your favorite spot on campus?

I realize I should say something nostalgic such as the Back 40 forest but it’s really the Howell Mountain Deli in the College Market. I am slightly addicted to their Cobb salad and homemade garlic chips.

What’s your favorite song?

“Take On Me” by A-ha. Their lead singer Morten Harkett was my preteen crush and I would scream every time it played on the radio.

What advice would you give to an incoming freshman?  

I’d say the best thing you can do is get off your device. Experience college and get to know people face to face. You don’t need to document every minute of your day—keep people guessing about what makes you tick!

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