Otterbein Public Relations Instructor Creates Opportunities for Countless Students
Posted May 04, 2021
Felicity Boykin ’24
When Senior Instructor Dan Steinberg attended the University of California at Berkeley, he remembers loving the university, but getting a little lost in the shuffle of a 35,000-undergraduate-student campus. He applied for an internship with the California State Legislature that he did not receive. He thought if he would have been offered some guidance, he might have gotten the internship.
Steinberg says this impacted his desire over the past 21 years of teaching central Ohio college students to ensure that he always takes the initiative to make sure students reach their potential.
“My college experience decades ago has driven me to become a helping hand to students,” said Steinberg. “I want all students to have as many opportunities as possible to set them up for success.”
Steinberg goes the extra distance for students and has taught public relations (PR) experientially by taking students to such places as White House briefings in Washington, D.C. (where they saw President Obama in the West Wing), to Los Angeles for the Grammy Awards to learn about music industry PR, and to New York to meet with PR pros who promote Broadway shows, then watch those same Broadway shows.
“I like to learn what interests students have, then tailor our PR trips to the student interests,” said Steinberg. “We’ve been to fashion corporate headquarters and scores of professional and college athletic events. Each new trip also involves more contacts for students.”
He’s the faculty co-adviser to the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and to Sigma Alpha Tau. He’s also known for having students use the PR skills they learn in classes to promote a rock concert, a documentary, and host a virtual 5k, raising $4,097 this semester for the Nigel Chapman Emergency Student Relief Fund. Their grade is based on the outcome of the event.
Junior Jarod White has been fortunate enough to be a part of Steinberg’s educational experiences. White has been to a number of different sporting events with Steinberg to learn about — and experience — sports PR.
“I’ve been lucky enough to go to the Memorial Golf Tournament and enjoy press-box and news-conference experiences with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Cincinnati Reds, and Miami University football team. The networking and connections made are incredible,” White said.
He’s also attended 31 student weddings over the years. “It’s an honor to be invited,” Steinberg said.
“I’ve learned that to be a PR person you have to be a selfless person, putting others ahead of you. Being willing to put other people forward is the best thing you can do as a professional and a person,” White added.
COVID has not slowed down Steinberg’s passion for experiential learning. He has connected many students through virtual sessions with professionals, and has even squeezed in two face-to-face meetings, one with Randy Mobley ’80, International League Minor League Baseball president, and one with Huntington Bank CEO Steve Steinour.
Despite overcoming many of the challenges of COVID, Steinberg cannot wait to be back in the press box of Major League Baseball games.
“There’s nothing better than to see students get excited as they learn,” Steinberg said. “Being in the press box with students interested in sports PR is exciting for everyone, especially me. It’s a pretty cool life teaching university students. There’s nothing I’d rather do.”