St. Bonaventure University


Harris, Heather Lynn

Heather Harris

Journalism and Strategic Communication
Jandoli School of Communication

Assistant Professor
Director, Master's in Marketing Communication
Phone: (716) 375-2075
Send an email
Murphy Professional Building 218
Master's Level:
  • COM 500. Finding Your Voice: Intro to Marketing Communication
  • COM 580. Embracing the Audience: Empathy & Ethics
  • COM 520. Embracing Research: Marketing Communication Research
  • COM 720. Integrating Visuals: Communication Design
  • COM 620. Integrating Creative Strategy & Design
  • COM 800. Mastering the Field: Thesis
  • JMC 600. Visual Communication
  • JMC 399. Communication Research Methods
  • SC 303. Digital Marketing
  • SC 220. Digital Content & Engagement
  • Master of Fine Art, illustration, Academy of Art University, San Francisco, Calif., 2015.
  • Master of Business Administration, concentrations in finance and organizations & markets, William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Rochester, Rochester, N.Y., June 1992.
  • Bachelor of Science in marketing management, cum laude, Crouse-Hinds School of Management, Syracuse University, Syracuse, N.Y.; member of Beta Gamma Sigma, national business honor society; four-year volleyball scholarship (NCAA Division I), Academic All America, 1986 & 1988.


  • Exceptional, experienced higher education instructor focused on student engagement and experiential learning instructional strategies. Top student rankings for teaching and advisement.
  • Extensive online teaching experience including course development, instruction, and assessment.
  • More than a dozen years of experience working for Fortune 500 companies in marketing and communication roles.
  • Creator and scholar focused on storytelling and messaging to the youngest of audiences with both scholarly and commercial publications.
  • Award winning creator and scholar — recognized for excellence in contributions to the commercial publishing field and recognized for excellence in research and scholarship in the academic field. 


Harris is an experienced Fortune 500 marketer, communicator, and entrepreneur. She began her professional career in marketing after getting an M.B.A. from the William E. Simon School of Business Administration at the University of Rochester. In the following 12 years, she worked for three different fortune 500 companies in several different industries including medical, food, and toy.

She has launched over 250 products and managed them through their entire life cycle from concept to obsoletion, utilizing marketing planning and strategy, marketing communication, and financial management to achieve profitable gains for the companies that employed her. Heather has led multi-functional teams, directed creative agencies, and managed product categories ranging from $25 million to $250 million in sales.

She has also concepted and built several entrepreneurial businesses based in the arts and arts communication. Her work concepting and leading redFISH Art Studios and Gallery helped lead an evolution in the arts scene in Western New York and launched her as an emerging artist. She also concepted and built her own illustration business, which has won several industry awards in illustration and storytelling and services clients in both the toy and publishing industries.


Harris teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses within the Communication and Journalism programs. She has a proven track record of bringing the best pedagogical practices into the classroom, adapting to student learning needs and styles across multiple educational levels, institutions, and modalities, and developing curriculum that advances student proficiency and keeps the university on the forefront of education. 

Harris is a passionate educator who meets the learner where they are in their educational journey and uses a transformational approach in her teaching to help students achieve their goals. Engaging students in the learning through constructivist strategies, where students construct meaning from active learning experiences, makes the learning accessible and memorable.

Transformational teachers know that artful teaching without science lacks efficacy, and scientific teaching without aesthetics lacks vision. Harris’ academic credentialing in both “right-brain” and “left-brain” subject matters means that artful teaching with scientific rigor comes naturally to her and is her sweet spot in the classroom.


Harris’ research interest lies in storytelling and visual engagement and its power on audiences. Her most recent scholarly work focuses on messaging to the youngest of audiences through kid-centric mediums such as song, video, and books. Her current research is exploring the changes of messages delivered by Disney animated film songs and visual imagery used to market the movies to the youngest of audience over the past 70+ years.

Exploring the changes of messages delivered to children over time, Harris focuses on song and imagery as modes of communication to children and uses content analysis of words and imagery to identify trends and their potential impact.  Harris’ scholarly work is the fuel that informs her original creative work in children’s books which she authors and illustrates.


Harris authors and illustrates stories for children ages 1–8 years old with the goal of empowering them to understand and navigate the world around them. Mindful of her findings from her scholarly research, Harris utilizes imagery, language, shape, and color to create stories that engage the youngest of audiences and invites wonder and awe. 

Purposeful use of animal characters, careful language and social emotional learning subject matter are tools Harris uses to invite inclusivity into the worlds she creates. Harris has illustrated 11 children’s books and won numerous awards including The Moonbeam Award, The Purple Dragonfly Award, and the NYC Big Book Award.


Honors and Awards

  • 2021 — Academy of Business Research Best Paper Award “Unintended Influence of Disney Media Messaging on the Youngest of Audiences” Fall 2021 Conference, San Antonio, TX
  • 2020 — Academy of Business Research Best Paper Award “Mansplaining 101: Male/Female Miscommunication Among Undergraduate Students” Spring 2020 Conference, New Orleans, LA
  • 2020 — Purple Dragonfly Award for Excellence in Children’s Literature Honorable Mention in both Best Illustrations and Picture Books 5 & Younger Categories
  • 2019 — NYC Big Book Award – National award for Excellence in Children’s Picture Books in the Children’s Inspirational category for the title Clover and the Shooting Star
  • 2018 — Moonbeam Award – National award for Excellence in Children’s Picture Books in the Pre-school picture books category for the title Five Hungry Mice
  • 2006 —  Susan B. Anthony Promise Award for excellence in leadership, wisdom and a career that promises to fulfill Susan B. Anthony’s vision, University of Rochester
  • 2004 — Marketing Excellence Award Newborn Team, Fisher-Price
  • 2002 — Fisher-Price Team Excellence Award Babygear Team, Fisher-Price
  • 1994 — Bausch & Lomb Contact Lens Marketing Team Award, Bausch & Lomb
  • 1989 — Fred Brightman Memorial Award for Excellence in Athletics and Personal Character, Syracuse University Alumni Club of Rochester


  • 2022 — Petsche, J., & Beste, K., Harris, H. L., (2022) Stink or Swim, Madison, WI (First, Ser. Glofriends). Playmonster.
  • 2022 —Petsche, J., & Beste, K., Harris, H. L., (2022) Strong All Along, Madison, WI (First, Ser. Glofriends). Playmonster.
  • 2022 —Petsche, J., & Beste, K., Harris, H. L., (2022) Don’t Stop That Wiggle Hop, Madison, WI (First, Ser. Glofriends). Playmonster. 
  • 2021 — Harris, H., (2021). Unintended Influence of Disney Media Messaging on the Youngest of Audiences.  Academy of Business Research.  October 2021 Conference Proceedings.  Winner:  Best Paper, Marketing Track.
  • 2020 — DeSimone, K., Harris, H., Moore, E., (2020). Mansplaining 101: Male/Female Miscommunication Among Undergraduate Students. Academy of Business Research. March 2020 Conference Proceedings.  Winner:  Best Paper, Management Track.
  • 2020 — Preston, D. & Harris, H. L., (2020) The Monster in my Basement, CrissCross AppleSauce, A City of Light Publishing Imprint.
  • 2019 — McLaren, Brian & Higgins, Gareth & Harris, Heather Lynn, (2019) Cory and the Seventh Story, Ontario, Canada self-published children’s picture book.
  • 2018 — Integrated Marketing and other Communication articles posted to SBU online blog.
  • 2018 — Harris, Heather Lynn, (2018) Five Hungry Mice, Buffalo, NY, CrissCross Applesauce, A City of Light Publishing Imprint.
  • 2016 — Harris, Heather Lynn, (2016) Clover and the Shooting Star, Buffalo, NY, Buffalo Heritage Limited.
  • 2014 — Stevenson, Robert Louis, Harris, Heather Lynn, (2014) The Swing, Buffalo, NY, Buffalo Heritage Limited.