102 Elliott Hall
A Brookings, S.D., native, Cecil spent seven years as a media professional, working for daily newspapers, political campaigns and in corporate media relations. He earned his bachelor’s degree in History from South Dakota State University, his master’s degree in History from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and a Ph.D. in Mass Communication from the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Before joining the Elliott School as director in 2013, Cecil was Associate Professor and Assistant Department Head for the South Dakota State University Department of Journalism and Mass Communication. He previously served on the faculties at Purdue University and the University of Oklahoma.
Cecil is a media historian and the author of Hoover’s FBI and the Fourth Estate: The Campaign to Control the Press and the Bureau’s Image, published in 2014 by the University Press of Kansas. He has a contract with UPofK to publish J. Edgar Hoover’s PR Men: Inside the Campaign to Create the Iconic FBI, which will be published in 2016. In addition, he has published or presented more than 20 papers on topics ranging from public relations history to media criticism. His most recent journal publication is “Coming on Like Gang Busters: J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI and the Battle to Control Radio Portrayals of the Bureau, 1936-1958,” which will be published in January 2015 in Journalism History.