Flagler College Professor with An Environmental Conservation Passion Finds Her Dream Job in Strategic Communication

By: Sydney Gorak | sgorak759@flagler.edu  

Ever since she was younger, Strategic Communication professor Joanna Krajewski had a passion for environmental conservation and traveling around the world. But it wasn’t until she traveled to Haiti, that she fell in love with helping and healing people in desperate need.  

Krajewski, who teaches at Flagler College, has turned that passion into a drive to couple communication with important issues such as conducting surveys and helping to start a water treatment system called Gadyen Dlo to give these individuals access to clean water. Teaching kids the importance of safe water and hygiene was another way she was able to use communication through her passion. 

Krajewski grew up with similar interests to her father related to water resources and environmental conservation. Water is an essential need for humans to live and there are millions of people who struggle every day to access clean water.

When she first traveled to India, she learned more about this issue where kids were dying every day because of contaminated water.  “I knew I wanted to help these individuals who are suffering,” said Krajewski, and it was all a matter of how she would be able to do this.  

Krajewski was born in Washington, D.C. and lived there until the age of 3. She moved to Iowa where she spent most of her childhood and in third grade she moved to Poland for six months where she attended a Polish school.

During this point in her life is when she started to gain an appreciation for international travel and admire how good we have it in the United States. 

“Living in Poland for six months and traveling other places internationally really gave me an outlook on the whole world and I knew I wanted to help people while continuing to travel,” said Krajewski.  

She attended graduate school at the University of Iowa and received her Master’s in Public Health and her PHD in Mass Communication. Krajewski took every opportunity that was offered to her and one of these led her to study abroad in India where she worked in water sustainability research. 

During her time in India, she conducted surveys and interviewed individuals who lived in a region with harsh conditions and a dire water situation.

“I learned a lot about how important water is, how there are so many people struggling to find clean water and how many are dying from contaminated water,” said Krajewski.  

Her next trip in graduate school, she traveled to Haiti where she used communication to promote and educate after the cholera epidemic. For her PHD program, she focused on water sustainability closer to home, in Iowa.

Krajewski examined communication from various outlets such as newspapers and eventually surveyed and interviewed farmers for their own perspectives on water sustainability in Agriculture. 

She shares many of her experiences and pictures from Haiti and India on her blog. Having a passion for environmental conservation and the courage to help people in need guided Krajewski to real world strategic communication work and ultimately lead her to her current position as a professor of Strategic Communication at Flagler College. 

She graduated from the University of Iowa alongside professor Dr. Chapman, a journalism professor at Flagler College. Krajewski and Chapman were close throughout graduate school and Chapman got a job at Flagler College after she graduated.

“She would talk about how much she loved St. Augustine,” said Krajewski, which ultimately influenced her to apply at Flagler College in 2017. 

She has taught multiple classes within the communication department such as Foundations of Strategic Communication as well as Risk and Health Communication. Her articles, “Constructing Cholera CNN iReport, the Haitian Cholera Epidemic, and the Limits of Citizen Journalism,” and, “Just Turn on the Faucet: A Content Analysis of PSAs About the Global Water Crisis on YouTube,” have been published in peer reviewed articles available online.

Over the past 2 years, many of her students have admired her and are influenced by her work ethic. “I had her first semester of my sophomore year and I really admired how passionate she is about her work,” said Paitin Kleindl, a communication student at Flagler College. “She has traveled the world and through these experiences she has become an amazing professor.” 

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