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Dawn M. Francis, EdD ’93 

Chair Communication, Associate Professor

Dawn M. Francis, EdD ’93 first came to Cabrini in fall 1989 as a student. She returned to Cabrini in 2002 as a full-time faculty member in the department from which she graduated.

Francis taught at Cabrini full time until 2007, and then returned as full-time faculty in 2012.

Her previous experience includes more than 13 years of corporate professional experience in product marketing, project management, performance consulting, and leadership coaching for Fortune 500 clients across the globe.

She continues to maintain her own training, coaching, and performance consulting practice as a sole proprietor since starting it in 2010.

Francis’ research and academic interests involve communication for the common good. In many of her classes, she requires students to become communicators of social change. They are passionate about social justice issues and create websites focused on raising awareness and educating audiences about those issues.

She also engages in interdisciplinary research. Along with Stephanie Colbry, Ph.D., Francis received a 1976 Foundation Faculty Fellowship grant to study leadership and communication. Their interdisciplinary research was focused on leading social change through social media, a pilot for which they rolled out to SEPCHE student leaders in fall 2014.

In addition to her role at Cabrini, for five years Francis has managed the marketing communications for the Upper Merion Farmers Market in King of Prussia, Pa.

Francis earned a bachelor’s in English/communication at Cabrini University, a master’s in journalism at E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, and a doctorate of education in higher education-academic leadership at Widener University.

Areas of Expertise

Presentation communication, public speaking, and organizational communication; integrated marketing communication; journalism; career preparation; and career development in communication



  • “Multimedia Storytellers: In Search of the Narrative Focus” at the International Institute for SoTL Scholars and Mentors in Los Angeles, Calif.
  • “The Transformative Learning Experiences of Parents of Children with Special Needs” presented at the eighth Transformative Learning Conference: Reframing Social Sustainability in a Multicultural World in Bermuda
  • “Promoting a Philosophy of Civic Responsibility in Higher Education Communication Programs” at the University of South Carolina’s Convergence and Society: Ethics, Religion, and New Media Conference in Columbia, S.C.