Ms. Buffy Lockette, APR
301 Angle Hall
Buffy Lockette is an accredited public relations professional with 20 years of experience in the field. As an undergraduate in the Department of Communication in the late 1990s, she honed her writing skills at the student newspaper, The Chanticleer, serving as an award-winning writer and editor. She also worked as a DJ for the student radio station, WLJS, in the heyday of college rock, served as an officer in the Society of Professional Journalists and was elected to Student Senate.
Planning to pursue a career in print journalism, she freelanced for the Gadsden Times and Jacksonville News and interned for the Birmingham Post-Herald. It was while interning for JSU’s publications and news office that she discovered her passion for public relations. Upon relocating to Gainesville, Fla., after marrying her colleague from The Chanticleer, Tim Lockette, she accepted her first full-time public relations position at the University of Florida.
From 2002 to 2008, Lockette worked for UF’s largest unit, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, where she served as spokesperson, media liaison, editor of publications and features editor of the university’s “Journal of Undergraduate Research.” Upon moving back home to Alabama in 2008, she served as marketing director for the Montgomery non-profit organization responsible for the capital city’s historic preservation movement, Landmarks, which oversees the outdoor history museum, Old Alabama Town. Her duties included serving as the marketing chair for the state’s largest literary event, the Alabama Book Festival.
In 2010, Lockette returned to higher education as manager of external communications for Auburn University at Montgomery. Finally, in 2014, she returned to JSU as director of public relations. In 2021, was promoted to serve the Office of the President as director of strategic communications. She is responsible for developing and executing the university's communications strategy, including public relations, media relations, crisis communications, issues management, internal communications and reputation management.
In 2018, Lockette effectively managed university communications when the campus was damaged by an EF-3 tornado in a severe weather event later declared a federal disaster. Under her leadership, the university won seven awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education in 2019, including the top award in the Southeast for university marketing and communications. Her crisis communication experience would be called upon again just two years later when the university worked to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lockette serves as membership co-chair of the Alabama chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. In addition to earning international accreditation from PRSA in 2014, she also holds a Certificate in Integrated Communication from the professional organization.
Additional professional contributions have included serving as PR chair for Friends of the Alabama Governor’s Mansion, vice president of membership for Montgomery’s Public Relations Council, board member for the Central Alabama Hospitality Association, contributing writer for the coffee table book “Sweet Home Alabama” and web content editor for the hand model featured on the cover of the “Twilight” novel.
- M.L.A., with a focus on Communication and Gender Studies, Auburn University at Montgomery
- B.A., Integrated Studies with a focus on Communication, Jacksonville State University
- B.A., Women and Gender Studies, University of Florida