Dr. Sonja Bickford

Assistant Professor

Office: LIBR MC122   |    Phone: (308) 865-8966   |    Email: bickfordsh@unk.edu

Dr. Sonja Bickford


View full Curriculum Vitae

University of Lapland – Arctic Centre, Finland (2013-2015) Post Doc  

California Intercontinental University, CA, USA (2010-2012) Degree: Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) – Global Business & Leadership

Arkansas State University, AR, USA (2000-2001) Degree: Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Appalachian State University; NC, USA (1997-2000) Degree: Bachelor of Science Business Administration in Management

What do you do here at UNK?

Assistant professor. Teaching courses such as Design Software (JMC 112), Integrated Marketing Communications (JMC 230), Publication Design (JMC 330), and Advertising Campaigns (JMC 420). 

In addition, I conduct research together with other faculty and students in areas of corporate social responsibility (CSR), leadership, aquaponics, and marketing.

Why choose the Communication Department at UNK?

Communication is a board and versatile field. I enjoy teaching communication courses as they provide students a foundational skill and experiences that will take them far in their chosen careers. My favorite thing about working here at UNK is being a part of a wonderful and supportive community. The students, faculty, and staff here on campus, as well as the overall larger Kearney community, are the friendliest and most supportive people. This allows for all kinds of collaborations with other disciplines and institutions for research and enhancing the classroom experiences.

Research scientist

Funded Research Projects:

  • National Science Foundation – Arctic FROST ($5000 USD)

Research Fellow (2017-2018) NSF PLR#1338850. Role: researcher in corporate social responsibility and social license to operate in the Arctic

  • Sponsored by System Science: Formed/Forming Team Seed Grants ($149,910 USD)

Impact of habitat loss and fragmentation on human-wildlife conflict in an agriculturally dominated system. (2017) Role: Co-Investigator: Assessment of business impacts and opportunities with wildlife-human interaction

  • Industry Donors – University of Nebraska Kearney ($5000 USD)
    Branding a Midwestern community: A mixed methods model (2016) Role: Co-Investigator: Assessment of community fit values on an international scale
  • RSC – University of Nebraska Kearney ($14,000 USD)
    Designing Micro scale Aquaponics (2016) Role: Co-Investigator: Feasibility and Cost benefit Analysis of Micro scale Aquaponics Systems
  • University of Nebraska – Food For Health Planning Grant ($20,000 USD)

Community Gardens (2016) Role: Co-Investigator: International Comparison of Community Garden culture and best practices

  • Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation - Tekes (500,000 €). Arctic EIA Project: testing improvement processes of Finnish EIAs and the modes for application in Arctic regions of Finland and Russia. Role: Project Manager/Post Doc of Best practices of EIA in the Arctic

Current research interests

  • Transference of leadership beyond the dojo: identifying indicators of youth community building and retention in rural areas through martial arts (2017-current)
  • Community Level Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and social license to operate (SLO) in Rural and Arctic Areas: a multidisciplinary trans-hemispherical study (2016-current)
  • Assessment of a Community Branding Instrument (2016-current)International Comparison of
  • Community Gardens: Arctic vs. non-Arctic (2016-current)
  • Feasibility, Marketing, and Economic Analysis of Micro Aquaponic Systems (2015-current)
  • Arctic Polar Science Curriculum for K-12 students: ‘The Village” (2015 – current)