What was your impression of CJC before applying for the dean’s position?
From the beginning of my teaching at Newhouse School, I’ve known CJC to be a tremendously strong program filled with great people. I’ve always seen the College as one of the nation’s top journalism and communications programs. It’s long had the well-deserved reputation of graduating emerging professionals who were ready to contribute on their first day on the job, and scholars who emerged ready to make a significant impact on the disciplines of mass communication.
What are your plans for your first 100 days?
Dean McFarlin left the College in a position where it is literally moving from strength to strength. In my first 100 days, I’m going to be listening to faculty, staff, students, and alumni about their hopes for the College and its next steps. I also want to talk about my ideas to strengthen inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility — to make it something the College will be known for. That’s a lot, but there is great positive momentum in the College, and I will be looking to keep that going.
How do you see journalism and communications education changing over the next few years?
Journalism and communications education is, I believe, on the precipice of a time of real opportunity. Communication companies need the next generation of leaders to figure out how to build and more effectively reach audiences. They need to find ways to get people to trust what they do. They need to find ways to better reflect and serve the changing demographics of the country, and they need what we can offer in terms of research to provide insight. If we can meet the moment that is emerging, we will be able to strengthen both the academy and the profession.
How will you measure your success as dean?
I will measure success by determining whether we are doing a better job of supporting research and teaching, growing interdisciplinary partnerships on campus, improving our connections with students and alumni, and making sure all members of our community know that they belong. Making space for these and other things, and eliminating obstacles, will free people to achieve excellence in what they are doing.
What accomplishments at Syracuse are you most proud of?
I’ve been an administrator for more than a decade, but I’ve also taught the entire time, and I am proudest of having helped launch so many careers in broadcast journalism and outside of it. I am also proud of helping foster an environment at Newhouse that values diversity, equity and inclusion in ways that will now outlast my time there.