Skip to main content

Tag: Highlights S21

New Administrative Leadership

Associate Dean for Graduate Studies: Angela RayAssociate Dean for Research: Molly LoshPerformance studies department chair: Nadine George-GravesRadio/television/film department chair: Thomas BradshawTheatre department chair: Henry GodinezProgram in dance director: Melissa Blanco Borelli Directors of Undergraduate StudyCommunication sciences and disorders: Elizabeth NortonCommunication studies: James SchwochPerformance studies: Shayna SilversteinRadio/television/film: Catherine CarriganTheatre: Tommy Rapley 

New programming

To raise the visibility of the dean’s office, engage with thought leaders outside Northwestern, and further our conversations and work around diversity, equity, and inclusion, last fall the school launched the “Dialogue with the Dean” series, a quarterly virtual event in which Dean Johnson facilitates a discussion with a scholar in communication. Guests this past

Summer bridge course

A summer bridge program was offered prior to the start of the 2021–22 academic year in collaboration with the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. An introduction to the communication arts and sciences, the course gave students an opportunity to earn academic credit. Such programs have proven effective in encouraging retention of first-generation and BIPOC

First-year seminars

The School of Communication has long lacked a first-year experience program for undergraduates. To introduce students to the school and provide a platform for innovative, collaborative teaching among faculty across the five departments, a pilot seminar program for winter 2022 will be required of all first-year students. Each seminar will be team-taught by cross-departmental faculty

Equity across MFA programs

Before the 2020–21 academic year, some of the school’s MFA programs were fully funded, others partially funded, and still others based on a revenue-generation model. The school is making definite progress in creating a more equitable funding model for these programs.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion

The school has created a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force, comprising faculty, students, and staff to advise the dean’s office on policies that will create and sustain a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive school community as well as generate new ideas and initiatives. The task force meets monthly and has worked on the school’s

Enhanced undergraduate career services

Before the 2020–21 academic year, the inequitable and untenable advising structure of the Office of External Programs, Internships, and Career Services (EPICS) resulted in unequal distribution of advisees among the office’s team of coaches. The school has now distributed its 1,000 undergraduates among all eight career advisers, has engaged more alumni to assist with professional

Staff satisfaction and support

To enhance staff morale and demonstrate appreciation of staff excellence, the school has created new service awards and named their inaugural recipients. The Dean’s Excellence Award went to Peter Anderson, lighting and sound supervisor at the Virginia Wadsworth Wirtz Center for the Performing Arts. Receiving Rising Star Awards for Excellence in a New Position were

Faculty program and policy initiatives

Through the work of an ad hoc faculty committee comprising tenure-track and teaching-track faculty, the school has devised and codified a research-leave policy to address gross inequities among faculty. Teaching-track faculty whose former titles were lecturer, senior lecturer, or distinguished lecturer are now respectively titled assistant professor of instruction, associate professor of instruction, or professor

Diverse hires for undergraduate advising

The school hired two new advisers to round out its already stellar team. Exal Iraheta (GC19) has extensive training in understanding the arts industry and has his own active arts practice. Vanessa Champagne (GSESP20) has experience leading and managing qualitative program assessments of intercultural initiatives and using storytelling and other methods to engage and support