New chair and department transitions
In early August, Pradeep Sopory will assume the role of Interim Chair, bringing his expertise in health, risk, and science communication to the forefront. His research focuses on message design and its impact on attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors, particularly through the use of metaphor, analogy, and other figurative language. Additionally, he explores methodological aspects of evidence synthesis.
Sopory has received numerous awards throughout his career, including the Bernard Brock Faculty Research Award from the Department of Communication at Wayne State University in 2021, the Exceptional Service to Department Award in 2015, and the Top Four Paper distinction at the National Communication Association Annual Convention in 2011 (with Tracy Rutledge), and others.
Current Chair Katheryn Maguire will commence her leave in July 2023 and is expected to return to the classroom in fall 2024. Following Kim Piper-Aiken's retirement, Elizabeth Stoycheff will assume the position of Area Head for Journalism, while Donyale Padgett will take over as the interim Area Head for Communication Studies, succeeding Sopory in that role. Furthermore, after eight years as associate dean for curricular and student affairs, Loraleigh Keashly will transition back to the faculty.