New dean, new milestone, new face

April marks the beginning of a new era for our college with the installation of Dr. Anne Hogan, who becomes Communication and Fine Arts Dean after the retirement of Richard Ranta last year.

Dr. Hogan received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and her Ph.D. from Brown University. She has worked in higher education in Europe, most recently as director of education at the Royal Academy of Dance in London, England. Many of you had the opportunity to welcome Dean Hogan at the reception the Journalism and Strategic Media Alumni Club held at The Bluff on April 20.

Welcome, Dean Hogan.

Our Department of Journalism and Strategic Media continues to revise its curriculum to address our ever-changing media climate. With the rebranding of our programs as separate majors, a B.A. Public Relations, a B.A. Advertising and B.A. Journalism, we have seen our overall numbers climb to a healthy 370 majors. We are currently finalizing approval for a fourth major, Creative Mass Media, to allow our students to specialize in multimedia presentation so critical to successful online/social media publication today.

We recently marked a milestone for our new sport media emphasis with its first named scholarship: Phil Cannon Memorial Scholarship, established by the FedEx St. Jude Classic. Mr. Cannon, a 1978 Journalism graduate, served as the Classic's tournament director from 1999-2015.

Current journalism undergraduate and Daily Helmsman Sports Editor Jon Morgan Bell was named its first recipient at the Champion's Day Luncheon at Shelby Farms FedEx Event Center on April 19. In addition to receiving the $2,500 award, Bell had the opportunity to profile last year's FedEx St. Jude Classic champion, Daniel Berger.

Bell will serve with media services at the 2017 St. Jude Classic Tournament in June. Last August Bell was one of 14 journalism students working as part of the news team of the Rio Olympic Games under the supervision of sport media professor Roxane Coche.

This year we also successfully concluded two new faculty searches. We hired Ruoxu Wang, who just completed her Ph.D. at Penn State University, to fill the position vacated by the death of alumnus Ron Spielberger. We also hired a career Navy officer Kim Marks as the online public relations coordinator.

We close this academic year with the Journalism and Strategic Media Student Awards Banquet, where we celebrate the outstanding achievements of our students and announce the winners of the named scholarships made possible by our alumni and friends. The banquet itself is underwritten by your annual support for our Journalism and Strategic Media Gift Fund. Thank you.

David Arant is chair of the Department of Journalism and Strategic Media.