Meet the SHALA Class of 2014


Seventeen professors, administrators and communications professionals have been selected for the seventh annual Scripps Howard Academic Leadership Academy to be held June 1-5 at Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communication. 

The academy, co-sponsored by the Scripps Howard Foundation and the Manship School, brings together academics and professionals to learn administrative strategies and gain insight into academic leadership.


During their time in the academy, mid-career academics and professionals will meet with seasoned administrators to learn about management, discuss the future of media education and consider issues critical to those interested in or new to leadership roles.


“We started the academy to help the nation’s journalism and mass communication schools fill an increasing number of leadership positions,” said Mike Philipps, president and CEO of the Scripps Howard Foundation. “It is gratifying – and encouraging – to see so many alumni at the helm of these institutions where they are distinguishing themselves and improving the profession.”


Nearly 100 participants have graduated from the academy and hold various administrative positions at institutions around the country including the University of Florida, the University of Maryland, Elon University, The Pennsylvania State University, Hampton University and Northwestern.


“Nothing is more important to mass communication education than developing future leaders. That is the sole purpose of the academy, and its results already are apparent in dean, director and chair offices around the country,” said Jerry Ceppos, dean of the Manship School.


Members of the 2014 class represent a combination of institutions of higher education and the professional mass communication sector.


The members of the 2014 Scripps Howard Leadership Academy class are:


  • Cory Armstrong – graduate coordinator, associate professor; College of Journalism and Communications, University of Florida
  • Omotayo Banjo – assistant professor; Department of Communication, University of Cincinnati
  • David Boardman – dean; School of Media and Communication, Temple University
  • Hong Cheng – director; Robertson School of Media and Culture, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • George Daniels – assistant dean of administration; College of Communication and Information Sciences, The University of Alabama
  • Charles Davis – dean; Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications, University of Georgia
  • Daniela Dimitrova – director of graduate education, associate professor; Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication, Iowa State University
  • Ava Thompson Greenwell – associate professor; Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University
  • Wanda Lloyd – chair, associate professor; Savannah State University
  • Mia Moody-Ramirez – graduate program director, associate professor; Department of Journalism, Public Relations and New Media, Baylor University
  • Vanessa Murphree – graduate coordinator, associate professor; School of Mass Communication and Journalism, University of Southern Mississippi
  • Julianne Newton – interim dean; University of Oregon
  • Ken Paulson – dean; College of Mass Communication, Middle Tennessee State University
  • B. William Silcock – director of Cronkite Global Initiatives, Humphrey Program curator, associate professor; Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Arizona State University
  • Jessica Smith – associate professor; Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Abilene Christian University
  • Jennifer Vardeman-Winter – assistant professor; Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, University of Houston
  • Gail Wiggins – interim chair; Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, North Carolina A&T University


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About the Manship School of Mass Communication: For over 100 years the Manship School of Mass Communication has dedicated itself to providing quality education to students interested in mass communication. It is the only school in the country that offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in media and public affairs. Named for the Manship family, which has owned Baton Rouge media since 1909, the school achieved college-level status in 1994. Since 2000, the school has consistently been among a small number of academic units recognized as Pillars of Excellence by LSU’s leadership. AEJMC reaccredited the school in 2010.

About the Scripps Howard Foundation: Dedicated to excellence in journalism, the Scripps Howard Foundation is a leader in industry efforts in journalism education, scholarships, internships, literacy, minority recruitment/development and First Amendment causes. With a special commitment to the regions where Scripps does business, the foundation helps build healthy communities and improve the quality of life through support of sound educational programs, strong families, vital social services, enriching arts and culture and inclusive civic affairs.