Randy Rieland, left, a member of the Dean's Advisory Council and journalism alumnus, talks to WOUB Public Media Director and General Manager Tom Hodson during a dinner on April 3, 2014. The gathering was the first event held on the Schoonover Patio area of the new Steven L. Schoonover Center for Communication. / Photos by Yi-Ke Peng
Scripps College Dean’s Advisory Council expands
Group of communication professionals, alumni support industry, college ties
By Erin Roberts and Kerry Tuttle
ATHENS, Ohio (May 8, 2014)—The Scripps Dean’s Advisory Council (DAC) has nearly doubled in membership in the past year. The council’s most recent meeting was conducted on campus April 3 and 4. Thirteen of the 22 council members visited Ohio University’s Athens campus to discuss the future of the College and meet with various Scripps faculty and students.
“The Dean’s Advisory Council provides an essential flow of communication between alumni, who are also highly successful professionals in the field, and the academic leaders in the College,” said Dean Scott Titsworth. “Through our interaction with the advisory council we are able to discuss ways in which our college can adapt to changes being observed in the communication field, and we are also able to keep some of our most successful alumni actively engaged in the activities of the College.”
In April, council members received a development and college update, as well as a tour of the new Schoonover Center for Communication and a presentation of the building’s Phase II progress. They also participated in strategy dialogues and project meetings with senior leaders in the College.
“Given the fast-changing media landscape, there’s enormous benefit in having industry professionals interact with Scripps College leaders, students and faculty,” said Andy Alexander, BSJ ’72, a visiting professional in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and longtime member of the DAC. “Members of the council offer valuable guidance on how Scripps can provide the most relevant educational experience. They also are helpful to Dean Titsworth in making industry connections, setting priorities and offering independent advice on some of the challenges he faces in leading the Scripps College.”
DAC members also connected with students at an informal dinner where the Schoonover Patio was used for the first time. Additionally, several members participated in various classes and took a tour of The Post offices in Baker Center on April 4.
DAC member Kathy Cerminara, BSJ ’83, spoke to a Communication Studies class called “Communication and Interpersonal Relationships.” She was very excited about the opportunity prior to speaking to the COMS 2060 class. “It’s a subject I like to talk about – communication and end-of-life decision making,” said Cerminara, who serves as a professor of law at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale. “I’m also looking forward to visiting The Post. I used to spend 3 or 4 nights a week in that newsroom when I was in college.”
Professor Dan Farkas hosted DAC members in his Strategic Communication capstone class and said classroom visits are always a great experience. “Dean’s Advisory Council members have the ability to share a real-world perspective that a book can’t offer. Plus, they embody what it means to be an OHIO Bobcat, giving back and helping students get more out of their time on campus.”
DAC members take as much away from this experience as students do, according to Alexander, who says members get a lot out of discussions with faculty and students. “They almost always come away impressed by where Scripps is heading and optimistic about the future of the communications field.”
The council was formed in 2000 by then-Dean Kathy Krendl as part of Ohio University’s Bicentennial Campaign, and meets twice a year, usually off campus in the fall and on campus in the spring. In 2009 and 2010, several members of the council contributed funding to name a conference room in the new Steven L. Schoonover Center for Communication.
Dean Titsworth says having a council of accomplished and respected alumni to call upon at a moment’s notice is an invaluable resource.
“Members of the Dean’s Advisory Council are some of the most active and committed alumni that I have met,” he said. “They love the Scripps College and their home school, and they work hard to be part of our future growth and development. They are committed to helping current students have every opportunity possible to excel, and they leverage both personal and professional resources to help make that happen.”
The Scripps Dean’s Advisory Council will meet again in late October in Los Angeles. An alumni reception is planned, and area alumni are encouraged to attend.