Alumna Chizobam Nwagwu ’18 (neuroscience/policy studies) is currently serving in the inaugural cohort of U.S. Digital Corps (USDC) Fellows. The U.S. Digital Corps launched last year to recruit early-career technologists to work on priority projects in five skill tracks: software…
Amy Falkner Named Interim Dean of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications
Vice Chancellor and Provost Michele Wheatly announced today that Amy Falkner, senior associate dean for academic affairs and associate professor of advertising, will become interim dean of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, effective immediately. Falkner, who has been serving as acting dean of the Newhouse School since August 2018, succeeds Dean Lorraine Branham, who passed away on April 2. The University will form a committee to search for the Newhouse School’s next dean.
“Amy is highly regarded among Newhouse faculty, staff and students,” says Wheatly. “She has significant professional, research and academic credentials, and I am certain she will be an excellent guide for the school and its community. I look forward to working with her during this time of transition.”
During her time as acting dean, Falkner shepherded two significant curricular votes that changed Newhouse’s foundational courses for all majors and expanded the number of Newhouse credits for each major; led the school’s strategic planning process; and facilitated discussions with Newhouse faculty on Universitywide initiatives, such as shared competencies, the first-year experience and changes to the academic calendar.
“Dean Branham created a remarkable legacy at the Newhouse School and her impact will carry forward; her loss is deeply felt by all. In this interim period, I am proud to follow her leadership, and will continue to support her goals and the work of our faculty and students who are bound for success,” Falkner says.
Falkner served as associate dean for academic affairs starting in 2006, and has been the senior associate dean for the last seven years. Falkner’s portfolio included oversight of course planning and scheduling, curriculum development, including the design of the school’s online digital communications master’s program, and finalizing steps in the merger of the school’s Newspaper and Magazine departments into the Magazine, News and Digital Department.
Noted for her work in the classroom, Falkner is a two-time winner of the student-chosen Newhouse Teaching Excellence Award; she was the first person in the school’s history to be honored with the award twice. She was also honored with the Meredith Teaching Recognition Award. Her primary teaching area is in media planning.
In 2006 and 2009, Falkner was selected to participate in the Scripps Howard Academic Leadership Academy, a group of mass communication professionals and scholars picked from a nationwide pool to learn strategies and insights for leading mass communication programs in the 21st century.
Falkner is an active member of the Association of Educators of Journalism and Mass Communication, including serving two terms on the Standing Committee for Teaching and presenting on various topics at its annual conferences. Her research interests are in the purchasing behaviors and media usage of LGBT consumers. Falkner’s survey results have been used to inform Fortune 500 advertisers of the complexities of this market.
Before entering higher education, Falkner worked for 10 years in the newspaper industry in both editorial and advertising. During her newspaper career, she was named to PRESSTIME magazine’s “20 Under 40” list, which honors young professionals in the newspaper business.
After earning her master’s degree from the Newhouse School, Falkner was a fellow at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.
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