The College of Communications went in-house to select its next dean, choosing associate dean for undergraduate and graduate education and journalism professor Marie Hardin to succeed Doug Anderson after his 15 years at the helm, according to a release.
Hardin joined Penn State in 2003 after working at Florida Southern College and the State University of West Georgia. She got her bachelor’s degree from Ambassador University, her Master’s from Georgia State and her doctoral degree from Georgia in 1998. The associate director of the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism has worked as a newspaper reporter, editor, and magazine freelancer, and was a finalist for the Scripps Howard Foundation Journalism and Mass Communication Teacher of the Year in 2010.
“I’m deeply honored to lead the College of Communications, which has been so supportive of my scholarly interests and administrative growth,” Hardin said in the press release. “I look forward to working with our outstanding students and my faculty colleagues as the college pursues even greater levels of achievement.”
Last semester, Hardin taught a handful of graduate-level COMM courses, including individual studies, thesis research and Ph.D. dissertations. The College of COMM, the largest nationally accredited mass communications program in the country, has been on a roll lately — it’s notched three straight national championships in the William R. Hearst Foundation’s Journalism Awards Program (with some help from a recent Onward State alumna, no less), the only college to ever do so.
Her appointment is pending approval at the July 11 Board of Trustees meeting.
In my opinion, the college could use a jumpstart into focusing on more modern media. Don’t get me wrong, it has many brilliant journalists and excellent professors in it, but I’ve taken some journalism classes in which the word “newspaper” was said far too often. Hopefully, Hardin can trigger some progress.