Tom Kelleher and Mira Lowe Extend Leadership Roles at the UF College of Journalism and Communications

by | Apr 26, 2019

The University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications (UFCJC) announced that Advertising Department Professor and Chair Tom Kelleher has been named Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research, and Innovation News Center (INC) Director Mira Lowe has been promoted to the new position of Assistant Dean for Student Experiences.

Tom Kelleher, Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research

Kelleher succeeds Advertising Professor Debbie Treise, who will step down from the position this fall after 16 years.  As associate dean, Kelleher will be leading one of the premier communication graduate programs in the nation, which offers two Master of Arts in Mass Communication programs – a professional master’s track and a research and theory track – and a Ph.D. program in mass communication.  Working with 47 graduate faculty members and more than 120 graduate students, Kelleher will help foster innovative and impactful research.

Kelleher has been an educator for nearly 20 years, including five at UFCJC.  Prior to joining UFCJC in 2014, he was a professor and chair at the University of Hawaii School of Communications and an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Under Kelleher’s leadership, Advertising Department enrollment increased more than 24 percent and faculty has grown from 10 to 14 full-time positions with three more expected to join in the fall.  The department designed and launched the first significant update of the overall advertising curriculum in decades.

Since 2014, department publication and grant productivity has increased markedly, and faculty have flourished, winning numerous academic and UF honors and awards.  Over the past three years, more than 50 students have won prestigious Multicultural Advertising Internship Program placements, one of the best showings of any communication program in the nation.

Kelleher received his Ph.D. (1999) and M.A.M.C (1996) degrees from UFCJC and a B.A. in Mass Communications from Flagler College (1993). As a UFCJC graduate student, he received a UF graduate student teaching award and was named UFCJC Graduate Student Teacher of the Year in 1999.

Mira Lowe, Assistant Dean for Student Experiences

Lowe, who will continue in her role as INC Director, leading one of the largest College news operations in the nation, will be a team leader and facilitator for all administrators who oversee the college’s venues for professional immersion with the goal of establishing best practices. Current venues include the Innovation News Center, The Agencyseven media propertiesGatorvision and the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network.

The Assistant Dean position also will assume responsibility for the College’s career preparation and search services. Lowe will oversee both the Knight Division for Scholarship and Multicultural Affairs and the new Office of Careers and Corporate Partnerships (OCCP).  The Knight Division is responsible for supporting a diverse community of students and for ensuring that the College provides robust diversity and inclusion programs for students and a college culture that is inclusive. The OCCP will be responsible for building industry partnerships and systems that will result in more and better jobs for UFCJC graduates, and that will advance CJC programs. A search for an OCCP director is currently underway.

Lowe’s leadership, vision and dedication have had a remarkable impact on the College’s news operation in less than three years.  Under her leadership, UFCJC has brought home nearly 200 news awards, expanded Spanish-language news operations and partnerships, produced a series of award-winning special reports, covered major local events, including two hurricanes, the Richard Spencer visit, and more.

Prior to joining UF in 2017, Lowe was a senior editor at CNN Digital in Atlanta where she managed the planning, execution and programming of various special projects across a global portfolio. Before that, Mira was the editor-in-chief of JET magazine in Chicago, where she became the first woman to helm the number one African-American newsweekly. She also served as assistant managing editor for its sister publication, EBONY magazine. Her print experience extends to newspapers, including Newsday, where she worked as an editor and recruiter.

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