ASU Cronkite School expands leadership team


Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, which has grown dramatically in the past decade, is expanding its leadership team.

Kristin Gilger, who joined Cronkite in 2007 as assistant dean and became associate dean two years later, will now serve as senior associate dean, the school’s No. 2 administrator. Gilger will continue as director of the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism at the Cronkite School.

She also will continue to oversee the Carnegie-Knight News21 program, the National Center on Disability and Journalism and the New Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab as well as high school outreach programs, adjunct faculty and communications and design staff. In her new role, she will take on the duties of class scheduling and enrollment management.

Gilger replaces Marianne Barrett, who will return full time to the faculty after 14 exemplary years of service in the school’s administration. She will continue as the Louise Solheim Professor at the Cronkite School, a professorship she has held since 2006.

Barrett, who joined the Cronkite School in 1994, played a key role as senior associate dean in mentoring junior faculty, implementing curriculum, overseeing the Cronkite School’s graduate and undergraduate programs, course scheduling, enrollment management and admissions.

Mark Lodato is being promoted to associate dean after serving seven years as assistant dean. He will continue leading the Cronkite News nightly newscast and driving public affairs programming across Arizona PBS and Cronkite as well as overseeing broadcast and sports journalism programs. In addition, Lodato will supervise the Cronkite School’s undergraduate recruitment efforts and the Academic Success team of advisers. He joined Cronkite in 2006 as a professor of practice and news director.

B. William Silcock, director of Cronkite Global Initiatives, will be assistant dean for international programs, with oversight of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program, the Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists and a host of study abroad programs. In his new role, he also will oversee Cronkite’s doctoral degree program.

Silcock, a two-time Fulbright Scholar, joined the Cronkite School in 2001 as an assistant professor. He became an associate professor in 2008.

Rebecca Blatt, who oversaw growing digital operations at Cronkite News, will become assistant dean, focusing on the school’s master’s degree programs. She also will drive the school’s assessment of learning outcomes, oversee online degree and certificate programs, and coordinate student awards and new summer high school programs.

Blatt joined the school in 2014 as director of the school’s Public Insight Network Bureau, where she and her students won prestigious innovation awards from the Associated Press Media Editors and ASU’s Office of the President.

“The Cronkite School’s great success over the past decade is attributable in large part to the team of talented and dedicated associate and assistant deans,” said Cronkite Dean and University Vice Provost Christopher Callahan. “We are enormously grateful to Marianne Barrett’s tremendous service. She added richly to our school with equal parts professionalism, dedication, skills, collegiality and good humor. I’m confident the promotions of Kristin Gilger and Mark Lodato, two of the finest university leaders I have had the pleasure of knowing, and the additions of Bill Silcock and Rebecca Blatt, will enable our school to reach new heights.”

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