College of Media faculty appointed to Associate Dean positions

Two faculty from the College of Media have been appointed by Dean Tracy Sulkin to associate dean positions starting August 16. 

Announced in January, Stephanie Craft, currently professor and head of the Department of Journalism, will serve as the College of Media’s Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. 

Announced in March, Jason P. Chambers, currently associate professor and associate head of the Charles H. Sandage Department of Advertising, and Dean’s Fellow for Diversity and Inclusion, will serve as the College of Media’s inaugural Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. 

“I am pleased to welcome Professors Chambers and Craft to their important new roles, and I look forward to working closely with them,” Sulkin said. “Their strong administrative skills, commitment to the college and our mission, and consultative approach to decision-making make them both excellent additions to the College of Media leadership team.”

Stephanie CraftCraft, a scholar of news literacy and journalism ethics, joined the Illinois faculty in 2013. She has taught courses such as History of American Journalism, Introduction to Journalism, and Journalism Ethics & Diversity. She has served as head of the Department of Journalism from August 2018 until January 2022. Last summer, the third edition of her book Principles of American Journalism: An Introduction, coauthored with Charles N. Davis, was published.

“I have appreciated the opportunity to help my department colleagues work toward their goals but am now looking forward to the chance the associate dean role offers to take a broader view of the work we do in the college and how it connects to the rest of campus and beyond,” Craft said.

While on sabbatical this semester, Craft has continued her work to create a news literacy scale, and has been developing a summer media literacy workshop for high school teachers along with other faculty in the College of Media and the College of Education. She has also begun a new research project.

“The new project involves delving into the archives of one of the first major journalistic collaborations, called the Arizona Project,” Craft said. “I'm hoping to get a better sense of how the collaboration worked and how it set the stage (or didn't) for future large-scale projects involving journalists from competing news organizations.

In her new position, Craft will facilitate college-level promotion and tenure processes; mentor Dean’s Fellows; liaise with campus offices on college participation in strategic initiatives; facilitate policy discussions among unit leadership; and coordinate professional development programming for junior and midcareer faculty; among other responsibilities. 

“I am eager to work on the college's professional education initiatives and think about how we can serve a variety of different kinds of students, both on campus and online,” Craft added.

ChambersChambers joined the Sandage Department of Advertising faculty in 2001 and the Institute of Communications Research faculty in 2003. He is a scholar of advertising history, particularly the contributions of African Americans to the industry. He has taught courses including Classic Campaigns, Advertising History, and Multicultural Advertising.

In his new position, Chambers is excited about working with his colleagues “to drive change and link our faculty, staff, and students to all of the opportunities that diversity provides.” 

Over the past several years, the College of Media has prioritized expanding its programming in the area of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and the projects that Chambers facilitated during his two-year term as Dean’s Fellow for Diversity and Inclusion will continue to be part of his portfolio. The Alumni Mentoring Program, which connects students with accomplished alumni to share perspectives and advice, will continue to grow. The pilot focused on Black students and Black alumni, and then expanded to Latinx students and alumni. Chambers will also continue his involvement in the New Voices Internship Program, which provides opportunities for first-generation students and those from underrepresented groups to work with College of Media faculty and staff on communications projects.

He will also work with colleagues across the college and on campus to coordinate workshops on diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism that are relevant to Media faculty, students, and staff, and will seek ways to further the college’s capacity in this area.

“Leadership at the department, college, and campus levels have put real resources behind diversity initiatives,” Chambers said. “I want to ensure that the College of Media continues to take advantage of all the grants and other funding sources that the campus is making available for diversity-related topics.” 

Chambers’s latest book Positive Realism: The Life of Advertising Pioneer Thomas J. Burrell has been submitted to the publisher for final review, with an expected publication date of 2023. He is also the author of Madison Avenue and the Color Line: African Americans in the Advertising Industry and Building the Black Metropolis: African American Entrepreneurship in Chicago.

—Holly Rushakoff