New CCI Dean hopes to bring collaborative resources to students

Brittany Anderson

When Amy Reynolds, the new dean of the College of Communication and Information, arrived to Kent State, she saw a college with four distinct schools surrounded by strong programs.

At the same time, she saw an opportunity for the schools to work together more.

“From my perspective coming in, I would like to see more students across the college studying abroad,” Reynolds said. “I would like us to find ways to give students more global opportunities and I think the college can help all of the schools find resources to help more students study abroad.

Students continue to transform communication and information in this increasingly digital and technology-centered world. The CCI schools focus on rhetoric, journalism, library information and visual design.

“The more ways to promote research, look at and really understand data and provide collaborative space, will allow us to lead nationally on a faculty research-collaborative level and elevate our profile,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds has decades of experience in journalism and mass communication, including serving as associate dean for graduate studies at Louisiana State University and Indiana University.

“A prolific scholar in her own right, Amy will bring to Kent State valuable experience as a professor, director and associate dean at Indiana University and LSU. She is taking over an excellent college that is quickly building a national reputation for excellence,” Provost Todd Diacon said in a news release when she was hired.

“I would like the college to be positioned in a way where we are competing against the best programs across the country,” Reynolds said.

Former newspaper editor, Dean Jerry Ceppos, of the Manship School of Mass Communication at LSU, worked with Reynolds for four years.

“Reynolds helped grow the enrollment in the school’s graduate programs, she increased diversity, and I think she increased the quality of students that we were getting,” Ceppos said. “She really knows how to make things happen in a university setting and that is just tremendously important.”  

When it comes to diversity, Reynolds said she wants to create more inclusive environments in the college. “I want to find ways to grow diversity and make sure we are creating not just a good environment for students from all sorts of backgrounds, but also include it in our curriculum and in our approaches to everything we do,” Reynolds said.

Kent State welcomed Dean Reynolds and her family into office on July 1. She succeeds Interim Dean AnnMarie LeBlanc, who served since July 1, 2014.

“This is truly a remarkable time to be involved in communication and information,” Reynolds said.  “When people think of communication and information, I want them to think of Kent State as their destination.”

Contact Brittany Anderson at [email protected].