CCI announces new director

Paul Haridakis. Photo courtesy of Kent State University.

Paul Haridakis. Photo courtesy of Kent State University.

Shannen Laur

The Kent State College of Communication and Information has announced its seventh director for the School of Communication Studies.

Paul Haridakis, a graduate of the University of Akron who earned his Ph.D. at Kent State in communication studies, has been serving as the interim director of the School of Communication Studies.

“He brings a lot to the table,” said Stanley Wearden, dean of CCI. “He has a lot of managing experience and has established himself as a nationally known scholar.”

Haridakis said one of his main goals as director is to better integrate the schools within CCI, which include the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the School of Visual Communication Design and the School of Communication Studies.

“In this day and age, we are really in a communication revolution, and we need to closely work together,” Haridakis said. “One person may apply the skills in journalism and one may be good with blogging and one may be in business context. All skills students are learning in communication are opening a lot of doors but really need to be integrated together.”

Wearden said that Haridakis has managing experience in his past. He has already started a master’s program in global and health communication. Wearden said Haridakis is trying to increase the enrollment of international students in CCI.

“The program is appealing to domestic and international students,” Wearden said. “There is a lot of enrollment for us in that school especially in the master’s [programs] and that is one of Paul’s real goals.”

Haridakis said another goal he has for the new program is to help use the development of technology to better communicate.

“The growth of cellular technology makes globalization possible,” Haridakis said. “We have to learn more and more about each other. It was a no-brainer to start the Global Communication program.”

Haridakis said that with the growth of the health industry, people must learn to communicate with each other.

“We have an aging population and there is a real need for people trained to help doctors and patients communicate better,” Haridakis said.

“It was just time for that program, too.”

Haridakis has used his law background to research topics like freedom of speech, social media and the effects of different subjects on television and the Internet. He earned the 2011 Distinguished Teaching Award from the Ohio Communication Association, as well as other awards.

In less than 12 years he went from a teaching assistant to a full-time professor at Kent State. Haridakis has co-authored and co-edited four books, as well as 45 articles.

“He is one of the best teachers in the school,” Wearden said. “His performance as interim director was spectacular. He immediately adjusted and really rallied up the faculty to do new things.”

Contact Shannen Laur at [email protected].