New director to expand reach, visibility of VCD

Steven Bushong

AnnMarie LeBlanc brings 21 years of experience in higher education to the School of Visual Communication Design. Dave RanucCI | SUMMER KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

The School of Visual Communication Design recently welcomed its new director.

AnnMarie LeBlanc has been meeting with faculty and administration across campus since her July 2 arrival at Kent State.

As one of more than ten applicants for the position, she was selected for her good sense of the program and her vision of where it should go, said Jim Gaudino, dean of the College of Communication and Information.

LeBlanc’s responsibility, Gaudino said, will be to increase awareness of the school outside of Northeast Ohio, as well as its visibility on campus.

Conscious of the importance of connections, LeBlanc wants to bring the industry to the school, leading to internships and jobs.

“Among designers, Kent State is known for its strong quality of graduates,” LeBlanc said. “When the connections are there, so are the opportunities.”

For now, LeBlanc is busy learning the budget and advising processes, as well as how the school functions day to day.

LeBlanc has worked in higher education for 21 years, last serving as chairperson at the department of visual communication and design at Indiana University-Purdue University. She still works professionally.

LeBlanc replaces Steve Timbrook, who served as interim director for three years.

Timbrook oversaw many changes in the school, including hiring new faculty, curriculum revisions and adopting photo illustration from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

In 2001, the School of Visual Communication Design broke from the School of Art to become its own school within the College of Communication and Information.

Contact news editor Steven Bushong at [email protected].