CHICAGO — Salma Ghanem, a communication scholar and administrator with professional experience in both health care communication and international diplomacy, has been named dean of the College of Communication at DePaul University. She will assume the role Aug. 4.
For the past five years, Ghanem has been dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts at Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, where she helped develop an online program in strategic social media.
Prior to that position, Ghanem chaired the Department of Communication at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg, where she created a minor in Hispanic Media Studies and a program that combined graphic design and advertising.
In both roles, she worked extensively on strategic planning and launched multiple interdisciplinary programs.
Ghanem has a doctorate and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas-Austin, and a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Texas-Pan American. As a college administrator and scholar, she has published extensively on political communication and intercultural communication.
Prior to her career in academia, Ghanem worked as a communications specialist at the Scott & White Hospital and Clinic in Temple, Texas, and previously as a press and information officer for the Egyptian Mission to the United Nations.
Ghanem's passion for cultural awareness and interdisciplinary research stems from the fact that she is an immigrant and was raised by parents who are Egyptian and Dutch. She has taught in several study-abroad programs, traveling to Spain, Egypt, Turkey, Austria and Germany. Ghanem attended the Sacré Coeur Catholic School in Cairo, Egypt, and is fluent in Arabic and French and has considerable skill in Spanish.
“Salma is known for her interdisciplinary approach to education and has developed a number of innovative academic programs,” said Patricia O’Donoghue, interim provost at DePaul University. “Our students will benefit from her professional experience in both health care communication and international diplomacy. We are delighted she is joining DePaul’s College of Communication.”
In her role as dean at DePaul, Ghanem will lead a college that provides students with a combination of timeless principles and up-to-the-minute tools in journalism; public relations and advertising; health communication; media studies; radio, television and film; relational, group and organizational communication; and culture and communication.
“I welcome the opportunity to lead a college that is committed to new ideas and innovative approaches; a college that blends both the theoretical and professional aspects of a rapidly changing field,” Ghanem said.
“The college is well situated geographically to take advantage of its proximity to major media and communication organizations. I am looking forward to joining DePaul and helping build on the impressive work that is taking place in the College of Communication," she said.
DePaul University is the largest Catholic university in the United States, with more than 24,500 students and about 300 academic programs. Based in Chicago, it is nationally recognized for incorporating service learning throughout its curriculum and preparing its graduates for a global economy. Founded in 1898 by the Congregation of the Mission (Vincentians), DePaul’s tradition of providing a quality education to students from a broad range of backgrounds, with particular attention to first-generation students, has resulted in one of the nation’s most diverse student bodies. Additional information is online at www.depaul.edu.