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NC State Names New Dean of College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Dogwood in bloom outside Winston Hall.

Deanna Dannels has been named dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at North Carolina State University after a nationwide search. Her appointment becomes effective July 1. Dannels takes the leadership position as Jeff Braden, who has served as dean for more than 13 years, returns to the Department of Psychology.

NC State Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Warwick Arden announced the appointment today.

“With more than 20 years of service to the university, Deanna is uniquely positioned to understand and carry out the mission and vision of NC State with a Think and Do approach,” said Arden. “She has a deep understanding of the culture of a complex, research-intensive institution that values experiential education, excellence in teaching and research, high levels of interdisciplinary collaboration, and community engagement. And she has the skills to navigate that culture. I am confident that she will guide the College of Humanities and Social Sciences — one of our university’s largest colleges — in a manner that positions it for strategic growth and national influence.”

Deanna Dannels
Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Deanna Dannels

Since 2015, Dannels has served as the college’s associate dean of academic affairs and as a professor in the Department of Communication. She first joined NC State in 1999 on a joint appointment as assistant professor of communication and assistant director of the Campus Writing and Speaking Program.

She took on additional duties as the introductory course director in the Department of Communication in 2000. From 2011 to 2015, she served as director of graduate programs in the Department of Communication.

“I am honored to continue to be an integral part of a place that I’m so passionate about,” said Dannels. “I’ve focused intently on supporting departmental administrators, faculty, and staff in ways that position NC State as a leader in providing educational opportunities to underserved populations. I’ve also worked at helping my colleagues to address national enrollment trends in humanities and social sciences, increase peer mentorship opportunities in undergraduate and graduate education, and more.”

“The solid foundation of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences — our forward-thinking faculty, staff and students — positions us to embrace the opportunities before us to create a better, stronger society that is welcoming to all. We’re taking an interdisciplinary focus in regard to our teaching, scholarship and service to make life better for our fellow citizens on a local, national and global stage. I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish next.”

Dannels’ research explores theoretical and curricular protocols for teacher development, as well as instructional models for designing, implementing and assessing communication within the disciplines.

She recently completed an editorship with Communication Education Journal, the National Communication Association’s main research publication focused on education. She is the author of several books and journal articles, including Eight Essential Questions Teachers Ask: A Guidebook for Communicating with Students, which addresses questions and concerns in teacher development and training, backed by a decade of empirical data. The book also provides recommendations and best practices for addressing emergent teacher concerns.

Dannels has won a number of teaching and research awards. She received the College of Humanities and Social Sciences’ Alumni Distinguished Graduate Professor Award (2015) and Board of Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (2014); the university’s Outstanding Teacher Award (2009); the Southern States Communication Association’s John I. Sisco Excellence in Teaching Award (2010); the Western States Communication Association Master Teacher Award (2010); and the National Council of Teachers of English Best Article on Pedagogy or Curriculum in Technical or Scientific Communication (2009).

Prior to joining NC State, Dannels served in several positions at the University of Utah, including as a teaching fellow in the Department of Communication and as a communication consultant with the College of Engineering. She is an active member of the Council for Colleges of Arts and Sciences, National Communication Association and National Humanities Alliance.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from Gonzaga University, and a Master of Science and Ph.D. in communication from the University of Utah.

This post was originally published in NC State News.