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Release Date: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 4:50 PM
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Rachel Mann
Communications Specialist
Gracie Lawson-Borders, Ph.D., Tapped as New Dean of School of Communications
Gracie Lawson-Borders, Ph.D.
Gracie Lawson-Borders, Ph.D.

WASHINGTON (April 22, 2013) –Howard University Provost and Chief Academic Officer Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick today announced the appointment of Gracie Lawson-Borders, Ph.D., as the new Dean of the School of Communications following an extensive national search. The appointment is effective July 1.

“Dr. Lawson-Borders is a seasoned communications scholar, administrator and researcher. We welcome her to Howard and look forward to her leadership as the School of Communications further positions itself to educate 21st century communications students,” said Provost Frederick. "We also thank Interim Dean Dr. Chuka Onwumechili for his dedicated service over the last year."

Lawson-Borders has spent nearly three decades in academia, communication studies and professional journalism.  Before joining Howard, Lawson-Borders served as associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences and professor in Communication and Journalism at the University of Wyoming. She is also  a former director of the African American and Diaspora Studies program at Wyoming. She is an editorial board member for the International Journal on Media Management and an advisory board member for

Additionally, she has served on the faculty at Kent State University and Southern Methodist University. She earned her Ph.D. from Wayne State University, M.A. from Northwestern University and B.A. from Michigan State University. Lawson-Borders is also a former journalist, who worked as a reporter and editor at the Akron Beacon Journal, The Oakland Press and The Chicago Tribune.

Lawson-Borders is working on her second book, which is about digital business models and strategies for media organizations. She has also published in American Behavioral Scientist, International Journal on Media Management, Journal of Media Economics, Global Media Journal and Oxford Bibliographies Online. Her research and teaching examine media management, media convergence, emerging technologies, social media and media coverage of minority groups.

“It is my pleasure to join Howard University as the Dean of the School of Communications,” said Lawson-Borders. “I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with a faculty and staff whose experience, expertise and commitment have made a significant difference in students’ lives for decades.”

In September 2012, the Howard University Board of Trustees approved the establishment of two new undergraduate programs and a new doctoral program in the School of Communications as a part of the University’s academic renewal efforts. The additions align the University’s academic programs with the latest trends in the field of communication and provide Howard graduates with the competitive advantages necessary to compete and succeed in today’s changing media landscape. Students will be admitted into these programs beginning in the fall of 2013.

For more than 40 years, the School of Communications has enriched our nation and the global community through its research, teaching and service and the contributions of its distinguished graduates in advertising, communication sciences, corporate and applied communications, film, journalism, public relations, radio, television and other related fields.

Recently, Howard’s School of Communications was selected as one of the nation’s “Top 25 Journalism Schools,” according to a survey of industry professionals conducted by NewsPro magazine.

For more information on the School of Communications, visit the website here.


Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 30 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at

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