April 27, 2012

Candidates for interim MCMA dean to hold forums

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Two candidates for interim dean of the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will meet with constituents in forums that begin next week.

Both candidates are department chairs within the college. 

The candidates are: Dafna Lemish, chair of the Department of Radio-Television, and Walter C. Metz, chair of the Department of Cinema and Photography.

The interim dean serves as the chief academic and administrative officer for the college and is responsible for its academic programs, fiscal management, personnel, external relations, recruitment and retention, among other areas.  All candidates must have a strong record of academic leadership and administrative experience.

The interim dean will replace Dean Gary P. Kolb, who is retiring June 30, after five years at the helm -- beginning first as interim dean in May 2007 before being named permanent dean in July 2008.  Kolb’s association with the college dates to 1979 when he started as a term faculty member in the Department of Cinema and Photography.

The forums, which will include a presentation by each candidate, will give University students, staff and faculty an opportunity to meet with the candidates and ask questions about their proposed approaches to the position and will be done in conjunction with their interview for the position.  The candidates will speak on “My Vision for the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts.”

Full curriculum vitas for the two candidates are available at pvcaa.siu.edu/searches.html.

Here is a schedule of the forums:

  • Metz will hold his forum 2:15-3 p.m., Wednesday, May 2, at the University Museum Auditorium.
  • Lemish will hold her forum 11-11:45 a.m., May 8, at the University Museum Auditorium.

Dafna Lemish earned her doctorate in communication in 1982 from The Ohio State University.  She earned a Master of Arts degree in 1977 in communication from Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel, and a bachelor’s degree in geography with a minor in education in 1974 from Tel Aviv University in Israel.

She has been the radio-television department chair since coming to SIU Carbondale in July 2010.  Prior to that, she was a professor in the Department of Communication at Tel Aviv University, and from 2008 to 2010 was a visiting scholar at The Center on Media and Child Health (CMCH) at Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.  She is now a CMCH Scholar at Children’s Hospital in Boston.

Included in her academic background, Lemish was chair in the Department of Communication at Tel Aviv University from 2001 to 2006, where she began as a visiting senior lecturer in 1995 before becoming a senior lecturer in 1996, associate professor in 2002, and full professor in 2008.

Lemish is an international scholar on the media’s role in children’s lives, and editor of the “Journal of Children and Media,” a quarterly international multi-disciplinary and multi-method academic journal she founded in 2006.  She is also the author or co-author of several books, including “Screening Gender in Children’s TV:  The Views of Producers Around the World.”

In 2011 she received a grant to study the implementation of “Shalom Sesame” DVDs in Jewish home, and recently earned a research grant to sponsor two College of Mass Communication and Media Arts students’ participation and research during the upcoming Prix Jeunesse International Festival of Quality Television for Children in June in Munich, Germany.

Walter C. Metz earned a doctorate in 1996 from the Department of Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas at Austin.  He earned a master’s degree in 1991 in communication studies from the University of Iowa, and earned two bachelor’s degrees in 1989 from Massachusetts Institute of Technology -- one in materials science and engineering, and another in film and literature.

He has been the cinema and photography department chair since coming to SIU Carbondale in July 2009.  Originally an associate professor, Metz earned full professor status in 2010.  Prior to coming to SIU Carbondale, he was interim chair and associate professor at Montana State University’s School of Film and Photography, where he spent 11 years.  He was also a lecturer in film and television studies at the University of Texas at Austin from 1996 to 1998.

Metz’s research focus is in American film and television after World War II, and he is a leading scholar of 1960s American television sitcoms.

He is the author of three books, including “Engaging Film Criticism: Film History and Contemporary American Cinema,” and Bewitched,” an in-depth analysis of the hit television series and its cultural impact.  His third book, “Gilligan’s Island,” is being published this year by Wayne State Press.