Deanna Sellnow, Ph.D., has been appointed chair of the Clemson University Department of Communication. Her term begins February 5.
Throughout her career, Sellnow said she has always respected Clemson as a top-notch, land-grant University, and she is delighted to join the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences (CBSHS) and Department of Communication in this leadership role.
Sellnow joins Clemson from the University of Central Florida (UCF) where she served as a professor of strategic communication in the Nicholson School of Communication and Media. In addition to her role as professor, she served as program coordinator for graduate programs in communication and helped lead the development and implementation of a doctoral program in strategic communication. Previously, she led communication program areas as associate director of the Nicholson School.
Prior to her tenure at UCF, Sellnow rose to the rank of assistant provost for transformative learning at the University of Kentucky.
As chair, she plans to cultivate an environment of excellence in research, teaching and service and prioritize the student experience so that all communication students are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in their future endeavors.
According to Leslie Hossfeld, dean of the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences, Sellnow’s training and expertise make her an excellent fit for the role of department chair.
Sellnow earned a Ph.D. in education with cognates in music and communication from the University of North Dakota. She earned a master’s degree in music from Wayne State University and a bachelor’s degree in music education and speech communication from North Dakota State University.
Her primary area of research focuses on strategic instructional risk and crisis communication in a variety of contexts such as natural disasters, health epidemics and pandemics, biosecurity, terrorism and agricultural biotechnology.
She has conducted funded research for agencies such as the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She has served as president of the Central States Communication Association where she was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018.
The Department of Communication is part of the University’s College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences (CBSHS). Established in July 2016, CBSHS is a 21st-century, land-grant college that combines work in seven disciplines – communication; nursing; parks, recreation and tourism management; political science; psychology; public health sciences; sociology, anthropology and criminal justice – to further its mission of “building people and communities” in South Carolina and beyond.
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