By Emma Whitaker | Reporter
Dr. Mia Moody-Ramirez has accepted the position of new department chair for the department of journalism, public relations and new media. She is starting her new position this summer after Dr. Sara Stone retires on May 31.
The application process, while tough, was worth it when Moody-Ramirez received notice Jan. 16 that her appointment was official.
“I am very excited. Anyone who knows me knows that I love the journalism department, my students, my colleagues, and am so excited for this next step in my life,” Moody-Ramirez said.
As the previous Graduate Program Director, she is accustomed to recruiting new students, striving to maintain and gain a strong Baylor community. Her vision includes branding, extending Baylor journalism department’s social media presence, and creating a potential online graduate program.
“We have former students who would love to get a degree, but they no longer live in Waco. An online program would be very attractive to them,” Moody-Ramirez said.
Moody-Ramirez desires the continuity of the journalism department and will oversee the accreditation of the journalism department. She is meeting with the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) to familiarize herself with the accreditation process.
She is participating in the Institute of Diverse Leadership, which offers training for women and people of color that want to go into leadership positions. She is taking a one week trip to Howard University to shadow their administration as training for her new position, as well as a trip to Houston for an administrative conference for the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Moody-Ramirez is working closely with Dr. Stone to get a sense of the job. They have discussing the future of the department, from decisions of personnel, curriculum, scheduling courses.
“There are so many things that she has already started that we want to continue,” she said. “She is wonderful. I have been very happy to follow in her footsteps.”
With two faculty members leaving and the department needing to find a new graduate program director, Moody-Ramirez will not get a honeymoon period. Stone knows she is up for the challenge.
“I’m delighted that Mia has been named the new chair of the department and I think she’ll do a great job. I’m also so proud of our department for having strong women leaders and am pleased that the university saw fit to replace a woman chair with another woman chair!” she said. “I think it’s a win for our department, I think it’s a win for our university, and I think she certainly deserves the opportunity to use her leadership skills.
Moody-Ramirez will continue to be the adviser of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) as that organization is dear to her heart. The organization of journalists, students and media-related professionals that provides quality programs and services to and advocates on behalf of black journalists worldwide according to their website.
She will teach one class per semester as she doesn’t want to give up her love for teaching. While her job as chair will require much time and devotion, she still eagerly desires to further her personal and academic research. Moreover, she is writing two book chapters and journal articles, along with mentoring graduate and undergraduate students.