HIGH POINT, N.C., June 10, 2019 – High Point University has named Dr. Virginia McDermott as dean of the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication.
McDermott has been a member of the HPU family since 2010 as associate professor of strategic communication and most recently has served as interim dean. She will continue to lead the school to accommodate growth in majors including event management, game and interactive media design, journalism and more.
McDermott, who is originally from New Jersey, received a Bachelor of Arts in communication from The College of New Jersey, a Master of Arts in communication at Texas State University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in communication from the University of Illinois.
“Dr. Virginia McDermott is poised to take the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication to the next level of excellence,” says HPU Provost Dr. Dennis Carroll. “Not only is she a proven administrator, but she also has the vision and insight to articulate best practices in the field of communications and what emerging areas of communication we should consider at HPU.”
McDermott came to HPU from the University of New Mexico, where for nine years she was a faculty member in the Department of Communication and Journalism. Her research examines how problematic events change the nature of relationships and conversations, how communication facilitates coping, and how communication campaigns can be used to address health disparities and social inequities.
“I am honored that Drs. Qubein and Carroll want me to continue to lead the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication and excited to continue working with the extraordinary faculty and staff,” says McDermott. “We have a lot of initiatives that we know students will like, such as adding an esports lab, creating a space to record podcasts and expanding our student-run public relations and advertisement agency, Ascension 336. Most importantly, I get to continue to work with and help our students, which is my favorite part of the job.”
For the past few years, she and her students have addressed various health risk issues, including teen pregnancy and prescription drug abuse, by using a community-based approach to campaign development. Her recent publications include an article in Communication Theory and the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication. She has extensive experience in organizational training and specializes in seminars on how to develop a positive organizational environment.
About Dean Dr. Virginia McDermott
McDermott has been a part of the HPU family since 2010. McDermott, who is originally from New Jersey, received a Bachelor of Arts in communication from The College of New Jersey, a Master of Arts in communication at Texas State University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in communication from the University of Illinois.