Professor Amy Jordan, who studies the role of media in the lives of children and families, will become chair of the Journalism and Media Studies Department on July 1, 2020. Jordan will replace the department’s current chair Professor Susan Keith.
“When I arrived in January 2018,” Jordan said, “I was immediately welcomed with open arms by every person I met. The collegiality, the loyalty, and the advocacy for one another is like nothing I've ever seen. That tone was set by Susan Keith, the outgoing chair, and I will do my best to maintain the positive, encouraging, and friendly tone that infused her interactions as I assume this role. I also look forward to the opportunity to know, deeply, what my colleagues are studying and teaching and how they are connecting their efforts to the communities they care about –– from students, to journalists, to voters, to workers (to name a few). It's such a privilege to be trusted with this position, and I won't take my responsibilities lightly.”
Describing her initial priorities and goals as chair, Jordan said, “In the short term, I will take time to get to know the hopes and dreams of all the people who are associated with JMS, from the undergraduate and graduate students, to the part time lecturers, to the faculty, and to the staff. Long-term, I hope to leave the department in as good of a shape as I found it!”
While Jordan explained she does not plan to make any immediate changes to the JMS curriculum, she said, “I do expect that JMS, like any journalism and media studies department, will change as the field changes. Just look at how different the landscape is from even 5 years ago! Our curriculum will evolve as the students' interests and the media industries evolve.”
Jordan is beginning her tenure at an extraordinary time in history, and thus she will be addressing issues her predecessors have not. “Of course, the greatest challenge facing literally everyone right now is the world we are currently living in –– one that reflects uncertainties about health, worries about the economy, and anger about injustices,” Jordan said. “We are teaching and learning in challenging times, and finding ways to ensure that everyone is heard and supported is critical (but challenging, especially when we are not physically together).”
Some of Jordan’s current research projects include the educational potential of digital media in under-served and under-resourced communities, neoliberalism and the politics of children’s policymaking, and the relationship between adolescent nighttime media use and sleep behaviors. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Smith Richardson Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Jordan is co-editor of the Journal of Children and Media with Associate Professor of Communication Vikki Katz (Associate Dean of Programs Dafna Lemish is the founding editor). Jordan also serves on the Board of Trustees of Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization behind Sesame Street, and is chair of the Education Committee. She is past president of the International Communication Association (2015-2016).
Read more about Jordan here.