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Professor Harty Mokros to Transition to Professor Emeritus
Mokros arrived at the School of Communication and Information in 1988.
Professor Harty Mokros to Transition to Professor Emeritus

After 30 years of a very broad and extremely successful career at Rutgers University, Professor of Communication Hartmut B. Mokros will transition to emeritus status, assuming the title of Professor Emeritus, effective January 1, 2019.

In 1988 Mokros joined the Rutgers School of Communication and Information (SC&I) faculty as an assistant professor of communication. Over the years he served as senior associate dean of SC&I (2006-2015); director of SC&I Doctoral Program in Communication, Information and Library Studies (2005-2007); director of the Master of Communication and Information Studies (MCIS) Program (2001-2004; 1995-1997); and chair of the Department of Communication (1996-2000). Mokros was in administrative roles for 20 of the 30 years he worked at SC&I.

Mokros's research and teaching interests are in language and social interaction, family communication, children’s mental health, especially communicational perspective on depression and suicidal behavior, qualitative and microanalytic research methods, and social science theory. 

To celebrate his many achievements, The Rutgers School of Communication and Information (SC&I) and the SC&I Department of Communication held a dinner in honor of Mokros on December 3 at the Rutgers Club.

At the dinner, attendees spoke about Mokros’s dedicated service. SC&I’s Dean Jonathan Potter said, “Harty’s name was spoken with a mix of awe and fear when I arrived. I met him and realized just how significant he has been for putting the school where it is now.  I receive a lot of compliments about how well the school has done.  That is nice and many, many people have made that happen. But Harty has really stepped up to that plate. He softened the learning curve for my arrival and helped me out in all kinds of ways.  I will always be grateful!”

Professor Jenny Mandelbaum, a longtime colleague, said, “While he was chair, and as Associate and Senior Associate Dean also, he implemented many innovations that provided concrete and important structural improvements to the department and the school. He made such major innovations for the Department as instituting a PhD coordinator for the Communication area, formulating and advertising our distinctive areas of strength, producing publicity materials, and many others. His transformation of the MCIS, as a two-time director, was particularly impressive.  He discerned a market need for a more corporate slant to the degree, and was able to implement the curricular innovations to make that happen.

“As a teacher also, Harty was incredibly creative and generous.  He taught classes from small graduate seminars all the way to the huge Comm 101, always with creativity and innovation.  He was particularly generous with his PhD advisees, devoting his Saturdays to dissertation-writing seminar with them, and advancing their careers by editing a volume that brought together their work.

“A 30-year career in one place is an achievement.  One that encompasses so many different, important roles is a major achievement, a major display of profound altruism, and leaves a lasting, tangible legacy.”

SC&I’s Dean of Administration, Karen Novick, who has worked with Mokros for a decade, said, “Harty Mokros had a tremendous impact on the School of Communication and Information through the mentoring he provided as a colleague, department chair, and associate dean. In those positions he was responsible for hiring and/or helping to promote a majority of the faculty in the school.  Working closely with him over a period of ten years in the dean's office, I know how much care and thought he put into his work with faculty and students.  At his retirement dinner, a number of people spoke about the ways he helped them through the years and how much they appreciated his thoughtfulness and altruism.  Harty has worked very hard for the school for thirty years, and I hope he has a wonderful retirement!”

Distinguished Professor of Communication and Executive Director of the Rutgers Center for Organizational Leadership, Brent Ruben, remembers when Mokros arrived at SC&I for his first interview. After Mokros joined the SC&I faculty, Ruben said he recalled thinking at the time that the potential uniqueness of Mokros’s contributions were obvious very early on. Ruben said Mokros has continuously served as a role model for the faculty, “a model of a colleague with an exceptional mind, and amazing dedication, who chose, unselfishly, to dedicate much of his life over the past 30 years to the enrichment of the academic community of the department and school.”

Mokros, Ruben said,  “Leaves a legacy that I and others won’t soon forget, as a dedicated, rigorous scholar-leader for the department and school, whose interests were never to reinforce or replace his own intellectual preferences, or to recruit scholars who shared his own methodological orientations, but rather to encourage us to do those things which would advance our intellectual community, and enhance our impact within the university and the larger community of scholars, nationally.

 “I would hope that as we arrive at meetings and venues, in the future, and notice that he’s not there -- I hope we will each do our best to uphold the standards that he embodied in his time with us, as a leader, a colleague, and a friend.”

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