Dr. Andrea Hickerson, current director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of South Carolina, has accepted an offer from the University of Mississippi to serve as Dean of the School of Journalism and New Media.
Pending approval from the IHL Board of Trustees in May, Hickerson will begin her journey at Ole Miss in July.
Hickerson earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and international relations at Syracuse University, master’s degrees in journalism and Middle Eastern studies at the University of Texas, and a Ph.D. in communication at the University of Washington.
After earning her degrees, she worked at both the Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of South Carolina. Most recently she served as director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, associate dean, and professor.
She is an accomplished researcher and scholar with experience studying “deepfakes” and issues facing international journalism.
She has been a principal investigator, co-principal investigator, or investigator on over $1.6 million in external support from a wide range of sources that include the National Science Foundation, US State Department, foundations and news networks.
Hickerson said it didn’t take long after arriving at Ole Miss during the interview process to know this is where she wanted to be.
“I got back from my visit there and I felt like people were really hungry to try new things and really see where journalism and integrated marketing communications can go,” Hickerson told Hotty Toddy News. “That was really exciting to see and something that I really wanted to be a part of.”
After Hickerson steps into her role as Dean, she said she will be spending her first few weeks doing “lots of talking.”
“I’ll be visiting people in their offices, and really listening and figuring out what people feel is going really well, what they want to accomplish next,” she said. “I’ll be talking to faculty, staff and students. I really look forward to doing that interim reporting for myself and engaging with our people.”
The appointment of Hickerson resulted from a national search that attracted a well-qualified pool of applicants.
“I am appreciative to the search committee for their hard work to lead and conduct the search,” said UM Provost Noel Wilkin.
Dr. Deb Wenger has served as interim dean since the former dean, Will Norton stepped down in April 2020.
“I also am deeply grateful to Dr. Deb Wenger for her outstanding interim leadership of the School of Journalism and New Media,” Wilkin said.