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Emory Woodard, PhD, Appointed Dean of Graduate Studies

Dr. Woodard, associate professor and founding committee member of the graduate Communication program, has held a number of leadership positions at the University

Emory Woodard, PhD, Dean of Graduate Studies

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Emory H. Woodard IV, PhD, has been named Dean of Graduate Studies in Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences—beginning a three-year term in June 2019. He will lead the College’s 23 graduate programs—including two PhD programs—which have a total enrollment of more than 1,300 students.

“Dr. Woodard’s excellent administrative skills and experience make him the ideal person to become the next leader of the College’s PhD and master’s programs,” said Adele Lindenmeyr, PhD, Dean, Villanova University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “Dr. Woodard’s compelling vision for the future also accords well with the emphasis the University is placing on graduate education.” 

A member of the Villanova faculty since 2000, Dr. Woodard holds the rank of associate professor in the Department of Communication and currently serves in the role of coordinator of Media Studies. He was on the founding committee of the graduate program in Communication, for which he served as acting program director in 2004 and program director from 2007 to 2011. In 2015 the program received the Outstanding Master’s Degree Program award from the National Communication Association.

“I want to offer graduate education as not only a means of professional success but a way to prepare students for the lifelong learning necessary to be the change agents our world needs,” Dr. Woodard said “I am honored by this appointment, and look forward to working with our dedicated faculty and staff in our efforts to develop the next generation of scholars at the highest level.”

Dr. Woodard also was a founding committee member of the Waterhouse Family Institute, which emphasizes the vital role of communication in the creation of a more just world and annually sponsors symposia, lectures, workshops, conferences and events. He continues to assist the Waterhouse Family Institute with budgeting and program development. At the University level, he serves as vice chair of the Institutional Review Board.

An accomplished scholar in his field, Dr. Woodard’s research focuses on audience experiences with the media, with a focus on children, the elderly, the disadvantaged and African-Americans. He also investigates the consumer culture that permeates audiences of advertiser-supported media.

He received his PhD in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication, from which he also received his MA. 

Dr. Woodard’s work has been published in leading academic journals including Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, Media Psychology, Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, Canadian Social Science and The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.

Dr. Woodard will replace Christine Palus, PhD, as Dean of Graduate Studies. Dr. Palus has guided the graduate programs in the College since June 2014. Among her many accomplishments, Dr. Palus oversaw the launch of two major new programs—a master’s degree in Environmental Science and a PhD in Theology. She has advanced the adoption of new technology and guided new initiatives in online learning, student services and recruitment. Dr. Palus was named the Dean of the College of Professional Studies in June 2018. She has continued to serve as Dean of Graduate Studies since then.

“Dr. Palus has led Graduate Studies with a passionate commitment to excellence and sincere concern for the wellbeing of graduate students, faculty and staff,” said Dean Lindenmeyr. “Beginning with her experience as graduate program director and department chair in Public Administration, Dr. Palus has become a leader at Villanova for graduate and adult education. We are thankful for her innumerable contributions to the College.”

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenged and changing world. With 39 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.