Published 01/20/15

Samter to lead College of Arts and Sciences

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Wendy Samter, Ph.D., of Jamestown, RI, has been appointed Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Bryant University, effective Jan. 1, 2015.

Samter joined Bryant’s Department of Communication in 2003 as Associate Professor, and went on to become Professor and Chair (2005-2013), Director of Graduate Studies (2011-2014), and Associate Dean (2014). She has been instrumental in developing Bryant’s nationally recognized undergraduate communication degree program, and establishing a graduate degree in communication.

Samter has a distinguished research record in the area of interpersonal communication and teaching at both the graduate and undergraduate level.

A prolific writer, Samter has published articles and book chapters in scholarly publications, has been sought by media for her expert commentary, and has given keynote speeches nationwide. She is the co-author of Explaining Communication: Contemporary Theories and Exemplars, and Children Communicating: The First Five Years. She is the former editor of Communication Research Reports, an affiliate of the National Communication Association, and serves as associate editor for two other journals. She is an active member of a number of professional associations.

In 2013, Samter received the Distinguished Faculty Award, presented by the Bryant Alumni Association in recognition of her devotion to the teaching profession and personal concern for and commitment to students. She received the Center for Student Involvement’s first “Since 1863 Faculty Award” for her work with campus media organizations and Hillel (2009), as well as the University’s Excellence in Teaching Award (2006).

In addition to Samter’s exemplary service to Bryant University and the Department of Communication, her community service includes co-founding the Aftermath Relief Fund (ARF), an organization designed to help the animal victims of Superstorm Sandy, and serving as a pro bono consultant on recruitment and retention issues for the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth, and Family.

Samter received both a Ph.D. and M.A. in Interpersonal Communication from Purdue University, and a B.A. in Communication from LaSalle University. Prior to joining Bryant, she was a member of the communication faculty at the University of Delaware for nearly 15 years.

She succeeds David Lux, Ph.D., founding Dean of the College of Arts and Science. Lux will assume the role of Dean Emeritus, College of Arts and Sciences, and will return to his first love – teaching – for the remainder of his tenure at Bryant.