College of Journalism names new associate dean of academic affairs

Lawyers in Athens GADean Charles N. Davis of Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication has appointed Maria Len-Ríos as the college’s new associate dean of academic affairs.

The position opened up in preparation for the retirement of current Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Alison Alexander in June.

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“I am delighted to have appointed Dr. Len-Ríos to the role of associate dean,” Davis told The Red & Black. “She’s a natural leader, and I’m heartened by her willingness to step up and serve.”

Under this position, Len-Ríos will assist the college’s departments build curriculum, collaborate with new partners and industries and find new opportunities for the college and the students.

“It’s a great honor and an opportunity to be able to work with the faculty, the students and the alumni at Grady,” Len-Ríos said.

Prior to Len-Ríos joining Grady in 2014, she taught public relations, health communication and cross-cultural journalism at Missouri School of Journalism, University of Kansas and Georgia Southern University.

She also co-edited “Cross-Cultural Journalism: Communicating Strategically About Diversity” and served as interim chair of the Grady College Diversity Committee in 2017. She is also a 2017-18 UGA Women’s Leadership Fellow.

Len-Rios has earned over nine top research awards in national and international academic conferences, according to UGA Today.

Len-Rios said incorporating diversity in this position will benefit communicating with audiences too.

“When I think of diversity, I think of serving communities where our audiences live, so I think it’s important … that when we develop stories and when we communicate with our audiences, we [do so] in authentic ways,” Len-Ríos said.