Dr. Rhonda M. Gonzales is interim dean of the College of Liberal and Fine Arts and the Stumberg Endowed Distinguished University Chair for the Dean of Liberal and Fine Arts at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Prior to this appointment, she served as interim vice president for Student Success, associate vice provost for Strategic Initiatives and director of PIVOT for Academic Success. She holds the rank of full professor and is active in research on Africa and African Diaspora History. She was an American Council on Education Fellow in 2014-2015, and she is principal investigator on grants totaling more than $6 million to support her research and to build programs that support improvement of student retention and graduation rates.
Among her accomplishments are the 2011 founding of the university’s Women’s Professional Advancement and Synergy Academy (WPASA), which has graduated more than 90 faculty and staff; the founding of UTSA's First Generation and Transfer Student Center, which trains and employs peer mentors, faculty coaches and support staff who develop and provide programing, to support our more than 11,000 first-gen students and transfer students; creating a Math Emporium model for Algebra for Science, Engineering, and Business students to increase student success, including the retention of women and underrepresented minorities in these fields. Also, in her role as dean she launched two college initiatives to support faculty at critical junctures in their careers. One initiative involves focused mentorship for associate professors to help them attain full rank, and a second initiative commits the use of the COLFA dean’s endowment to create the Stumberg Summer Research Awards for faculty.
Dr. Gonzales is a strategic, energetic, relatable and considerate leader who understands and appreciates the power of education to transform the lives of students, their families and communities for generations to come. In the 16 years she has worked at UTSA, she has earned a reputation as a champion for faculty, staff, and student success. Her drive to identify, remove institutional barriers and support student preparedness for college and faculty success are informed by her personal journey as a Mexican American, first-generation high school and college graduate. Dr. Gonzales’ professional trajectory as a faculty member and administrator has taken shape through the many opportunities she has been tapped for since she left Macalester College—where for two years she was as an Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Women and Gender Studies and History departments—to launch her career at UTSA.
Steven Levitt, Professor, Department of Communication, received his B.A. from Montana State University, his M.A. from West Virginia, and his Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. He taught in the Telecommunications Department at the University of Kentucky before coming to UTSA in the fall of 1991 to create a new degree program in Communication. He served as head of the program from 1997 – 2001 at which time Communication became a stand-alone department. He then served as Chair until Aug. 2010. He is currently serving as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the College of Liberal and Fine Arts. Dr. Levitt teaches Conflict Resolution & Mediation, Public Relations, and Research Methods.
Dr. Levitt’s current research project is understanding dynamics of international organizational teamwork. “Cultural factors affecting international teamwork dynamics” was published in The International Journal of Knowledge, Culture, and Change in Organizations: Annual Review, Volume 13 (2014), 9-23. The article was the winner of the International Award for Excellence for Volume 13 of the Organization Collection, 2015. All articles submitted for publication in the Organization Collection are entered into consideration for this award – four quarterly journals and the annual. "Cultural dialectics in international teamwork dynamics” was published (2016) in the International Journal of Business Communication.
“Addressing cross-cultural teamwork barriers: Implications for industry practice and higher education curricula,” was presented at the Ninth International Conference on New Horizons in Industry, Business and Education in August 2015, on the Skiathos Island, Greece. The paper was one of only three papers selected from the conference to be published in Industry and Higher Education, October 2016.
Dr. Levitt has presented numerous workshops on conflict resolution and gender communication, and is certified in conflict resolution and mediation. Dr. Levitt served as a trainer and University Liaison for the award winning UTSA Problem Solving/Conflict Resolution Program. Dr. Levitt is also very active in many other areas of University service, and was honored with the 2000 President’s Distinguished Achievement Award for University Service.
Dr. Seok Kang is a professor in digital communication with an emphasis on mobile media effects, digital journalism, social media effects and digital media production. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia, his M.A. from Illinois State University, an M.A. from Sogang University, Seoul Korea, and his B.A. from Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul Korea.
Dr. Kang's teaching and research areas focus on new communication technologies, mobile communication, m-marketing, social media, communication research methods, theory, and digital message design. He has received several university teaching awards from UTSA for his commitment to teaching development. He was voted as 'Professor of the Semester' for teaching excellence in the fall of 2007 by Phi Mu Fraternity Honor Society at UTSA. He received a teaching award in 2010 by the UTSA Provost office. He was selected as the Star Platinum Award winner for teaching excellence in 2013 by the Department of Communication. He is also a certified web development teacher for website creation, CSS, HTML, content management system, audio, and video production.
Dr. Kang has published 42 refereed journal articles and 16 books and book chapters. He published six single-authored books: Disruptive Digital Innovation: The Fourth Wave of Communication Media in August 2018, Digital Message Design: The Path to Multimedia Production in March, 2013, Handbook of Digital Media Production in July, 2009, Motivational Use of Web News in April, 2010, and Communication and Capital in August, 2016, Digital Media Analytics, 2017, and Disruptive Digital Innovation (forthcoming). His articles have appeared in Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, The Asian Journal of Communication, The International Journal of Mobile Communications, Disability & Society, Newspaper Research Journal, International Journal of Communication, Journalism and Mass Communication Educator, CyberPsychology and Behavior, Public Relations Review, Health Communication, Mass Communication and Society, Journal of Asian Pacific Communication, International Journal of Instructional Media, The Community Mental Health Journal, and among others. He has presented 70 refereed papers at national and international conferences since 1997. He received ten faculty awards and more than 12 second/third place paper awards at conferences.
Seok Kang is a member of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), International Communication Association (ICA), and Broadcast Education Association (BEA).
He serves on the editorial board of the refereed national journal, Mass Communication and Society, a publication of LEA, Inc. He is a journal manuscript reviewer for Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, Communication Research, and Health Communication. He has been working as a conference paper reviewer for the International Communication Association (ICA), the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), and Broadcast Education Association (BEA). He has served as a panel participant and conference division chair for ICA, AEJMC, and BEA.
Jason Yaeger is an anthropological archaeologist who studies Mesoamerican and Andean civilizations, particularly the Maya and Inka. He received his A.B. in Anthropology at the University of Michigan in 1991 and his Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania in 2000. His research interests include the organization of ancient households and communities, urbanism, landscapes and environments, the relationship between climate change and culture change, material culture and identity, ethnohistory, the politics of archaeological research, and Maya epigraphy and iconography. Much of his research has sought to understand the organization of Classic Maya rural communities and the practices, institutions, and constructs that linked rural householders into extra-community socio-political entities. His current research project focuses on documenting the changing relationships between Xunantunich and the rival center of Buenavista and understanding how competition between these two polities impacted the people who lived in the intervening countryside.
Dr. Yaeger began his academic career at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he taught for 10 years before coming to UTSA as Associate Professor of Anthropology in 2010. In 2016, he was named UTSA President’s Endowed Professor of Anthropology. He has served as department chair since 2014.
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