March 20, 2007

Meadows names new chair for
Corporate Communications & Public Affairs

DALLAS (SMU) – Mark Lawrence McPhail has been appointed chair of the Division of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs (CCPA) at the Meadows School of the Arts, effective July 1, 2007.

Dr. McPhail comes to SMU from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he is Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Coordinator of Creativity and Culture, and Director of the Ida Montimer Windate Writing Center in the Western College Program of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies.

Mark Lawrence McPhail

“I am thrilled that Dr. McPhail has agreed to come to SMU,” said José Bowen, dean of the Meadows School of the Arts. “He is a dynamic leader and the author of two classic books in his field. Students, staff and faculty were all very impressed by his intelligence, passion and professionalism, and he was unanimously endorsed by the search committee. His vision and leadership will be a tremendous asset to the continuing growth of our CCPA program.”

“Throughout the interview process I was greatly impressed by the sincerity, passion and energy of everyone I met at Southern Methodist University, and I very much look forward to becoming a part of the SMU community,” Dr. McPhail said. “I’m honored to be given the opportunity to be a part of an outstanding division, an exceptional school and a remarkable university, and I look forward to working with all of my colleagues in Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, the Meadows School of the Arts and Southern Methodist University.”

Dr. McPhail received a Ph.D. in rhetoric and public address from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, an M.A. in performance studies from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. and a B.A. in secondary education from Emerson College in Boston. His former administrative positions include Chair and Basic Course Director in the Department of Communications at Miami University; Acting Chair of the Department of Communication at the University of Utah; Associate Director of the University of Michigan’s English Composition Board; and Executive Assistant and Affirmative Action Advisor to the President of Emerson College. He also has served on the faculties of Wayne State University in Detroit and Northwestern University. In addition, he has worked as a consultant for a number of companies, including Digital, The Milton Bradley Company, The MITRE Corporation, the New England Institute of Law Enforcement, Innovations International and Lockheed Martin.

Dr. McPhail is the author of two books, Zen in the Art of Rhetoric: An Inquiry in Coherence, published by the State University of New York Press, and The Rhetoric of Racism Revisited: Reparations or Separation?, published by Rowman and Littlefield. He also has published scholarly essays in state, regional, national and international books and journals and given numerous papers at national and regional conferences. In addition, he is a published poet and photographer whose work has been featured in such publications as The Emerson Review, Dark Horse Magazine, The American Literary Review and Critical Studies in Mass Communication. He is included in Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities, and has received a number of awards, including the Albert J. Colton Memorial Research Fellowship, the University of Utah’s Tanner Humanities Fellowship and the National Communication Association’s Karl Wallace Memorial Award.

Dr. McPhail is married to Denise Brothers-McPhail, who is completing her doctorate in gerontology at Miami University and then will join her husband in Dallas next year.

Dr. McPhail succeeds Rita Kirk, who served as chair for five years and will return to the Division of CCPA as a full professor in 2008 following a year-long sabbatical to do research on the upcoming presidential elections.

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