Communications chair aims to grow AppTV, expand resources


The Appalachian Online

Tommy Culkin

Jean Dehart was selected as the new chair of the Department of Communication by Appalachian State University in December. She officially assumed the position in January.

“I was excited about [being named chair] because I think this is a wonderful department,” Dehart said.

One of Dehart’s goals as chair is to see AppTV, the department’s new television channel, flourish. She also wants to expand the number of communications classes offered online, and increase the resources available for faculty.

Aside from those specific goals, Dehart said she wants to see the Department of Communication continue to grow and become a flagship program for Appalachian.

Prior to being named the chair of the department, Dehart served as the interim chair for a year.

“[Serving as interim chair] gave her a lot of the learning that she needed to do to become a chair,” said Glenda Treadaway, dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts.

Dehart has worked at Appalachian since 1995. She primarily teaches courses in the communication studies field.

“I had already heard about Appalachian [before working there] because it’s so student-oriented,” Dehart said. “It really should be all about the students, and I think it’s important to keep that in mind. I like being at a place that really focuses on students.”

Dehart completed her undergraduate studies at James Madison University, earning bachelor’s degrees in communication and political science. She also has her master’s degree from the University of Tennessee and a doctorate from the University of Georgia, both in speech communications.

Dehart previously taught at Clemson University for three years and Mississippi State University for four years.

“She brings strong leadership skills to the position,” Treadaway said. “She has an ability that I’m not sure everyone has, which is to see the big picture.

Story: Tommy Culkin, News Reporter