Maria Elizabeth (Betsi) Grabe, a professor of communication science, will be the new associate dean of The Media School beginning July 1, dean designate James Shanahan has announced.
Lesa Hatley Major, who has served as associate dean since the founding of the school, will return to teaching and research.
“At a critical juncture for the genesis and development of the school, I am pleased that Betsi has agreed to help us in our important tasks,” Shanahan said. “Her profile of research excellence, her long experience at IU and in the communication fields, and her work ethic will serve us well.”
As associate dean, Grabe will supervise the establishment of a new Faculty Advisory Board and will help create and oversee the academic operations of the school.
“I feel the weight of our challenge, and with it, a readiness to serve,” Grabe said. “We are building a school — a collective — to think originally about making and using media at an extraordinary point in its history. Let’s do this, and do it well.”
Grabe joined IU Journalism in 1995 and in 2006 moved to telecommunications, where she served as the department’s graduate director from 2007 to 2010. She was the chair of the International Communication Association’s Journalism Studies Division from 2008 to 2010.
Most of her scholarly work is in the information processing area, looking at how visual content and message packaging influence comprehension. Her book, Image Bite Politics: News and the Visual Framing of Elections (with Erik Bucy; Oxford University Press, 2009), received the 2010 Outstanding Book Award from the International Communication Association and the 2010 Distinguished Book Award from the Communication and Social Cognition Division of the National Communication Association.
Grabe has a B.A. in English and an M.A. in communication from the University of Johannesburg in South Africa; an M.A. in international journalism from Baylor University; and a doctorate in mass media and communication from Temple University.
Grabe was born and raised in South Africa, where she worked as a television news documentary producer during the State of Emergency in the mid-1980s. She is affiliated with the Department of Political Sciences at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, as a research associate.