Communication’s Stephanie Schulte Named Interim Associate Dean for Fulbright College

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Stephanie Ricker Schulte has been named an interim associate dean in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, filling the position recently vacated by Anna Zajicek, who joined the Provost’s Office as interim vice provost for faculty affairs.

Schulte has served as chair of Fulbright College’s Department of Communication since 2020 and has been a faculty member with the U of A for nearly 15 years.

“While we are sorry to see Anna go and thankful for all she’s done in service of the college and our students, I know Stephanie will be an excellent addition to our leadership team,” said Todd Shields, dean of Fulbright College.

“Stephanie is the type of educator and colleague who brings so much knowledge and experience to the table, but also makes sure all who interact with her feel recognized, heard, supported and valued,” Shields said. “She is an excellent communicator, problem solver and advocate for students, faculty and staff. We’re excited to have her continue working with our team in this new capacity.”

In her new role as interim associate dean, Schulte will serve as the administrative liaison between the Fulbright College Dean’s Office and several academic departments, programs and research centers primarily in the social sciences and humanities.

“I have long admired Dean Todd Shields and his service-leadership focus,” Schulte said. “I look forward to supporting him and our new interim dean during this next transitional phase in the college.” 

“I am also delighted to join the stellar team leading Fulbright College because I have seen up close and personal what a difference the leaders of our college make for our faculty, staff and students,” she added. “I am thrilled for this opportunity to serve and to help ensure our college’s focus on student success, research excellence, and diversity, equity and inclusion continues.”

Schulte’s research explores communication technologies, popular culture and transnational media policy, and her teaching covers new media, media history, technology studies and cultural studies.

Her widely acclaimed book, Cached: Decoding the Internet in Global Popular Culture, is a transnational political and cultural history of the internet that examines the multidirectional relationships between technological design, American culture and policymaking.

She has published articles in a variety of top-tier journals, including the International Journal of Communication, European Journal of Cultural Studies, Journal of Television and New MediaJournal of Transnational American Studies, Mass Communication and SocietyFeminist StudiesAmerican Behavioral ScientistJournal of CommunicationAmerican Studies and the Journal of New Media and Culture.

A former U.S. Fulbright Scholar, Schulte is a recipient of numerous awards, including the Fulbright College Master Research Award, the Fulbright College Master Teacher Award, a Faculty Gold Medal, Outstanding Mentor Award, Society for Cinema and Media Studies Dissertation Award, the American Studies Association’s Gabriel Prize as well as several national and state-wide grants, including an SEC Faculty Grant. 

When Schulte was named the 2022 recipient of the Michael M. Osborn Teacher-Scholar Award from the Southern States Communication Association this spring, her long-time Department of Communication colleague and vice chair, Ron Warren, noted, “In her nearly 15 years on our faculty, Dr. Schulte’s research has been internationally recognized as among the best in the fields of communication and American studies.”

Schulte holds a B.A. in communication, German language and literature, and gender studies from the U of A and an M.A. in media and public affairs and Ph.D. in American studies from George Washington University.

Get to know Schulte further in this Fulbright REVIEW Q&A and learn more about her research in this Short Talks from the Hill podcast.

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