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New director hired for the School of Mass Communications

TAMPA, Fla. – The University of South Florida College of Arts and Sciences has named Fred Pearce the director of the School of Mass Communications.

Pearce comes to USF after 19 years as a professor of telecommunications and chair of the Department of Journalism and Public Communication at the University of Alaska Anchorage. While in Alaska, he was treasurer/vice president of the Alaska Press Club, director of internships, and producer of JPC television productions that included local and regional programming in news, sports, and public affairs.

Pearce said he came to USF because of the “enormous professional opportunities that the university and region present.”

“The USF School of Mass Communications is poised for greatness,” Pearce said. “I wanted to be part of a team of faculty, administrative staff and students that accomplishes great things for the college and university.”

Pearce led the Department of Journalism and Public Communications to new heights. During his tenure as chair, he led JPC through successful ACEJMC re-accreditation in 2002 and 2008. Pearce also developed and implemented a comprehensive new curriculum for the department. In addition, Pearce increased native and minority student enrollment, as well as woman and minority faculty hires.

Pearce, who has a Ph.D. in rhetoric and documentary film from the University of Pittsburgh, has a broad background in telecommunications and information technologies. His academic background also includes news production, documentary film, and communications and media research.

In 1992, Pearce was named the director of the Applied Communications Laboratory at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Under his direction, the lab developed and deployed what is now the State of Alaska Emergency Services Network.

In 1996, he was awarded the “Alaska Telemedicine Testbed Project, a five-year, $2.8 million telemedicine research and demonstration project funded by the National Library of Medicine. Since 1999, this project has been implemented by the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and received more than $62 million of federal funding for operations at 255 sites throughout frontier Alaska. In 2002, he was awarded the “Alaska Medical Informatics Initiative (AMII),” a five-year, $2 million research and demonstration project for monitoring trauma patients from the point of trauma to the emergency room. Funded by the Department of Defense, AMII is a set of “internet medical tools” designed for emergency medical evacuations and clinical decision support for remote healthcare in the “digital age.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Fred Pearce to the College of Arts and Sciences,” said Associate Dean John Cochran. “Dr. Pearce brings with him 18 years of experience as a director of telecommunications and 10 years a chair of an ACEJMC accredited program. Dr. Pearce is an accomplished teacher, scholar and fundraiser.”


Filed under:Arts and Sciences Mass Communications School of Social Sciences   
Author: Michele Dye