Dr. Andrew L. Mendelson, chair of the Department of Journalism at Temple University in Philadelphia, will become associate dean at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York, effective Jan. 5, 2015.
He will succeed Judith Watson, who has served as associate dean since the CUNY J-School opened in 2006. Watson will retain her other title of associate professor and move onto the full-time faculty.
Dean Sarah Bartlett selected Mendelson after a nationwide search. “There were many terrific candidates, but Andy’s strong academic and administrative experience, combined with his commitment to innovation and diversity, make him a perfect fit for us,” she said.
A photojournalist by training, Mendelson recently completed his eighth year as Temple’s journalism chair. The department is one of four in Temple’s School of Media and Communication and oversees one of the university’s largest majors. He also serves as director of the Center for Public Interest Journalism, created in 2010 to assist journalists and citizens interested in promoting public interest news in the Greater Philadelphia area.
As the leader of a journalism program based in a major city, Mendelson shares many of the same values as the CUNY J-School, including an emphasis on diversity in the student body, faculty, and curriculum.
“My focus as chair has been to build an innovative, forward-thinking journalism curriculum,” he said. “Central to the entire program is a philosophy that demands that all students at an urban journalism program focus on under-served communities. We want students to move beyond campus and to fully engage with the city and citizens around them.”
During his tenure at Temple, Mendelson has developed and taught classes in photojournalism and documentary photography, visual literacy, journalism and society and social science research methods.
He has a prolific record of scholarship, having published more than 25 journal articles and book chapters. His research focuses on the myriad ways news photographs shape society. He is currently examining the paparazzi and the way they document celebrities.
Mendelson, who has won numerous academic awards, has a PhD in Journalism from the University of Missouri. He has a Master of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Wisconsin and a B.A. in Journalism from Marquette University.