School of Media and Communication welcomes Dr. Woods as interim director


Heather Woods officially began her role as interim director of the A.Q. Miller School of Media and Communication Nov. 6.

Woods said her motivation for pursuing this position was the work done by everyone in the A.Q. Miller School.

“I believe that the A.Q. Miller School represents the best in higher education,” Woods said. “Our students, faculty and staff are excellent. Together they make a difference by doing important work in the classroom, in the community and in their research.”

Woods said she wants to help the A.Q. Miller School evolve and find new ways to operate.

My ultimate goal is to support the Miller School as we proactively adapt to the changing times,” Woods said. “I like to say that the Miller School prepares students for jobs that don’t exist yet — and prepares them to solve big problems that don’t exist yet.”

Huyen Nguyen, teaching assistant professor in the A.Q Miller School of Media and Communications, said change is part of the process, and welcomes the ideas Woods presents.

“In the media and communication industry, we love innovative ideas and always try to adopt effective change management practices,” Nguyen said. “There is always a need to change to make our school a better place for our students, faculty members and local communities.”

Emily Harris, junior in news and sports media, said support for a creative environment results in a positive outcome. 

“I think that students in the school of journalism would benefit from a staff that fully supports us and allows us to have the freedom to be creative and innovative,” Harris said. “In a journalism program it is important that we don’t feel held back or restricted with what we are able to create, and a supportive faculty makes all the difference.”

Woods said she initiated changes to support creative thinking while serving the ultimate mission.

We recently updated our curriculum to make it more innovative and student-centered. … We want to build on that,” Woods said. “Most generally, we want to serve our land grant mission by making a difference in Kansas and beyond through media and communication.”