Struthers works to infuse CoJMC with energy and excitement
Struthers works to infuse CoJMC with energy and excitementWednesday, February 7, 2018 - 2:00pm
by Alli Inglebright
Amy Struthers had big dreams when she was a child.
“I wanted to be an astronaut when I was little,” Struthers said. “Then I got sick on a Tilt-a-Whirl and realized I couldn’t handle G-force.”
Struthers, with her feet on the ground, decided to pursue a career a little closer to earth.
As the new dean of the College of Journalism and Mass Communications, Struthers also has big goals for the college. Those goals include staying focused on students and creating an exciting curriculum that is current, nimble and flexible.
“I want to infuse the college with energy and excitement,” said Struthers, interim dean of the CoJMC.
Struthers landed her new gig after the former dean, Maria Marron, resigned mid-January. Struthers took over the position Jan. 20 and has been working to infuse the college with fresh ideas and new ways to approach issues. She has been meeting with faculty and staff to brainstorm new ideas for the college.
One of those new ideas are pop-up classes that will cover a variety of topics. These one credit classes will allow students to complete 15 hours of work and learn a new skill or discuss current issues. Struthers said the contemporary film The Post, which examines the actions of The Washington Post in relation to the Pentagon Papers, would be a good example of a pop-up class.
“Students would watch the film together, read about the events and discuss how the media played a role,” Struthers said.
Struthers has always been interested in doing more at UNL, although she wasn’t sure it would be in a dean position.
“I’m a builder and I like to be where the action is,” Struthers said. “I don’t like to think about what we can’t do. I like to think about what we can do.”
Struthers started her journey at UNL as an undergraduate student studying English, French and comparative literature. After teaching in France, Struthers returned to UNL to complete her master’s in French. After completing her master’s she worked as a park ranger at the Grand Canyon helping French tourists. She then joined IBM in 1987 and began working in marketing and sales. Struthers joined the CoJMC in 2003 and served as the head of the advertising and public relations department from 2005 until 2011. She has a Ph.D. in educational studies from UNL.
“I’ve been able to execute on some of my ideas to ADPR and I’m excited to bring more ideas to reality across the whole college,” Struthers said.
Struthers’ top priority is the students. She has been looking at other colleges at UNL to create collaborations.
“I’m open to trying different things,” Struthers said. “Journalism has never been more important and our industries are at a pivot point. I want to try things and see if they work. We owe that to our students, our industries and our democracy. We need to protect the first amendment."