VCU School of Mass Communications Welcomes Hong Cheng as New Director

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Hong Cheng, Ph.D., has been named the new director of the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Mass Communications in the College of Humanities and Sciences.

Cheng comes to VCU from Ohio University where he was a tenured professor in the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism, Scripps College of Communication. He holds a Ph.D. in mass communications from Pennsylvania State University (1995) and a master’s degree in international journalism from Shanghai International Studies University (1989).

“I am excited by Dr. Cheng’s vision of a school of mass communications that centers on evolving the professions of journalism, advertising and public relations as they adapt to our increasingly digital and globally connected world,” said James Coleman, Ph.D., dean of the College of Humanities and Sciences. “Dr. Cheng is a widely respected scholar, and his extensive international experience will be a tremendous asset as he works to build a larger global reach for the school.”

Cheng’s research interests center on international communication, cross-cultural advertising and social marketing. His works have been presented at national and international conferences since the early 1990s and have appeared in journals such as Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, the Journal of Communication and the Journal of Advertising Research. He co-authored (with Guofang Wan) “Becoming a Media Savvy Student” (2004) and co-edited (with Kara Chan) “Advertising and Chinese Society: Issues and Impacts” (2009) and (with Philip Kotler and Nancy Lee) “Social Marketing for Public Health: Global Trends and Success Stories” (2011). His newly edited “Handbook of International Advertising Research” is in press now.

Cheng also is a current associate editor of Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly and a former editor of the Asian Journal of Communication, and he serves on the editorial boards of multiple journals. He has previously served as head of the Advertising Division and the International Communication Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). Currently, he is chair-elect for the American Advertising Federation’s (AAF’s) National Education Executive Committee.

“I’m so thrilled and honored by this appointment,” said Cheng. “I look forward to working with everyone to embrace the great opportunities for this remarkable school and to build upon its excellence. I envision a school that will become increasingly community valued, nationally reputable and internationally recognized.”

The VCU School of Mass Communications was established in 1978 to prepare students for successful professional careers in media and in the professions of advertising, journalism and public relations. The school currently enrolls nearly 1,300 undergraduate students and offers graduate programs in strategic public relations, multimedia journalism and an interdisciplinary media, art and text doctoral program. The school employs 20 full-time faculty members, as well as dozens of adjunct faculty from the professional community. Students and faculty at the school produce award-winning advertising, journalism and public relations research and professional publications. The school also is home to the Center for Media + Health at VCU, the Capital News Service in partnership with the University of Maryland and CreateAthon at VCU, a non-profit organization focused on pro bono media campaigns.