Dr. Shana MacDonald appointed inaugural O'Donovan Chair

Monday, April 29, 2024

Sheila Ager, Dean of Arts, announced the appointment of Dr. Shana MacDonald as the inaugural O’Donovan Chair in Communication Across the Disciplines. The appointment is the result of a call for applications issued in December to faculty within Arts and the subsequent work of the nominating committee chaired by Dr. Ana Ferrer, Associate Dean, Research.

Dr Shana MacDonald

MacDonald is an Associate Professor in Communication Arts. Her interdisciplinary research is situated between film, media, communication, and performance studies. She studies feminist, queer, and anti-racist social media activism, digital media technologies, popular and visual culture, and the rise of disinformation, online hate, and technology facilitated gender-based violence online and offline.

The O’Donovan Chair was established by the late Valentine (Val) O’Donovan, DENG ’95, past UW Chancellor (1997-2000), and his late wife Sheila, to foster mutual respect and understanding among scholars and practitioners in the humanities, sciences, and technology fields. More specifically this includes 1) bridging humanities with scientific and/or technological cultures; 2) enhancing communication competencies for students in multiple disciplines; and 3) increasing collaborative work on communication between experts from the humanities and STEM disciplines.

The nomination committee shared that MacDonald's project “will draw on her expertise in building interdisciplinary communication design tools to launch an incubator project which will include student-centered workshops for developing critical design approaches to tackling complex or ‘wicked’ problems. This work will include collaboration with interested campus stakeholders to adapt the lessons learned in the incubator workshops for use across different disciplines and contexts. The project will engage both students and educators.”

Congratulations to Dr. MacDonald on her appointment!