The Changing of the Guard: Part 1

by: Colby Boone

Dr. Mazzarella

This semester marks the end of Dr. Mazzarella’s term as director of the SCOM department. As her last few weeks wrap up, she graciously agreed to meet with me for an interview. My journey to the SCOM main office was a good experience as usual and it must be great to work for Dr. Mazzarella because everyone in the office is always smiling. Our meeting only lasted about 15 minutes, but during that time we had some good laughs and she shared some insightful information with me.

How did you become the current Director of SCOM?

The position is by appointment of the dean after a full search overseen by a faculty search committee, and is open to tenured full professors.

How many years have you been Director of the SCOM department?

I’ve been the director since 2009, so 5 years.

What advice would you give to incoming and potential SCOM majors?

Consider all of the concentrations within the department. A lot of students consider Public Relations but each concentration is rigorous and prepares students for employment in many exciting fields.

What are you looking forward to most in your transition from Department Head back to a Faculty position?

As a director, I was only able to teach one class per semester. Now, I am looking forward to teaching more classes again. Also, I am looking forward to dedicating more time to my current and future research.

What advice do you have for graduating SCOM Seniors?

The biggest piece of advice I can give is to stay in touch. Alumni, students, and faculty are irreplaceable and are our biggest resource. I’m not suggesting you should give money, rather that you should give back to future students. We love when Alumni come back and guest lecture or hold seminars.

After leaving my meeting with Dr. Mazzarella, I realized that she genuinely cares for students and wants them to succeed.

This past fall, I took her Communication, Diversity, and Pop Culture course and I can say with certainty that it had a lasting impact on my education. If you are not graduating this semester and have the opportunity to take a course taught by Dr. Mazzarella, I highly recommend it.

Thanks Dr. Mazzarella and good luck in your new role!