UMBC’s Kimberly Moffitt, professor of Language, Literacy & Culture and affiliate professor of Africana Studies, has been appointed Interim Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS), effective August 17.
“UMBC has been my academic home for the last fourteen years, and I consider it an honor to be able to serve in this capacity at this particular time when my skill set can be best utilized to support the work ahead,” says Moffitt. “It will require grace and patience to successfully navigate the upcoming year, but I know the commitment of this community to our students, to our work, and to ourselves and as a result, CAHSS will thrive.”
Moffitt earned a B.A. in political science from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, an M.A. in mass communication from Boston University, and a Ph.D. in mass communication/media studies from Howard University. She became the first Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Fellow from Howard University and completed a teaching postdoctoral fellowship at Hope College in Holland, Michigan before holding a faculty position at DePaul University. She joined UMBC in 2006 as an assistant professor of American Studies, and, prior to her appointment as Interim Dean, served as director of the Language, Literacy & Culture doctoral program.
“Dr. Moffitt brings to her new position an outstanding record of scholarship and leadership in shared governance,” says Provost Philip Rous, “including serving as president and vice president of UMBC’s Faculty Senate, a member of the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, UMBC’s NCAA Faculty Athletic Representative, and as a member of several other university committees.”
As a media scholar and critic, Moffitt’s work centers on topics that encompass ideas of citizenship, identity, representations, and belonging in society. Specifically, she explores the mediated representations of the Black body and its extremities (e.g., hair), often in programming such as Disney and other media forms. Her research seeks to understand how these representations influence communication among different cultures, affect policies within institutional structures, and impact the self-esteem and self-worth of those occupying Black bodies. She has an extensive publication record, including five co-edited volumes and numerous scholarly articles and book chapters.
In addition to her service at UMBC, Moffitt also extends her expertise into the greater Baltimore community by facilitating workshops on diversity and inclusion, as well as appearing as a featured guest on several media outlets, both locally and nationally. Moffitt is the founding parent of Baltimore Collegiate School for Boys charter school and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She remains actively involved in her disciplinary association, National Communication Association, and is also a board member of the National Association of Media Literacy Education.
Moffitt will build on the remarkable legacy of Dean Scott Casper, who will step down as dean on August 17 to become Dean Emeritus and President of the American Antiquarian Society.
Photos by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.