By Adrianna LaMonge
Phyllis Paul was appointed the new dean of the College of Creative Arts and Communication on June 15 by the Youngstown State University Board of Trustees. She is the third dean to be appointed this year, after the previous two deans took positions in the College of STEM and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.
Paul began the new position in July. She was formerly the associate dean in the School of Music and Dance at the University of Oregon, and director of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies prior.
Michael Crist, former interim dean of the CCAC, was also an applicant for the dean position.
“The college is looking towards the future and I am looking forward to the new ideas Phyllis Paul will bring to the College of Creative Arts and Communication,” Crist said.
Paul grew up in North Carolina and attended Florida State University, where she earned a degree in music education with a focus on piano pedagogy. She went on to obtain her doctorate and received a certificate in music and special education.
Paul said she is enjoying living in the city of Youngstown. She believes that the university’s relationship with the city is unique.
“It’s exciting to me how the university is intimately involved with the revitalization of downtown,” Paul said. “We’re having conversations about how some of the programs in this college can do some moving down to that area, and I think that’s really important.”
Paul said she believes the CCAC contributions to downtown are significant.
“It’s significant how the university can contribute and how our college can contribute,” Paul said. “It’s why we do what we do. We’re planning and dreaming for you; we’re planning and dreaming for the future.”
Paul said she thinks that collaboration between colleges at YSU is outstanding.
“If you think about the programs in this college, they all stand alone as their own academic subject matter,” Paul said. “But then think about how amazing they are as partners, with just about every other program you can think of on campus.”
Paul emphasized the importance of communicating with both faculty and students. Paul said she enjoys discussing with students the path they took to get to where they are now.
“The sense that I get so far is that [the path students take] is what the faculty and administration care about,” Paul said. “From the President’s office, all the way down, this is a university that cares about its students.”
Paul is honored to be the first female dean of the CCAC.
“I think that this time and space in history is transformative, and I’m happy to be that person,” Paul said.
During her time as associate dean, Paul said she was guided by the principle, “We do what we do for the students”.
“I care about students a lot. I think we all do,” Paul said. “The students here are lucky and this college has endless possibilities, endless.”