María E. Len-Ríos (MA '95) has assumed the responsibilities of associate dean of academic affairs at Grady College.
María E. Len-Ríos (MA '95) has assumed the responsibilities of associate dean of academic affairs at Grady College.

Len-Ríos named associate dean of Grady College

María E. Len-Ríos (MA ’95), an associate professor of public relations, has been named associate dean of academic affairs at Grady College.

“I’m delighted that Dr. Len-Ríos—a treasured faculty member and a leading scholar on issues of diversity and representation in mass communication—has answered the call to leadership,” Dean Charles Davis said. “She’s a joy to work with, embodying the model of servant leadership so important in upholding the high standards of Grady College.”

Len-Ríos teaches courses in public relations, health communication and cross-cultural journalism. She has served as the interim chair of the Grady College diversity committee for the past year, and in 2016, she co-edited a book, “Cross-Cultural Journalism: Communicating Strategically About Diversity,” with Earnest Perry of the University of Missouri, which they recently discussed at a panel at The Miami Book Fair. Len-Ríos also serves as a 2017-2018 UGA Women’s Leadership Fellow.

“I am very grateful for this honor and look forward to working with Grady College faculty, staff, students and alumni as we continue to build on the successes Grady has achieved as one of the top programs in the state and in the nation,” Len-Ríos said.  “I am proud and honored to be part of the leadership team that will prepare the college to meet the challenges and opportunities facing the roles of journalism and the communications professions in society. ”

Len-Ríos joined the Grady College faculty in 2014. Prior to that, Len-Ríos taught public relations and cross-cultural journalism courses at the Missouri School of Journalism, as well as at the University of Kansas and Georgia Southern University.

Len-Ríos, with colleagues and doctoral students, has earned more than nine top research awards in national and international academic conferences across multiple areas.

In addition to a master’s degree from Grady College, Len-Ríos earned a bachelor’s degree from Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota, and a doctorate degree from the University of Missouri.

Len-Ríos is the incoming associate editor of the Journal of Public Relations Research and a member of the editorial boards of Public Relations Review, the International Journal of Strategic Communication, and The Howard Journal of Communications.

Len-Ríos is actively serving in her new role as she prepares to assume the duties from Alison Alexander, senior associate dean for academic affairs, who retires in June 2018.

Date: December 5, 2017
Author:  Sarah Freeman,