New Chairs Take Helm in Southeast Departments of Mass Media, Computer Science

Two academic departments at Southeast Missouri State University this fall have new externally hired chairs.

Dr. Pam Parry has been named the new chair of the Department of Mass Media, and Dr. Sumanth Yenduri has been appointed the new chair of the Department of Computer Science. Their new roles were effective Aug. 1.

Parry replaces Dr. Karie Hollerbach who stepped down as chair of the Department of Mass Media, and Yenduri replaces Dr. David Probst, who had been serving as interim chair of the Department of Computer Science. Probst will continue serving as chair of the Department of Physics and Engineering Physics.

“Dr. Parry’s expertise will be a vital resource as the Department of Mass Media moves forward in the newly renovated Grauel Building and new state-of-the-art facility at the Rust Center for Media, as well as its recently conferred reaccreditation by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication,” said Dr. Karl Kunkel, Southeast provost.

“I look forward to working with Dr. Parry in continuing to build on a strong foundation to take our journalism, TV, film, advertising, and public relations programs to a level of distinction in both the state and region,” Kunkel said.

This fall, the Department of Mass Media also launches its “Pro on the Go” device initiative in which students and faculty in mass media classes at the 300-level and above will use Apple MacBook laptops in the classroom.

Parry joins Southeast from Eastern Kentucky University, where she had been serving as interim chair and associate professor in the Department of Communication. She previously served as chair of the Department of Communication Studies at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, where she also served as an associate professor. She began her career in higher education in 1999 as an assistant professor at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana.

She holds a doctoral degree in communication from The University of Southern Mississippi and a master’s degree in communication from the American University. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism in magazine editing and writing from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Parry says she looks forward to working with a department and University with a strong, positive reputation.

“The Department of Mass Media at Southeast has a strong commitment to excellence,” she said. “There are so many assets available within the department, including the talented and committed faculty and staff. I know Southeast is a good fit for me, and I hope that I am a good fit for the University and the department.”

Meanwhile, Kunkel says he is impressed with Yenduri’s vision and enthusiasm to elevate the Department of Computer Science’s status and visibility.

“He comes to the University with solid experience in both the field and higher education,” Kunkel said. “I look forward to collaborating with Dr. Yenduri to continue building strong, contemporary and high-profile academic programs that benefit both our students and their future employers in this vital technology-based discipline for society and the global economy.”

Yenduri joins Southeast from Columbus State University, where he had been serving as associate professor and administrative fellow in the D. Abbot Turner College of Business. He previously served as an associate professor and program coordinator in the University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Computing.

He holds a doctoral degree in computer science and a master’s degree in system science, both from Louisiana State University. He holds a Bachelor of Technology in computer science from Andhra University in India.

Yenduri says he is excited by the many opportunities available for the department’s programs, students and faculty.

“I hope to contribute to the University’s mission by increasing our enrollment and degree offerings, enhancing the quality of our curriculum, developing our reputation nationally and internationally, and most of all, supporting our students and faculty,” he said.