President Dianne Lynch, Ph.D.
Dianne Lynch, Ph.D., became the 24th president of Stephens College on June 2, 2009. Founded in 1833, Stephens is the second-oldest women’s college in the nation.
Dr. Lynch previously served as dean of the Roy H. Park School of Communications at Ithaca College (in Ithaca, New York), a school of approximately 1,400 students and 60 full-time faculty.
She is a former Fulbright Senior Specialist in new media technologies and learning; a member of the national accrediting council for schools of journalism and mass communication; and a member of the national Journalism Advisory Council of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Prior to becoming dean at Ithaca College in 2004, Dr. Lynch was a faculty member and chair of the Department of Journalism at Saint Michael’s College in Burlington, Vermont, a private liberal arts college of approximately 1,800 students. In that capacity, she won local, regional and national awards for teaching, including recognition in 1999 as the national Journalism Teacher of the Year.
Dr. Lynch was the founding executive director of the national Online News Association. In that capacity, she was the editorial director of the first national study of the credibility of online news. She wrote a biweekly column about women and technology, “Wired Women,” for ABCNews.com from 2000 to 2003, and a weekly column on new media ethics for the Christian Science Monitor from 1998 to 2002.
Dr. Lynch earned her master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, studying feminist history in journalism, and her Ph.D. in Art History and Communications from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where she studied feminist theory and social identity development. Her research focuses on the learning styles and knowledge production of “digital natives,” children who grow up in virtual environments.
Locally, Dr. Lynch serves on the boards of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, Strive (a leadership team for quality education in Columbia), and the United Way. She serves on the steering committee of the Columbia chapter of the Baldridge Performance Excellence Group and is a member of the city's parking and transportation task forces. In addition, Dr. Lynch is president of the American Midwest Conference for Athletics and is a member of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU) Executive Committee on Accountability. She is an accreditation reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission and a blog contributor to The Huffington Post.