The Communications and Journalism (CMJ) program will be seeing some changes at the end of the year as current department chair, Nathan Stormer, will be taking a sabbatical leave. His place will be filled in by Professor Paul Grosswiler, who also teaches in the department.
Grosswiler works in both the CMJ department and the Honors College and has been with the University of Maine since around 1983. He teaches history of mass communication, internal mass communication and media ethics and has a background in media history, media ecology and media cultures and expression, as well as international media.
The position itself holds a great list of responsibilities, which include planning and hosting department and staff meetings, building a schedule for each semester, assigning people to teach graduate courses, keeping the department organized, dealing with awards and projects, developing new policies and dealing with student complaints and concerns. As a department chair, one has many responsibilities and teaches fewer classes than they would as a professor. This will be Grosswiler’s second time as department chair.
While on sabbatical, Stormer plans to take a year to work on a few projects, which include analyzing different kinds of rhetoric, and the primary area of emphasis on rhetoric. His plans also include traveling and revising the course content of the classes that he currently teaches at the university.
Stormer, originally an Ohio native, has been a resident of Maine since he received his Ph.D. in communication studies from the University of Minnesota in the fall of 1997. He has also worked at UMaine for 21 years, where his main area of focus has been rhetoric. He has taught various classes throughout his years at UMaine, which include communication studies, argument and critical thinking, speech, space, event: critical applications, persuasion and social influence, as well as graduate level courses on rhetorical theory and method.
Although Stormer has only worked at UMaine, he has held a large number of positions within his department.
“I have served as a graduate coordinator, a coordinator of public speaking, chair of peer committees, and the department chair,” he began. “The only position that I have not had is the internship chair, which is fine, because that is not really my thing,” he said, laughing.
When Stormer returns to UMaine, he will be considered a regular faculty member as Grosswiler’s position will last for three years.
“I’m not looking to leave Maine,” Stormer said. “I like Maine a lot, and hope that we can rebuild the faculty as we have lost many members through various financial cuts, in order to get the department where it should be. We have hired some really terrific new faculty, and the older faculty that really set this program up have retired or have left the university.”