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Release:April 25, 2001

Berry to serve as interim director of UI journalism school

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Venise Berry, associate professor in the University of Iowa School of Journalism and Mass Communication, will serve as interim director of the school beginning this summer when current director John Soloski leaves to become Dean of the Grady College of Journalism at the University of Georgia.

Linda Maxson, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, announced the interim appointment after a majority of the school’s faculty forwarded the recommendation to her.

"I am delighted that Venise has accepted this vital leadership role," Maxson said. "I am confident that under her direction the school will maintain its high standards for excellence and will complete a smooth transition to a new permanent director."

Berry’s appointment is effective through June 2002. Starting in the next few weeks, she will work with Maxson to appoint a search committee to conduct a national search for a new permanent director of the school.

Berry has been associated with the UI journalism program since 1977 when she earned her undergraduate degree in journalism and broadcasting. She earned an M.A. in communication studies from the UI in 1979 and then worked as newscaster, outside news reporter, and news director for radio stations in Rosenberg, Houston, and Austin, Texas. She earned her Ph.D. in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin where she focused on radio, television, film, and ethnomusicology. She joined the UI faculty in 1991.

Berry's research areas include African American cultural criticism, rap music, and popular culture. She teaches courses in broadcast reporting and writing, African Americans and mass communication, and popular culture.

In addition to numerous scholarly publications, Berry has published two novels in recent years, "So Good," (1996) and "All of Me: A Voluptuous Tale," (2000).