Lee becomes new director of Undergraduate Research Program

April 2, 2015 – Fort Valley State University professor Dr. Andrew Lee was recently named director of a university program that focuses on preparing future generations of researchers by providing training, research and internship opportunities for students.

Lee, professor of communications within the Department of Fine Arts and Mass Communications   assumed responsibility for the program following her recent appointment by FVSU president Dr. Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith. Lee previously served as the program’s associate director under the leadership of Dr. Sarwan Dhir, director of FVSU’s Biotechnology Center.

“I want to thank President Griffith for giving me this wonderful opportunity to serve the students and faculty involved in research here at this great institution.  We are convinced students who are actively engaged in the research process are more likely to persist in college.  Thus, our research initiative is designed, in part, to help our university improve its annual student retention rate.”

Lee earned her doctorate in communications from the University of Pittsburgh, in Pittsburgh Pa. She also graduated with a master’s in communications from the same campus, with a concentration in Communications and Rhetoric. Lee also holds a bachelor’s in special education from Jackson State University.

The new director has extensive experience working in academia, research, mentoring, scholarship and administration. Lee began her teaching career at the University of Pittsburgh,  before joining Albany State University as an assistant professor. At ASU, Lee was promoted to associate professor and also served in several administrative positions. She was the founding director for the campus’ Research, Speech and Debate Program, and served as a Research Associate for the Center for the African-American Male. While there, Lee also worked as a former editor for the ASU Journal of the Arts and Sciences.

Lee is currently a tenured professor in communication at FVSU and serves as a parliamentarian on the university’s faculty senate. While at FVSU, she has served in several  administrative roles,interim department head of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction from 2004-2005, and as the interim assistant dean for the College of Arts, Sciences and Education. In 2007, she served as the coordinator for the mass communications program, where under her leadership the mass communication curriculum was overhauled to prepare students for 21st century jobs requiring the use of the convergence model. Since the redesign of the curriculum, several students graduating from the program have gone on to attend prestigious graduate schools and to hold prestigious jobs in the field of  mass communication.

Lee served as the National Communication Association (NCA) Delegate in 2007, 2008 and 2009, and she was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship to participate in the Black Film Summer Institute. She was also elected to serve a three year term (2001, 2002, and 2003) on the Legislative Assembly, the organization’s policy-making body, and received a Certificate of Appreciation for her service. The new director was also awarded the National Communication Association’s Presidential Citation in 1999 for “outstanding service to NCA and the communication discipline.” Additionally, she also served as a member of the SACS Accreditation Team in 2001 at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C.

Lee is a published author and has presented papers at several conferences, including the 100th  Annual Convention of the National Communication Association; the 98th  Annual National Convention of the National Communication Association, and the 6th  Biennial Conference of the Toni Morrison Society in Paris, France, among others.

Lee says she has plans to expand the program to  embrace researchers from all disciplines.

“One of the messages we want to convey is that we invite faculty and students from STEM, the social sciences and the humanities to get involved in research,” she said. “We are very happy to report recently, that we’ve had faculty and students from all three areas to travel to conferences across the nation to present their research.  We will soon hold a forum to look at the various disciplines from cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives.  In each case, we aim to demystify the research process and inspire research par excellence.”

For details, contact Marketing and Communications at (478) 825-6518.