Twyla Cummings, PhD

Twyla J. Cummings, Ph.D. is the Dean of Graduate Education at Rochester Institute of technology (RIT). Prior to this appointment she served as the Sr. Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Faculty Research in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences (CIAS), now the College of Art and Design, and a Professor in the School of Media Sciences at RIT.

Dr. Cummings came to RIT in 1999 as a tenure track faculty member. She was the Graduate Director for the MS degree in Print Media from 2002-2009 with oversight for the development of two new graduate programs. In 2006 she was appointed to the Paul and Louise Miller Distinguished Professorship. In this role she successfully supported the mission of the endowment to engage in research initiatives that would give recognition to news media/newspapers as a significant segment of the graphic communication industry.

Dr. Cummings’ teaching and research is focused in the areas of media distribution, media business industry trends and women in graphic communication. She is a frequent speaker on critical trends in post-press, service diversification and other issues impacting the graphic communication industry as a whole. She is past Board member of the National Association for Printing Leadership (NAPL; now EPICOMM) and the Board of Governors for the former R & E Council of NAPL.  Dr. Cummings is a past member of the America East Advisory Board where she was the Chairperson for the 2014 America East Conference. She is a member of the prestigious Walter E. Soderstrom and Nonpareil Societies of NAPL and the R & E Council. In 2013 she was inducted into the OutputLinks Communications Group’s Women of Distinction program. She was recently named the Printing Industries of America’s 2015 Naomi Berber Memorial Award recipient and was inducted into the Printing Industries of America Ben Franklin Honor Society in 2016.

Prior to coming to RIT Dr. Cummings had an extensive career at Eastman Kodak Company in Dayton, OH. The Dayton operations facility was a major producer of high volume digital printing equipment. While at Kodak she was rapidly promoted to levels of increasing responsibility throughout various divisions beginning with her first position as an ink chemist in R&D and quality assurance through a transition into marketing management, product management and strategic management.

In addition to her professional commitments, she has been actively involved in the Rochester community. She is the past Board Chair of the Rochester Area Business Ethics Foundation. Previously she served as Board Chair for the YWCA of Rochester and as a Board Member for the Rochester Women’s Network. She currently serves as a member of the YWCA Board Advisory Council. Active in service at RIT she was most recently named the recipient of the Four Presidents Distinguished Public Service Award.

As an RIT faculty diversity is integral to every aspect of her role. Diversity and inclusion impacts her teaching, research, recruitment/retention, mentoring and programming. Twyla is the recipient of the 2013 RIT Changing Hearts, Changing Minds Award and the 2014 Isaac L. Jordan, Sr.  Faculty Pluralism Award.

Twyla possesses both a B.S. Degree in Chemistry and a M.S. Degree in Business and Industrial Management from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.  She earned her Doctoral Degree in Management from The Union Institute and University in Cincinnati, Ohio.