New Dean of Graduate Education at RIT Annouced

Dr. Twyla Cummings chosen as the next dean of graduate education at RIT.

By Jeremy Haefner, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.

After an extensive internal search, I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Twyla Cummings as the next dean of graduate education at RIT. She will begin her appointment August 1, 2016. I was particularly gratified by the pool of candidates and all of the candidates were extremely well qualified.

Twyla J. Cummings is the senior associate dean for graduate studies and faculty research in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences and a professor in the School of Media Sciences. She came to RIT in 1999 as a tenure-track faculty member and served as the graduate director for the MS degree in print media from 2002 to 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 which she successfully supported the mission of the endowment to engage in research initiatives that would give recognition to news media 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 a member of the prestigious Walter E. Soderstrom and Nonpareil Societies of National Association for Printing Leadership 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.

Prior to coming to RIT, Dr. Cummings had an extensive career at Eastman Kodak Company in Dayton, Ohio. 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 research and development, as well as quality assurance through a transition into marketing management, product management and strategic management.

As an RIT faculty member, 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, Senior Faculty Pluralism Award.

Twyla possesses both a BS in chemistry and a MS in business and industrial management from Wright State University. She earned her Ph.D. in management from the Union Institute and University.

This decision to appoint Dr. Cummings was informed by the work of the Graduate Dean Selection Advisory Committee, which included the following members:

  • Grant Cos, College of Liberal Arts
  • Jeff Cox, Office of International Students
  • Belinda Dunwoody, Office of Graduate Education
  • Diane Ellison, Division of Enrollment Management and Career Services
  • John Ettlie, Saunders College of Business
  • James Hall, School of Individualized Study
  • Jaimalya Mukhopadhyay, student
  • Therese Mulligan, College of Imaging Arts and Sciences
  • Todd Pagano, National Technical Institute for the Deaf
  • Rauncie Ryan, Office of Graduate Education
  • Pengcheng Shi, Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences
  • Bruce Smith, Kate Gleason College of Engineering
  • Bolaji Thomas, College of Health Sciences and Technology
  • Tom Trabold, Golisano Institute for Sustainability
  • Linda Underhill, College of Applied Science and Technology
  • Jan van Aardt, College of Science

I am very grateful to the committee for their time and energy behind this successful search.

Please join me in congratulating Twyla on her new position.