DeSanto Named Communication Program Director


Maryville University has announced that Barbara DeSanto, EdD, joined the College of Arts and Sciences on July 15, 2009, as director of the Communication Program and professor of communication.  Prior to coming to Maryville, she was a professor and chair of the mass media department at Washburn University in Topeka, Ks.

“We are pleased to have Barbara DeSanto as the new director of our Communication Program,” said Dan Sparling, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “She brings to us a strong record of scholarship in her field, a considerable background in innovative curriculum development, a proven track record of leadership, a wealth of practical experience in journalism and public relations, and a deep commitment to excellence in teaching. Under Dr. DeSanto’s direction we are confident that the Communication Program will achieve prominence in the St. Louis region and beyond.”

DeSanto has also served as an associate professor and director of graduate studies at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. She earned her doctoral degree in mass communication and public relations from Oklahoma State University, and both her master’s and bachelor’s degrees from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota.

An Accredited in Public Relations (APR) member with the Public Relations Society of America, DeSanto was named as a Fellow PRSA, which recognizes 20 years of leadership in the public relations field. Her current national leadership positions include: director of PRSA’s Educator Academy’s Learning to Teach initiative; PRSA Educational Affairs board member; and co-research chair of the Public Relations Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), the largest professional journalism/mass communication association in the world.

“Maryville University has all of the elements to become a leader in attracting talented students who understand the value of, and need for, professional communication as a key part of all types of organizations and businesses,” DeSanto said. “I look forward to using my experience as an educator and practitioner to help Maryville continue to become the program of choice for anyone pursuing a communication career.”

Maryville University, founded in 1872, is a four-year, private university located in west St. Louis County. Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Colleges in the Masters-Midwest category, Maryville University students may choose from 50 academic programs, including degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. Among recent graduates, 94 percent are employed or attending graduate school. More than 15,000 Maryville alumni work and live in the St. Louis region.