Mark J. Lodato was appointed dean of the S.I. Newhouse of Public Communications in July 2020. He leads a team that includes some 200 faculty and staff and approximately 2,400 students.
In his first 18 months as dean, Lodato invested more than $1 million in efforts devoted to inclusivity, diversity, equity and accessibility (IDEA). One of his first acts as dean was to expand his cabinet to include an associate dean devoted solely to IDEA work.
Under his leadership, IDEA initiatives have included a new mentorship program for BIPOC faculty; a two-week professional-in-residency program that showcases the work of an accomplished journalist of color; a human rights film festival; training for departments committed to anti-racist work and curricula; accessibility services to ensure access and engagement with speakers and events for all members of the community; support of a community newspaper in a historically Black neighborhood; cultural events; and a leadership speaker series that prioritizes media leaders of color.
He also established awards and scholarships for students of color at both the undergraduate and graduate levels that focus on creating a pipeline of talent with the goal of diversifying media. In addition, Lodato established new IDEA committees on the Newhouse Advisory Board and the Newhouse 44, the school’s alumni networking and mentorship group.
Lodato also began building industry partnerships to support students’ academic and professional growth, including a partnership with Yahoo News and alumnus Marquise Francis ’13 that led to the creation of a new digital journalism course, and additional partnerships with PBS Frontline, NY Post Sports and Great Point Media. He facilitated the transition of Syracuse radio station WAER into the Newhouse School, creating increased opportunities for students and a strengthened support system for the successful NPR station.
Ensuring the Newhouse School remains a leader in communications education, Lodato launched committees focusing on journalism, sports and online education, and increased research funding. He also created the Dean’s Student Leadership Council to improve connectivity and communication between school leadership and students.
Additionally, Lodato is spearheading efforts to build an increased presence for the Newhouse School in Washington, D.C., most notably through the planned establishment of the Center for Democracy, Journalism and Citizenship in partnership with the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. The center would bolster and expand opportunities for faculty thought leadership, collaborative research and an enhanced student experience.
Lodato joined the Newhouse School after more than 14 years at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where he most recently served as associate dean and associate general manager at Arizona PBS. At ASU his portfolio included supervision of the Cronkite School’s broadcast and sports curriculum. A member of the leadership team, his duties also included undergraduate recruitment and retention, student services, establishing new media partnerships and development. He is the 2014 recipient of the ASU Faculty Achievement Award for Excellence in Curricular Innovation and a member of the Scripps Howard Academic Leadership Academy class of 2013. Lodato has served on multiple site teams for the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications.
At the Cronkite School, Lodato established new partnerships with leading media corporations including NBC News, ABC News, Meredith Corporation, Scripps Corporation, Fox Sports Arizona, Univision and Cox Communications. He supervised the Cronkite School and Arizona PBS broadcast news operations, including the national award-winning television newscast, “Cronkite News.” Under his leadership, Cronkite School broadcast students consistently ranked among the nation’s best in premier journalism competitions, including the Hearst College Journalism Awards, the Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Awards and the Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Arts awards.
Lodato joined the Cronkite School after working 16 years as an award-winning television reporter and anchor for television stations in Washington D.C., San Francisco, Phoenix and Ft. Myers, Florida. A native of Menlo Park, California, Lodato holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri and a master’s degree in higher education administration from Arizona State University.