Don Grady

Associate Dean of the School of Communications and Associate Professor of Communications
McEwen - Comm. 101F
2850 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244 (336) 278-5667

Brief Biography

Don A. Grady is an associate dean and associate professor in the School of Communications at Elon University.  He is an elected representative on the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications, a national agency that evaluates programs in the discipline.  He has participated in writing accreditation self-study reports for the Elon program and has conducted program reviews for other colleges and universities.

Grady earned a Ph.D. in Mass Communication Research at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he focused on the form of media messages; the M.A. at UNC-Chapel Hill in communication with an emphasis in rhetoric and public address; and the B.A. at N.C. State University, where he majored in communication with an emphasis in radio and television. He has over a dozen years of professional experience in radio and television as a radio announcer and news reporter, and television news producer. 

Grady has served the School of Communications in a variety of capacities for nearly three decades.  He is a recipient of the Service & Leadership Award, which recognized his leadership within the school.  As associate dean, his primary responsibilities include support of internal administrative operations, curriculum and instruction, assessment of student learning outcomes, and supervision of the online undergraduate research journal, internship program and special projects.  He is a member of the Provost Advisory Council, the Academic Affairs Advisory Council, and University Assessment Committee.  He also served as department chair on two separate occasions during periods of rapid growth.   As coordinator, he was instrumental in establishing the program as a separate department.  His various leadership positions include numerous university committees, chair of the Academic Council, and chair of a campus-wide faculty/staff fund-raising campaign.  In summer 2001, he was a visiting professor at Southeast University in Nanjing, China.  Prior to joining Elon, he was an instructor in the Department of Communication at N.C. State University, where he served as director of public speaking.

Grady regularly teaches courses in broadcasting, the senior research capstone, and study-abroad.  His primary research interests are in curriculum and program assessment, and the form of aural and visual media messages.  He has made panel presentations on the assessment of student learning and numerous other scholarly presentations at major professional conferences, including:  The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (AEJMC), Broadcast Education Association (BEA), and the International Communication Association (ICA).  His professional activities include narration and voice-over performances for documentaries, promotional videos and live programs.  He has served as the facilitator and judge for BEA research in progress sessions, judge for AEJMC conference paper competitions and awards, and judge for BEA and Radio Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) faculty video and radio competitions.


Ph.D., Mass Communication Research, May 1993
School of Journalism and Mass Communication
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Dissertation:  Aspect Ratio and Image Composition:  A Form Analysis of Films

M.A., Communication, December 1981
Department of Communication Studies
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Emphasis:  Rhetoric and Public Address
Thesis:  The Coharie Indians of Sampson County North Carolina:  A Collection of Their Oral Folk History

B.A., Communication, May 1973
Department of Communication
North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N.C.
Emphasis:  Radio and Television

Employment History

Associate Dean/Associate Professor, School of Communications, Elon University, 2010-present.

Provide administrative support for internal operations and curricular matters; supervise assessment of student learning and participate in implementing requirements for program accreditation; complete assigned goals, monitor budget allocations, and provide leadership on new program initiatives; oversee the undergraduate communication research journal, and coordinate school events, program inquiries and the Communications Alumni Network.

Department Chair/Coordinator, School of Communications, Elon University, 1985-2009.

Served as program coordinator and first department chair; supervised numerous faculty searches and hiring of full-time faculty; established faculty professional development goals and conducted annual reviews; implemented faculty development plan to enhance technical skills; worked closely with faculty on major curriculum revisions; was responsible for course scheduling and enrollment management; mediated student issues and grade appeals; taught concept, production, performance, the senior capstone, and study-abroad courses in Europe, Great Britain and China; served as chair and member of the Academic Council (1993-95, 2000-02) and chair of the Faculty-Staff Campaign for the “Elon Vision” (1998-2001). Worked and attended graduate school full-time while completing doctorate at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Department Chair/Station Manager, Radio-Television Department, Central Carolina Community College, Sanford, N.C., 1985.

Responsible for instruction of students and supervision of faculty; developed and maintained departmental budget; supervised operation of college radio station and conformed to FCC legal requirements; assisted in recruiting students for the program; advised and counseled students; and taught radio and television core courses.

Instructor/Director of Public Speaking, Department of Communications, N.C. State University, Raleigh, N.C., 1980-1984.

Coordinated a staff of visiting lecturers who taught the basic public speaking courses, a general studies elective option within the university; conducted meetings to maintain a consistent level of instruction across sections; planned and directed special projects as needed; projected needs and made recommendations to improve the course; and taught public speaking, interpersonal communication, and audio production courses.

Television News Producer, WTVD Television, Capital Cities/ABC, Durham, N.C., 1982-1984.

Produced newscasts and a weekly public affairs interview program; scheduled and organized live newscast; generated story ideas, conducted interviews, wrote stories, assigned reporters and coordinated “live shots;” monitored scripts for accuracy and fairness; and worked closely with anchors, technical directors and production crew.  Taught part-time at N.C. State after accepting full-time postion with WTVD.

Public Service Director/Announcer, WCHL Radio, Village Broadcasting, Chapel Hill, N.C., 1978-1980.

Established active communication with local community organizations; helped plan and implement public service campaigns for broadcast; represented station at local functions to promote community involvement; wrote and produced commercials for clients; served as announcer for contemporary and classical music programs. Worked full-time while completing master’s degree at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Mortgage Loan Officer, Wachovia Mortgage Company, Raleigh, N.C., 1976-1978

Established working relationships with local real estate firms; provided information and attracted new mortgage local applications; determined credit-worthiness and repayment risk; supervised mortgage loan processing from application to loan closing; worked with local, state and Federal agencies to meet requirements.

Public Service Director/Announcer, WKIX/WYYD Radio, Southern Broadcasting, Raleigh, N.C., 1972-1978.

Established contacts, planned and wrote public service campaigns for local community organizations; served as announcer for this contemporary music station; and produced commercials for local clients. Prior to becoming full-time, worked for one year part-time (30 hours per week) as a news reporter/anchor while completing undergraduate degree in communication at N.C. State University. Remained in part-time capacity after taking position with Wachovia.

Courses Taught

COM 495, Great Ideas:  Capstone in Communications

COM 234, Broadcasting in the Public Interest

COM 314, Writing for Broadcast and New Media

COM 348, Broadcast Presentation

COM 354, Audio for Sound and Visual Media

COM 100, Communications in a Global Age

GST 115, Public Speaking

GST 372, Mass Media Culture in Britain (semester study-abroad course)

GST 232, Culture of the Great War (co-teacher; winter-term study-abroad course)

Professional Activities

Presentations and Publications

How can e-portfolios be used as part of assessment? Journal of Media Education, July 2013.

Panelist, How can e-portfolios be used as part of assessment? BEA Assessment Boot Camp, BEA Conference, Las Vegas, NV, 2013.

Presenter/Panelist, Direct Student Measures and Programmatic Assessment, BEA Conference, Las Vegas, NV, 2012.

Presenter/Panelist, Assessing Interactive media Graduate Program Learning Outcomes, BEA Conference, Las Vegas, NV, 2012.

Moderator/Presider, Countering Stereotypes: Media Coverage of Minorities, refereed paper research session, Minorities and Communication Division, AEJMC Conference, Chicago, Il, August 2012.

Presenter (w/Tom Nelson), Building a Documentary. (Documentary Production: A BEA Work in Progress Retrospective), Broadcast Education Association, District 2, Regional Meeting, Nashville, TN, October 2012.

Panelist, Elon Puts the “I” in iPad, BEA Conference, Las Vegas, NV, 2011.

Panelist, The iPad Initiative: What we have learned in three weeks, BEA District II Regional Conference, Elon University, 2010.

“Digital Sound,” entry, in Sterling, C., Encyclopedia of Journalism, Sage, Summer 2009.

“Recording,” entry, in Sterling, C., Encyclopedia of Journalism, Sage, Summer 2009.

“Indirect measures: Internships, Careers and Competitions,” book chapter, in Christ, W.G., Assessing Media Education: A Resource for Educators and Administrators, 2006.

Legal Considerations of Internships, with Jessica Gisclair, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, San Antonio, TX, Summer 2005.

Satellite Radio Enthusiasts and Their Relationship with AM/FM Radio, presentation with Connie Book, North Carolina Association of Broadcasters. Wrightsville Beach, NC, Summer 2005.

Consumer Adoption of New Radio Distribution Systems, report/presentation for National Association of Broadcasters grant, with Connie Book, BEA/NAB Conventions, Las Vegas, NV, Spring 2005.

Indirect Measures: Internships, Careers and Competitions, workshop/presentation, AEJMC Convention, Toronto, Canada, August 2004.

A Grounded Theory Analysis of Internet Usage Among University Students in Mainland China, paper/presentation, with Jessica Gisclair and Connie Book. Western Conference of the Association for Asian Studies, Phoenix, Arizona, October 2003.

Building a Foundation for Further Testing of Chinese University Students Media and Internet Activity, paper and presentation, with Connie Book, Jessica Gisclair and Shi Ling. First Place Award, International Division, Broadcast Education Association, Las Vegas, NV, Spring 2003.

Uses and Gratifications: Building a Knowledge Base of Internet Usage Among Mainland China University Students, paper/presentation, with Jessica Gisclair and Connie Book. Southern States Communication Association Conference, Spring 2002.

A Descriptive Study of Chinese University Students Self-reported Internet Usage, paper/presentation, with Connie Book, Jessica Gisclair and Shi Ling. Pacific Asian Communication Association Conference, Seoul, South Korea, Summer 2002.

China: Perspective from Inside the Middle Kingdom, panel, International Forum, Elon University, Elon, NC, October 2001.

The Influence of Technology on the Language of Media, organized and moderated panel, National Media Literacy Conference, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC, September 1995.

Understanding Media Messages: Content Analysis through Technological Form, presentation, National Media Literacy Conference, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC, September 1995.

Status Report on Television and Film Curriculum at Elon College, presentation, Film and Television Education in North Carolina Conference, Greensboro, NC, March 1995.

Composition and Aspect Ratio: Image Aesthetics for the Wide-screen, paper/presentation, BEA Conference, Las Vegas, NV, April 1995.

How Window Frames Change the Composition: Aspect Ratio and Visual Composition,” paper/presentation, International Communication Association, Albuquerque, NM, May 1995.

Digital Morphometry as a Communications Research Methodology,presentation, graduate Research Methods class, School ofJournalism and Mass Communication, UNC-Chapel Hill, NC,September 1994.

Differentiating the Elements in Mediated Communication, presentation, Communication Theory class, Department of Mass Communication, UNC-A, Asheville, NC, December 1994.

The Asheville Citizen: Cross-Media Pioneer in Radio Broadcasting, 1922-1929, paper/presentation, AEJMC Regional Conference, Stone Mountain, GA, March 1992.

The Application of Image Analysis Technology to the Quantitative Study of Visual Mass Media, paper/presentation, International Communication Association, Miami, FL, May 1992.

Service Activities

Creative Activity/Performances

BEA Award of Excellence, Elon Academy: Preparation, Opportunity, Success, promotional video category, co-producer and narrator, with Vic Costello and Staci Saltz, BEA Conference, Las Vegas, NV 2013.

Narrator, A Celebration of Light, Elon University Camerata, (holiday season concert), 2006-2013.

Narrator, Imagining the Internet, (website video), School of Communications, Elon University, 2012.

Narrator, Prisoners of Plenty, BEA Award of Excellence, (documentary film about World War II German prisoners in Kansas), with Tom Nelson, producer, BEA Conference, Las Vegas, NV, 2010

Announcer, Commencements Ceremony, Elon University, 2010-2012.

Narrator, Go 4-College, Elon Academy, Elon University, three-part video series, 2010.

Announcer, BEA Festival of Media Arts: Best of Festival, Broadcast Education Association, Las Vegas, NV, 2007.

Announcer, Annual Awards Ceremony, Electronic Retailing Association Convention, Las Vegas, NV, 2002-2005.

Narrator, Occaneechi: The Survival of the Circle, a documentary film. Johnson, R., producer, Fall 2003.

Narrator/co-producer, AEJMC National Teacher of the Year Award, “AEJMC Administrator of the Year Award,” AEJMC, Convention, Toronto, Canada, 2004.

Narrator, N.C. Pulitzer Prize Panel, School of Communications, video production, Fall 2002.

Narrator, Elon College: Who We Are, Teagle Professional Development Program, promotional video to support the Elon Vision Campaign, 1998.