Beginning this Fall, Robert Morris will open its doors to Annmarie LeBlanc for her new position as the Dean of the School of Communications and Information Systems.
Coming the fall semester, RMU students will have many opportunities to expand their own horizons and reach professional outlets. LeBlanc is eager to help students make those connections. She described the position of dean as being a unique place, not for the benefit of the title, but for those around her she will have opportunity to work with.
“I’m a dean because I like to empower people, I like to put the best people in the right places, trust them, trust their background and their expertise and then watch everything happen,” said LeBlanc.
While she had no initial interest in become dean, through her previous years of higher education, her affinity for teaching and maintaining close relationships with students had LeBlanc prepared for the role. She is new to the area and the campus, which makes her highly relatable to incoming freshman students.
“Reflective time is important,” LeBlanc said, “…I would suggest to you that you take some time and look around and realize that you’re in a very unique point in your life. You’ll never be a freshman again…”
While also taking the advice for herself, LeBlanc is assured in RMU’s staff and students. The integrity and reputation behind RMU’s students and faculty instils confidence that the school is in a place to succeed.
“I feel privileged to be here, I don’t take for granted that I’m in a situation that not many people find themselves,” said LeBlanc. “And to be surrounded by young people, by intelligent young people, by creative young people, by professionals, faculty and staff who are engaged in their work in a way that most people don’t engage in their work.”
With understanding for the foundations behind RMU’s successes and high reputation, LeBlanc is interested in implementing many things on campus. These include maintaining and expanding the relationships between departments and bringing together alumni and faculty members.
“I’m very interested in broadening the internationalization of our department of our students,” LeBlanc said. “Whether that is in a short term study abroad with a faculty member, possibly studying languages, possibly becoming familiar with other universities, possibly studying for a summer at another university.”
LeBlanc was previously named the Interim Dean for Kent State University, where she had also spent seven years teaching. With a strong background in visual arts and academic professionalism, LeBlanc’s transition into RMU is not a strange one.
“I really believe in the mixture of the liberal arts and the professional studies,” LeBlanc said, “I also believe in communication in that it’s the key to everything, (it’s) certainly the key to success for our students that they become professionals.”
With the changing seasons quickly approaching, there is a lot to look forward to on and off campus. LeBlanc will be another reliable asset and friendly face throughout the RMU community.