Filling Klein’s chair
On Oct. 19, it was formally announced that Gilbert VanBuren Wilkes will be the new occupant of the Ralph Klein Chair in Media Studies for Mount Royal University’s faculty of communication studies.
Former premier of Alberta, Ralph Klein, dean of the faculty of communication studies Marc Chikinda, Mount Royal’s president, Dave Marshall and VP academic for Mount Royal, Robin Fisher jokingly pushed Wilkes down into a chair at a small ceremony to signify his new position.
“I am honoured to be allowed to contribute to the growth and development of the faculty of communication studies and its excellent programs in journalism, public relations, information design and broadcasting program,” Wilkes said.
“It is my privilege to help develop a usability laboratory, a research and development resource for students, faculty and others who develop technical products or services in the community.”
Wilkes is a professor of communication and culture at Royal Roads University in Victoria, B.C. He holds a BA in English literature from Butler University in Indianapolis, IN, a MA in English with a concentration in rhetoric and a PhD in rhetoric from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. Wilkes will hold the position at Mount Royal University from January to April 2010.
Chikinda was a graduate student at Royal Roads University and worked with Wilkes.
“I was extremely fortunate to have experienced Dr. Wilkes as a mentor and professor. I am so glad that now all of our students in the faculty of communication studies at Mount Royal University will enjoy the same privilege,” Chikinda said.
The Ralph Klein chair in Media Studies in the faculty of communications was created in early 2007 with the help of an anonymous $2.5 million donation.
Klein was the first person to hold the position. During his time as the chair Klein shared his experience working as a reporter and then later as a politician taking questions from reporters.