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Mass Communication

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Kelli Arena

Executive Director of the Global Center for Journalism & Democracy and Dan Rather Chair of Journalism

Dan Rather Communication Building, Suite 201



Kelli Arena is a globally recognized, award-winning journalist with decades of experience in national and international newsrooms. Arena came to SHSU from Washington, DC, where she was CNN's Justice and Investigative Correspondent.

Arena is the first recipient of the Dan Rather Chair of Journalism. Additionally, she is the founding Executive Director of the Global Center for Journalism and Democracy (GCJD).  Well known for her on-air work at CNN, she is also an internationally renowned moderator, engaging some of the world's most notable and creative thinkers. 

As the Dan Rather Chair of Journalism, Arena was hired to bring national attention to SHSU's journalism department. During her tenure, Arena has developed journalism workshops and courses, overseen SHSU's student run news program, and created a speaker series, maximizing her global connections to bring VIP's to the Huntsville Campus. 

As Executive Director of the Global Center for Journalism and Democracy, she was the driving force behind its creation and launch. The GCJD is dedicated to promoting a free and vibrant press. The center's mission is threefold: GCJD trains professional journalists, enhances industry and press relations and educates the next generation of thought leaders.


Course Syllabus

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