After dedicating the past 30 years to the academic community as an educator and administrator, Dean Gregory J. Shepherd has decided to retire at the end of the school year. Shepherd joined the UM community in July of 2011, serving as dean of the School of Communication for the past eight years. Through his foresight, vision, and creative approach, Shepherd’s incredible impact on the SoC will benefit students and faculty for many years to come.
Shepherd’s tenure as dean featured some incredible accomplishments that have helped improve the educational experience provided by the School of Communication. In 2016, Shepherd helped establish the Koenigsberg and Nadal Interactive Media Center and the Robert & Lauren Mann Broadcast Center, providing students with state of the art facilities aimed at fostering experiential learning opportunities for students. Shepherd’s commitment to experiential learning stems from his own experience in the value it can provide students. “Experiential learning allows students to develop the type of interpersonal skills that help them succeed when they enter the business world,” said Shepherd on the value of experiential learning.
In addition to helping the SoC develop state-of-the-art facilities, Shepherd’s vision is one of the main reasons Orange Umbrella exists today. Understanding both the need and potential of a student-run communication consultancy could have, Shepherd helped guide and empower Orange Umbrella since its inception. “Dean Shepherd is the cornerstone of Orange Umbrella, and in just two and a half years, more than 120 students' lives have been changed by this experience, and to him, we are all so grateful,” said Orange Umbrella Managing Director Melissa Jane Barnes.
Reflecting on his time here at UM, Shepherd cannot remember a singular accomplishment or experience as the most rewarding part of his tenure. Rather he is grateful to the UM community for allowing him to enjoy some of the best years of his life. “I’ll always look back and remember the incredible relationships I’ve made with students and people that make up the UM community,” said Shepherd on the most rewarding part of his time at UM.
As a dean, Shepherd helped create rich, meaningful educational experiences for both students and the faculty. Here at Orange Umbrella, we are incredibly thankful for the guidance he has provided us throughout the years and wish him the best as he moves on to another chapter in his life.