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Welcome Dr. Damien Pfister, new Director of DCC!

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It is our tremendous joy and pleasure to announce that, after a year-long search, DCC has found its new leader! We are thrilled that Dr. Damien Pfister (Associate Professor, COMM), who has currently been teaching HDCC106 Digitality and its Discontents during the Spring 2023 semester, will be joining our full-time staff as DCC Director beginning on July 1, 2023.

Since arriving at the University of Maryland, College Park, in Fall 2016, Dr. Pfister has established a strong record and reputation as a student-focused scholar and educator, with particular expertise in the collisions of rhetoric, technology, and digital networks. He is the author of Networked Media, Networked Rhetorics: Attention and Deliberation in the Early Blogosphere (2014) and co-editor of Ancient Rhetorics + Digital Networks (2018). A former member of the Board of Directors for the Rhetoric Society of America, Pfister is currently the Reviews editor for Rhetoric Society Quarterly. With Casey Boyle and Michele Kennerly, he co-edits the new Rhetoric + Digitality book series for the University of Alabama Press. Currently, Dr, Pfister is devoted to finishing his latest book project, titled Always On: Fashioning Ethos After Wearable Computers, which explores the rhetorical and cultural implications of wearables. 

Dr. Pfister will bring this wealth of expertise to his role in DCC by first re-imagining the HDCC105 Introduction to DCC freshman seminar to grapple with the implications of generative artificial intelligence for design, culture, and creative production and process; and, by guiding students to more meaningful engagement with the ethical imperatives of social life, technological innovation, and climate justice in the program's extracurricular programming and community life, as well as in the classroom.

Dr. Pfister will join Dr. Jessica H. Lu, who will return to her post as Associate Director, and Graduate Assistants Jonathan Reyes (ENGL) and Jin R. Choi (COMM) to welcome the return of the Nu class and the arrival of the incoming Xi cohort for the 2023-2024 academic year.

On behalf of the entire program and its community, we offer our gratitude to the search committee, chaired by Dr. Catherine Knight Steele (COMM, Black Communication & Technology Lab), for their diligent work in ensuring that DCC has a strong, energetic, and visionary leader for this next chapter. We also extend our special thanks to Amanda Thompson, DCC's undergraduate student representative on the search committee.

We are truly delighted to mark the end of this academic year with such happy news that points our gaze excitedly toward the future. Please join us in this moment of unabashed celebration as we welcome Dr. Pfister to his new role!