Transition: Professor Catherine Squires Named Humphrey School Associate Dean

She Will Succeed Carissa Slotterback, Who Becomes Dean of University of Pittsburgh’s GSPIA
July 14, 2020
Portrait of Catherine Squires
Catherine Squires is the new Humphrey School associate dean, as of August 17, 2020. Photo: Lisa Miller

This fall, the Humphrey School of Public Affairs will welcome Professor Catherine Squires as its new associate dean. Squires, who is currently a professor of communication studies in the University’s College of Liberal Arts (CLA), succeeds Carissa Slotterback who will become dean of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) at the University of Pittsburgh. 

“I have long admired Catherine’s dedication to the well-being of the University community as a whole,” Dean Laura Bloomberg said in appointing Squires. “She has devoted substantial time and energy to making this academic community an ever more just, more equitable, and more intellectually enriching learning environment. I am delighted that she will now focus that creative energy and dedication on the mission and work of the Humphrey School.”  

Squires, whose appointment is for two years, has been on the CLA faculty since 2007. Her scholarship focuses on the interactions between social identities, media, and the public. She is the author of several books and articles on media, race, gender, and politics. 

 "I am honored and humbled to be appointed to this role at the Humphrey School in this tumultuous time of change and possibility,” Squires said. “I look forward to working with faculty, staff, and students to continue the dynamic work of my predecessors and collaborate on ways to address the urgent issues facing the school and our society at large."

Squires is a curator for the Humphrey School’s Gender Policy Report and a member of the Institute for Advanced Study Advisory Board. She was the first director of CLA’s Race, Indigeneity, Gender and Sexuality Studies (RIGS) Initiative. She served as faculty fellow in the Office for Equity and Diversity in 2012-2013, working to create professional development programming for junior BIPOC faculty. 

Squires is also engaged in long-term partnerships with Gordon Parks High School and Hallie Q. Brown Center in St. Paul, and in 2017 she received a 24-month Bush Foundation Fellowship to deepen these partnerships. 

Squires earned her bachelor’s degree from Occidental College in Los Angeles, and her master's and doctoral degrees in communication studies from Northwestern University. 

Slotterback to Lead the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs 

Portrait of Carissa Slotterback
Associate Dean Carissa Slotterback

As the Humphrey School welcomes Squires, it prepares to say goodbye to a dynamic leader in outgoing Associate Dean Carissa Slotterback, who has accepted a position as the dean of the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.

Slotterback joined the Humphrey School as an assistant professor in the urban and regional planning area in 2004, and has served as associate dean since 2017. Slotterback’s departure is “exciting, but bittersweet news,” Bloomberg said, describing Slotterback as “a skilled and strategic leader who inspires people and knows how to get things done.” 

Throughout her tenure at the University, Slotterback has led efforts in the areas of interdisciplinary research, engagement, and sustainability. Prior to serving as associate dean, she was director of the urban and regional planning program for several years; initiated and led the University’s Resilient Communities Project; and was director of research engagement in the Office of the Vice President for Research.

“I am so grateful for my wonderful colleagues at the Humphrey School and the University of Minnesota. I have been fortunate to work in an institution with such a deep commitment to the public interest and engagement,” said Slotterback. “I will take all that I’ve learned from this community as I move into my new role as dean at the University of Pittsburgh. I'm excited for this next step in my career and for the opportunity to join the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.”

Slotterback will remain at the Humphrey School through August, and begins her new duties at the University of Pittsburgh on October 1.