Gail Wiggins, interim chair of the department of journalism and mass communication, is one of 17 professionals chosen to participate in the seventh annual Scripps Howard Academic Leadership Academy.

The academy, to be held June 1-5 at Louisiana State University’s Manship School of Mass Communication, is co-sponsored by the Scripps Howard Foundation and brings together academics and professionals to learn administrative strategies and gain insight into academic leadership.

Members of the 2014 class represent a combination of institutions of higher education and the professional mass communication sector.

Wiggins has taught in the broadcast production sequence at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University for more than 26 years. She also coordinates the internship program, NABJ Multimedia Short Course and the American-African Universities (AAU) Collaborative.

Wiggins is a former college television station manager and radio personality. She received an master’s degree in Educational Media at North Carolina A&T and studied film and video production at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has participated in fellowships and faculty seminars with NICAR, Poynter and The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Her research interests include ethnic minorities and the media.

During their time in the academy, mid-career academics and professionals will meet with seasoned administrators to learn about management, discuss the future of media education and consider issues critical to those interested in or new to leadership roles.

“We started the academy to help the nation’s journalism and mass communication schools fill an increasing number of leadership positions,” said Mike Philipps, president and CEO of the Scripps Howard Foundation. “It is gratifying – and encouraging – to see so many alumni at the helm of these institutions where they are distinguishing themselves and improving the profession.”

Nearly 100 participants have graduated from the academy and hold various administrative positions at institutions around the country including the University of Florida, the University of Maryland, Elon University, The Pennsylvania State University, Hampton University and Northwestern.

“Nothing is more important to mass communication education than developing future leaders. That is the sole purpose of the academy, and its results already are apparent in dean, director and chair offices around the country,” said Jerry Ceppos, dean of the Manship School.