Howard University’s School of Communications has a new dean.

Gracie Lawson-Borders, a former reporter and editor for the Chicago Tribune and Akron Beacon Journal, will take over the job on July 1. She replaces Jannette L. Dates, who left in 2012 after 19 years in the position.

“Dr. Lawson-Borders is a seasoned communications scholar, administrator and researcher,” Provost Wayne A.I. Frederick said in a news release. “We welcome her to Howard and look forward to her leadership as the School of Communications further positions itself to educate 21st century communications students.”

Lawson-Borders, 52, currently serves as associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. She also taught journalism and was director of the African American and Diaspora Studies program there. She has a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University, a master’s from Northwestern University and a doctorate from Wayne State University in Detroit.

“It’s a great opportunity,” Lawson-Borders said. “They redesigned the majors...and it’s exciting because everybody’s got the energy to look forward to that digital future.”