Communications: Executive Council

Paaige Turner head shotPaaige K. Turner, associate dean

Dr. Paaige K. Turner is charged with overseeing and coordinating the academic programs, policies, and processes of the School of Communications. She represents the School and the Dean's Office on a variety of University committees, as well as working on specific initiatives including assessments, curricular and co-curricular activities, summer programming, faculty development and comprehensive internationalization. She provides administrative oversight for the School’s Student Services including Undergraduate Academic Advising and Center for Portfolio Development & Internships. Responsible to the Dean of the School of Communications, she contributes to developing and implementing initiatives that advance the School’s strategic goals of enhancing our national standing, building the diversity of our faculty, staff, and student populations, and internationalizing our programs.

Contact Information

Office phone   314-246-7920
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Michael Zakibe, director of operations 

Michael Zakibe head shotAs the Director of Operations for the School of Communications, Michael Zakibe is the liaison between the Dean's Office and the faculty, staff, and students of the School of Communications for decisions involving financial policies, budgets, and expenditures.

Zakibe provides monthly departmental budget variance analysis and serves as an advisor in the development of the capital spending and minor equipment budgets for the departments within the School of Communications. He works closely with the department chairs and with the leaders of student clubs and organizations that have budgeted funds.

He also works on special projects for the dean, including his current involvement on the planning committee researching the best way to redesign the Sverdrup Building.

Michael Zakibe is a St. Louis native. He returned from Los Angeles where he spent much of his career working for NBC. His most recent position was director of television operations and production finance for NBC Universal. Away from work, he enjoys photography, writing, and going to the theater. 

Contact Information

Office phone   314-246-7830
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Susan Napoleon, assistant to the dean

Susan Napoleon head shotIn her role as assistant to the dean, Susan Napoleon has wide-ranging responsibilities. She manages strategic initiatives and supports the development of relationships with alumni and business professionals. She handles projects as diverse as event planning, space usage, faculty contracts, and office moves. She is the liaison between Dean Rothenbuhler and other people and departments within the university. She is an invaluable resource for the faculty, staff and students of the School of Communications. She was the recipient of the 2013 Staff Member of the Year Award.

She has a daughter in college and two married sons with growing families.

Contact Information

Office phone   314-246-7154
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Aaron AuBuchon, chair, Department of Electronic and Photographic Media

Aaron AuBuchon is an associate professor in the Department of Electronic and Photographic Media. He teaches video production. As chair of the Department of Electronic and Photographic Media, he oversees programs ranging from Film, television, and video production to photography. With popular majors such as animation and games and game design, this is growing department.

AuBuchon received the Kemper Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2013.

Contact Information

Cell phone   314-541-6330
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Gary Ford, chair, Department of Communications and Journalism

Gary Ford head shotGary Ford is chair of the Department of Communications and Journalism. It is comprised of eight bachelor's degrees, seven minors, and six certificates covering subjects ranging from advertising and marketing communications to speech communication studies. He has been teaching public relations courses in the undergraduate program and graduate studies for more than 25 years. Prior to being elected chair of the Department  of Communications and Journalism, Ford  served as the director of graduate studies for the School of Communications.  

Outside of Webster, Ford is often a panelist for professional organizations and advises corporate and nonprofit clients. In his free time, he sings in a gospel quartet and is a member of several choral groups. 

Contact Information

Office phone   314-246-8632
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Tim Ryan, chair, Department of Audio Aesthetics and Technology

Tim Ryan head shotTim Ryan is the chair of the Department of Audio Aesthetics and Technology. This includes the undergraduate majors of audio production and audio production with an emphasis in international audio production along with the minor audio production and the entrepreneurship for audio majors certificate.

Contact Information

Office phone   314-246-7958
E-mail or