Executive Council

Rick Rockwell head shotRick Rockwell, Associate Dean

Rick Rockwell is the Associate Dean of Graduate, Online, and Extended Programs for the School of Communications at Webster University. Rockwell comes to Webster University after 17 years of service at American University in Washington, DC. 



Paaige Turner head shotPaaige K. Turner, Associate Dean

Dr. Paaige K.Turner serves as the chief academic officer, overseeing and facilitating academic programs, policies, and processes. She represents the School and the Dean's Office on a variety of University committees, as well as working on specific initiatives including assessments, curriculum development, summer programming, communications, and comprehensive internationalization.

As a teacher Dr. Turner strives to engage students in active, outcome-oriented learning both in and out of the classroom. She has consulted with local, national, and international organizations on topics including gender/generational communication, customer satisfaction, performance appraisal, change management, and cultural mapping. This work supports her scholarly work in the field of organizational communication. She has over 20 years of experience examining, documenting, and theorizing how cultural beliefs and practices create, sustain and challenge our beliefs about the world and is committed to using the insights gained to revitalize organizational and educational practices. Her research has been published in national and international journals across multiple disciplines including communication, health care, language acquisition, higher education, and social psychology.

Dr. Turner is committed to identifying shared goals, respecting differences, celebrating small steps that lead to large successes, and honoring the unique value each and every individual brings to a project or class.

Contact Information

Office phone   314-246-7920
Email or paaigeturner@webster.edu

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

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 is the recipient of the 2013 Staff Member of the Year Award.

Napoleon is active in the International Association of Administrative Professionals. She has a daughter in college and two married sons with growing families.

Contact Information

Office phone   314-246-7154

Sebastian (Bud) Bellomo, Interim Director, Graduate Studies 

Bud Bellamo at PodiumDr. Sebastian (Bud) Bellomo has been serving in the role of Special Projects Coordinator in the Dean's Office of the Walker School of Business & Technology, as an adjunct faculty member, and as the faculty advisor to Delta Mu Delta, a national honor society in business administration.

He steps in to fill the role of interim director of graduate studies in the School of Communications after returning from teaching at Webster University's Thailand campus.

Before joining Webster University, Dr. Bellomo had a 36-year successful career as a manager and executive with General Motors Corporation.

In his free time, Bellomo enjoys spending time with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He is an outdoor enthusiast, who enjoys gardening, landscaping projects, and maintaining his lawn. He does remodeling and construction jobs around the house and to help family and friends.To keep his mind sharp, he follows politics and economics. For fun, he follows football, NASCAR, and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Contact Information

Office phone   314-246-7510

Kathy Corley, Chair, Department of Electronic and Photographic Media

Kathy CorleyKathy Corley is the chair of the Department of Electronic and Photographic Media. This includes undergraduate majors from animation to video production.

Corley is an award-winning filmmaker and educator. She is a world-traveler and has developed and taught courses that began in a St. Louis classroom, traveled to the streets of Paris requiring students to be conversational in French, and ended back in St. Louis. She has taught at the Webster University campuses in Leiden and Geneva. She has been a recipient of the Kemper Award for Excellence in Teaching.

When she's not at Webster, traveling, or making films, Corley is a percussionist in Samba Bom, a very popular Brazilian band. 

Contact Information

Office phone   314-968-6923

Gary Ford, Chair, Department of Communications and Journalism

Bob Davidson and Gary FordGary 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. 

In the photo, Ford, on the right, is pictured with former Outstanding School of Communications Graduate Student and adjunct faculty member Bob Davidson.

Contact Information

Office phone   314-246-8632

Barry Hufker, Chair, Department of Audio Aesthetics and TechnologyBarry Hufker

Barry Hufker is the chair for 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.

Hufker spends much of his time away from the university recording and producing for organizations such as Opera Theatre of St. Louis. He also regularly records classical, jazz and ethnic music for compact disc, DVD and broadcast.

Contact Information

Office phone   314-246-7654  


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Audio Aesthetics and Technology 314-246-7636
Communications and Journalism 314-246-5935
Electronic and Photographic Media 314-246-6924
Graduate Studies 314-246-7472
Office of the Dean 314-968-7154