SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — Two Southwest Texas State University academic units have new leaders as John A. Duff has been named chair of the Department of Music and Bruce Smith becomes the new chair of the Department of Mass Communication.
Duff has served as head of the Music Department and professor of trombone at Western Kentucky University since 1991. Prior to his positions in Bowling Green, he taught for 11 years at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks.
Originally from the Northwest, Duff received his undergraduate training at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he studied conducting with Vilem Sokol and William D. Cole and trombone with Stuart Dempster. After five years of teaching in the public schools in eastern Washington, he left for Michigan State University, where he studied trombone with Curtis Olson while earning his Master of Music and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.
With more than 25 years of conducting experience, Duff has worked with musicians from junior high through professional levels in the areas of both band and orchestra.
Smith came to SWT after serving six years as chair of the University of South Dakota’s Mass Communication Department.
Smith spent almost 23 years working in mass media, 17 of those as manager of various television and radio stations. Prior to his duties as chair in South Dakota, Smith chaired the Department of Journalism and Broadcasting at the University of Alaska.
Smith said he is interested in guiding SWT through the professional accreditation process, which he has done successfully twice before. He led the University of South Dakota to first time accreditation and the University of Alaska through reaccredidation.
Smith also expressed interest in growing the graduate program and making it accessible to professionals in the media.
Smith has a bachelor of arts from the University of Minnesota, a master of science from Miami University, an MBA from Murray State University in Kentucky and a doctorate in education from Boston University.