Mary Anne Fitzpatrick

  • Professor Emeritus
  • Communication Science
Expertise and Activities: 

Mary Anne Fitzpatrick, the founding Dean of the new College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Carolina, is a Carolina Educational Foundation Distinguished Professor of Psychology. Fitzpatrick is responsible for the largest College at the University of South Carolina, which comprises 460 faculty in twenty three departments and twenty-two institutes, programs and research centers, as well as the McKissick Museum. The College encompasses a wide range of disciplines with nationally recognized programs in the arts, humanities, and natural and social sciences. Including contracts and grants, the overall expenditure for these activities is approximately $112 million. Additionally, the College enrolls around 35% of the University's students in its departments and programs, and 90% of the freshman and sophomore credits are delivered by the College faculty.Prior to her appointment at the University of South Carolina, Fitzpatrick's career spanned over 25 years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She served in a variety of administrative positions at the college and university levels and was a tenured member of the faculty. Fitzpatrick held the WARF Kellett Professorship of Communication, one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a faculty member. An award- winning teacher, Fitzpatrick has taught a number of different courses from the first year through the doctoral levels, and in a variety of formats from a large group lecture to a small seminar.The primary focus of Fitzpatrick's research has been on communication processes in marriage and the family. Her book Between Husbands and Wives (1988) remains one of the most important works written on its subject. In recent years, she has become a visible figure in scholarship dealing with the dynamics of health communications. A past President of the International Communication Association, Fitzpatrick received its 2001 Career Achievement Award for sustained excellence in communication research. In 1993, she was elected a Fellow of the same association, one of only 25 in the world at the time. An internationally recognized authority on interpersonal communication, Fitzpatrick is the author of over 100 articles, chapters and books. The NIH, NIMH, and the Spencer Foundation have supported her research. She is often invited to give lectures and presentations in this country and abroad, and to consult with government and educational institutions.