Christopher Smith, clinical professor of communication and founder of the Media, Economics & Entrepreneurship program in the at the University of Southern California, has died. He was 55 years old.
“Chris was deeply committed to his students, helping them acquire the skills to adapt to and engage with the tectonic shifts in the media industry,” said Willow Bay, dean of the Annenberg School of Communications. “With remarkable foresight, he established economic literacy and entrepreneurial acumen as cornerstones of the USC Annenberg experience. A much admired and respected colleague and friend to so many at the school, Chris continually challenged all of us to remain on the cutting edge of change.”
“One of the joys of being on the USC Annenberg faculty was having Chris as an exceptional colleague and a dear friend,” added Ernest Wilson, former dean and now a professor of communication. “He combined great personal warmth and consideration with that rare capacity of powerful truth-telling about things that mattered. Chris was a beloved member of the Trojan Family and he will be greatly missed.”
A native of New Jersey, Dr. Smith was a graduate of the University of Chicago, where he majored in sociology, He held a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in media and cultural studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison
Dr. Smith joined the faculty at the university in 2002. Prior to coming to the University of Southern California, he served as the director of primary research for Ruder Finn Public Relations in New York City.