The Mark and Heather Rosenker Center for Political Communication and Civic Leadership unites research, education, and public engagement to foster democratic communication by a diverse people.
As part of the Department of Communication, a unit of the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland, The Rosenker Center is committed to the advancement of a diverse and productive democracy through the study of human communication.
The Rosenker Center sponsors programs designed to explore the nexus between communication behavior and political life, and is a resource for the political community, offering expertise, analysis, and commentary about political communication.
The Center for Political Communication & Civic Leadership launched in September of 2001, approximately two weeks before 9/11. The Center’s first event featured an opportunity for the UMD community to come together to talk about the impact of the tragedy on students, staff, and faculty. It included community members who lost loved ones in the attacks, students from the Middle East, students from UMD’s ROTC program, experts in U.S.-Middle East policy, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, as well as religious leaders from local Mosques and Synogogues. Since its launch, the Center’s activities have worked to enhance and examine productive engagement across a diversity of public humanities projects. Dr. Shawn J. Parry-Giles has served as the Center’s director since its launch.
The Center was renamed in April of 2018 after Mark and Heather Rosenker. The Rosenker Center’s new name honors the public service of both Mark Rosenker (a UMD COMM alum) and Heather Rosenker who have spent their careers promoting communication for the public good.