Denise Solomon served as Department Head from 2016 to 2022. Having previously served the College of the Liberal Arts as Associate Dean (from 2008-2013), Solomon brought considerable administrative experience to the position, which contributed to her effective leadership as faculty, staff, and students navigated the exigencies imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Solomon has been honored with several college and university awards, including the Raymond Lombra Award for Distinction in the Social or Life Sciences, the College of the Liberal Arts Service to the College Award, the Penn State Liberal Arts Alumni Society Board’s Welch Alumni Relations Award, and her appointment as Distinguished Professor. Solomon’s scholarship, which focuses on interpersonal communication in personal relationships, has been recognized by the National Communication Association’s Mark L. Knapp Award in Interpersonal Communication, for career contributions to the study of interpersonal communication, and the Charles Woolbert Award, marking a scholarly publication that has stood the test of time and become a stimulus for new conceptualizations of communication phenomena. Solomon has also been named a Fellow of the International Communication Association, a Fellow of the International Association for Relationship Research, and a Distinguished Scholar of the National Communication Association. As of 2023, she had authored more than 90 peer-reviewed journal articles, co-authored two editions of the textbook "Interpersonal Communication: Putting Theory into Practice," served as associated editor of the "International Encyclopedia of Interpersonal Communication," and received grants from the National Science Foundation to support her work on a dynamic dyadic systems perspective on interpersonal conversation.