Carol Reuss wanted nothing more than to distribute newspapers when she was in grade school.
But that’s just not what girls did. At least, that's what the Cleveland newspapers told her.
Reuss didn’t let that stop her. Instead, she decided to sell local papers to people in her hometown of Woodcliff, Ohio.
And so it began – Reuss, carving her own career and pioneering her way into places where women were few and far between, two themes that carried on until the end of her life.
Reuss, a UNC School of Media and Journalism Professor Emeritus, died on Dec. 31, 2018 at 86 years old.
Reuss' career was filled with accomplishments, including serving as a professor and associate provost at UNC. She was inducted to the N.C. Media and Journalism Hall of Fame in 1996. But for those who knew Reuss, she was more than the sum of her accomplishments.
“She certainly was a trailblazer for women faculty,” said Tom Bowers, former senior associate dean of the MJ-School. “She just quietly, in her own example, did things and sort of quietly convinced people that women should play a bigger role on the faculty and in the university.”
As one of the first four women in the MJ-School’s faculty, Reuss started and grew the public relations program, which also includes advertising, making it the program with the most students in the MJ-School today.
Her work for women stretched beyond the MJ-School as she helped found the Association for Women Faculty and Professionals and the BRIDGES program for women’s academic leadership. But Reuss’ career was about more than forging new paths — it touched the individual lives of her students.