Dr. Kaniss, Annenberg School

Dr. Phyllis Kaniss, CW’72, a former assistant dean at the Annenberg School for Communication as well as the creator and director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center’s Student Voices Project, died December 17, from complications related to cancer. She was 59.

For nearly 30 years Dr. Kaniss taught courses on the media and urban politics and policy. Recently, she had served as the executive director of the American Academy of Political and Social Science based at the Fels Institute of Government, where she directed the administration of the Academy, as well as serving as executive editor of The Annals.

Dr. Kaniss was the author of two books that critiqued the media, Making Local News (University of Chicago Press, 1991) and The Media and the Mayor’s Race: The Failure of Urban Political Reporting (Indiana University Press, 1995). She also published numerous op-eds in newspapers, including the Philadelphia Inquirer and New York Times.

She received her BA degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD in regional science from Cornell University.

She is survived by her husband, Paul Wheeling and two sons, Joshua and Max Wheeling.

A funeral service will be held on Thursday, December 23, at 1 p.m. at Goldstein’s Funeral Home, 6410 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19126. Additionally, plans are underway for a memorial service at Penn but a date has not been established.