What is your role in the Service Center of Excellence?
I’m leading the Marketing and Communications Service Center, so that involves supporting the marketing and communications efforts of every department in Finance and Administration, while always considering the strategic communications priorities of Vice Chancellor Fajack and the Associate Vice Chancellors. I am also responsible for serving as a liaison with the central communications office on campus to help amplify our Division news and coordinate on issues management. In particular, our SCE communications team works closely with the campus media relations office to field queries from news outlets, most often The Daily Tar Heel. We are fortunate to have a strong group of seasoned and creative communications staff members on our team.
What did you do before you came to the SCE?
I have worked in higher ed marketing and communications for more than 15 years, most recently at UNC-Chapel Hill in the School of Law and the Kenan-Flagler Business School and at UNC-Charlotte in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. My father ran a small advertising agency in Greensboro, N.C., so I grew up as an “agency brat” and worked for him through college and beyond, and I like to think I have a bit of that creative spirit. I realized not long after graduating that I wanted to work in higher ed, and I can honestly say that I learn something new every day. It’s inspiring to feel like I’m contributing, even to a small extent, to something as noble and necessary as a public university.
Why are you excited about joining the SCE?
I’m so excited to be a part of a larger team of communicators, with whom I can bounce off ideas and discuss communications trends and issues. One big part of professional development is daily interactions with people who share similar training, background or job description. Working as a communicator in “siloed” departments across campus, so often we are offices of just one or two. It can be lonely! The SCE gives us the opportunity to bring together a team to not only share ideas and knowledge with each other but also to provide consistent, strategic and high-level service to Finance and Administration Departments. I’ve already enjoyed getting to know the communications staff in Finance and Administration and am excited about the depth and diversity of skill that we are all bringing together into one department. It has also been useful to meet with departments across the division to learn more about the areas in which they would like some more communications support and start thinking creatively about how to bridge those gaps.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I try to squeeze in exercise in my free time, all the better if it is something actually fun, like a bike ride or hike with my husband, seven-year-old son and dog. I enjoy reading and writing, and, while I’m not writing currently, I do find time to work my way through multiple series of Swedish crime novels. It’s always cold, and the characters are always drinking coffee, and somehow that sustains me through long N.C. summers.
What is something people probably wouldn’t know about you?
People may not know that I was part of a skit comedy troupe in college called “The Lilting Banshees,” and we were once featured on an episode of a TV show called “America’s Funniest People.” If you’ve never heard of the show it’s because it wasn’t that funny or successful, and neither were we.