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CHE September Newsletter 2013

Inside this Issue

Welcome to Counselors Now!, the PRSA Counselors to Higher Education (CHE) Section’s new quarterly newsletter designed to bring members the latest news, events and information about one of PRSA’s fastest-growing Sections. If you’d like to share news with Counselors Now!, please write to

Message From the Chair

When I took my first job in higher education public relations after a short stint teaching corporate communications and PR at a private university, I felt like a fish out of water. Then I figured it out. The water was really the same as it was when I practiced public relations for the U.S. Air Force for 22 years. What had changed was the current. Instead of swimming with the current, I was now swimming upstream.

Higher education PR made a lot more sense to me when I thought of it that way. There are a lot of currents in a stream, and we are often (if not always) swimming against one or more of them. A network of professional colleagues familiar with the flow helped me navigate those waters.

As the outgoing chair of the Counselors to Higher Education (CHE) Section, I can tell you one of the best decisions I made since transitioning to higher ed was joining CHE, PRSA’s Professional Interest Section devoted to higher education PR.

CHE was formed almost 15 years ago by senior practitioners like you and me who serve the presidents and chancellors of public and private universities across the United States. Our ranks have grown to reflect the broader spectrum of higher education, and now include more than 400 PR practitioners from community colleges, as well as for-profit and nonprofit education providers. I’m pleased to report that our membership is also growing internationally. 

I am often asked what advice I would give to a new professional entering higher education PR. My advice is simple — develop a professional network. There are many people out there just like you, and many associations and groups that share your professional ambitions. PRSA is a natural choice — it is the world’s largest association of public relations professionals across all industries.

If you are a senior PR practitioner entering the higher education practice for the first time, or one who aspires to be, CHE is for you.

We are always looking to enrich the CHE community with senior-level practitioners who are eager to learn, share their expertise with peers and contribute to the profession. If you know someone who is not yet a CHE member, and could benefit from Section membership, please send that person’s name and contact information to Nancy Collins, APR chair, member recruitment and retention. We’ll do our best to persuade your colleague to join our community.

For those of you who want to gain more from CHE than standard membership, volunteering for one of our committees, or assisting in the planning and execution of our annual Senior Summit in Washington, D.C., are also good ways to make a personal contribution to our profession.

If you are interested in available volunteer opportunities, please contact any of the Executive Board members who serve as chairs of our committees. In addition to Nancy Collins, here are members who lead key CHE committees:

  • Matt Nagel, chair, Senior Summit (annual CHE conference)
  • Dana Fair, chair, Communications Committee (CHE social media presence, newsletter, event marketing)
  • John Morgan, chair, Programming Committee (non-Summit professional events and programs)

CHE, and the close friends and colleagues I have met through it, have helped me navigate the currents of higher education public relations. I know they can help you, too. Volunteer to serve your community of public relations professionals by joining a CHE committee, helping us grow the Section and enhance the practice.

Michael L. Warden, APR
PRSA 2013 Counselors to Higher Education Section Chair

Call for Presentations at the PRSA 2014 Counselors to Higher Education (CHE) Senior Summit

The PRSA 2014 CHE Senior Summit, April 9–11, in Washington, D.C., will provide attendees with the latest trends, skills and solutions for challenges within the industry. To continue the long tradition of providing an excellent experience for attendees, the Senior Summit Planning Committee wants your help. We need you to identify dynamic presentations that inform higher education PR professionals about proven practices that push the leading edge of the profession and motivate the pursuit of excellence. To be considered, you must submit a presentation proposal by noon EDT on Friday, Oct. 4.
Your proposal should demonstrate:

  • How you are addressing communication challenges specific to higher education.
  • Best practices in media relations, social media and crisis communications.
  • Ethical challenges.
  • Effective measurement strategies.
  • Techniques and tactics.
  • Integrated marketing and communications.
  • Technology and emerging trends.

Visit the Call for Presentations page to easily enter and save your presentation details.

We look forward to seeing your submissions soon!
The CHE Senior Summit Planning Committee

CHE Open Phone Forum: "Big-Time College Sports Make For Big-Time PR Challenges"

Join the CHE Section on Wednesday, Sept. 18, at 2 p.m. EDT, for an Open Phone Forum to discuss the PR challenges created by big-time college sports.  

Gary McKillips, managing director of The McKillips Group, a higher education PR consultancy, will moderate the call, and will lead a discussion about his recent think piece on the subject. McKillips was formerly head of university relations for both the University of Tennessee system and Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business. He is a freelance writer and broadcaster, writing on a variety of topics for the Atlanta Business Chronicle and American City Business Journals, and covers Atlanta sports for AP Radio and Sirius/XM.

The CHE Open Phone Forum is a great opportunity for you to discuss timely topics with other college and university PR professionals, brainstorm new ideas or just listen in and learn.

Call-In Information: (641) 715-3200
Access Code: 898371#

If you have ideas for future call topics, please let us know.

College (Un)bound: A Special CHE-Sponsored International Conference Event

What trends are on the horizon for higher education? On Monday, Oct. 28, at 6 p.m. EDT, the PRSA Counselors to Higher Education Section will be welcomed by Drexel University to its campus in Philadelphia for a private dinner, and to hear from Jeff Selingo, editor-at-large of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Selingo will turn a critical eye to the current state of affairs in higher education and predict how new technology will transform it for the better. His book, “College (Un)bound,” has been praised by university presidents as a must-read for anyone concerned with the future of higher education.

Don’t miss out on this fantastic networking event! The evening program includes dinner and cocktails, and attendees will receive a free copy of “College (Un)bound.”

Transportation to and from the Conference hotel will be provided as a courtesy by Drexel University shuttles. Attendees may also use Philadelphia’s convenient public transportation, as the campus is a short ride from the hotel.

CHE Members: $35
PRSA and Nonmembers: $50
Registration includes cost of reception, dinner, transportation and gift book.

Register here.

Be a “Catalyst” and Share Your Ideas With Higher Education Colleagues

We all know that we can learn so much from each other. With the re-launch of the PRSA Counselors to Higher Education (CHE) newsletter, we also launch “Catalyst,” an opportunity to share an idea, innovation, a spark of ingenuity or best practices for how we deal with issues, challenges, technology, etc. in our leadership roles in higher education public relations.

Please email your thoughts or nominate a colleague (in no more than 250 words) by Friday, Nov. 1, to

New Committee Chairs and Calls for Volunteers

At its annual retreat in July, the Counselors to Higher Education (CHE) Executive Committee re-energized its committee structure, appointing new chairs for its Senior Summit, programming, communications, and recruitment and retention committees.

  • CHE Senior Summit Committee
    Matt Nagel, APR, director of media relations and issues management for institute communications, the Georgia Institute of Technology, is chair of the 2014 CHE Senior Summit. The committee includes: Jeanette DeDeimar, Ph.D., assistant vice president of university relations and director of integrated marketing and communications, Florida State University; Don Hale, ‎vice president for public relations and marketing communications, Georgia State University; Charlie Melichar, APR, senior consultant, Marts and Lundy; and Steve Roulier, director of marketing and communications, Springfield College. 
  • CHE Programming Committee
    John Morgan, associate vice president for public relations, Quinnipiac University, is chair of the Programming Committee, which is dedicated to planning a monthly program for CHE members.
  • CHE Communications Committee
    Dana Fair, APR, lead communications strategist, office of the chief information officer, the University of Michigan, is chair of the Communications Committee. The committee is responsible for producing a quarterly newsletter, and overseeing the Section’s E-Forum on the PRSA website and social media platforms, including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. John Morgan is a member of the committee, serving as newsletter editor.
  • CHE Recruitment and Retention Committee
    Nancy Collins, APR, communications strategist, Collins Communications, is chair of the Recruitment and Retention Committee, which is responsible for building Section membership. Tom Eppes, APR, Fellow PRSA, chief communications officer, the University of Mississippi, is also on the committee.
  • CHE Alumni Group
    Lori Doyle, senior vice president for university communications, Drexel University, will continue as chair of the CHE Alumni Group (CHEAG), which publishes white papers and leads open conference call forums.

If you’re interested in volunteering on a CHE committee, please contact the committee chair directly.

The Counselors to Higher Education Executive Committee

  • Chair: Michael Warden, APR, vice president of institute communications, Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Chair Elect: Joseph Brennan, Ph.D., APR, vice president for strategic communication, University of Iowa
  • Secretary/Treasurer: James N. Katsaounis, M.S., associate vice president for university communications, Drexel University 

    Committee Members:
  • Nancy Collins, APR, communications strategist, Collins Communications
  • Jeanette DeDeimar, Ph.D., assistant vice president of university relations and director of integrated marketing and communications, Florida State University
  • Lori Doyle, senior vice president for university communications, Drexel University 
  • Tom Eppes, APR, Fellow PRSA, chief communications officer, The University of Mississippi
  • Dana Fair, APR, lead communications strategist for the Office of the Chief Information Officer at the University of Michigan
  • Don Hale, ‎vice president for public relations and marketing communications at Georgia State University
  • Randell J. Kennedy, president, Academy Communications
  • Charlie Melichar, APR, senior consultant, Marts and Lundy
  • John Morgan, associate vice president for public relations, Quinnipiac University
  • Matt Nagel, APR, director of media relations and issues management for institute communications, the Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Steve Roulier, director of marketing and communications, Springfield College

New Members
The following members joined the CHE Section from Jan. 1–July 31, 2013. You can view the entire Section roster in the PRSA Member Directory.

Margaret Arnold, Margaret J. Arnold Public Relations, Kimball, Minn.
Lori Bachand, APR, Sacramento State, Sacramento, Calif.
Laura A. Baldwin, MBA, Arcadia University, Glenside, Pa.
Mary Deming Barber, APR, Fellow PRSA, The Barber Group, Inc., Anchorage, Alaska
Rose Bender, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy & Practice, Philadelphia, Pa.
Heather M. Bing, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Rootstown, Ohio
Angie Birdwell, MA, Webster University, Lakeland, Fla.
Jennifer Marie Boyd, HACC, Harrisburg, Pa.
Karen K. Brand, Providence Day School, Charlotte, N.C.
Tanisha Brown, Maryknoll School, Honolulu, Hawaii
Harold Burson, APR, Fellow PRSA, Burson-Marsteller, New York, N.Y.
Geoffrey Campbell, Syracuse University, Syracuse University, N.Y.
Paul Timothy Carringer, Caring Marketing Solutions, Columbus, Ohio
Malissa Marie Carroll, University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, Baltimore, Md.
Wendy Reiser Cromwell, Georgia State University College of Law, Atlanta, Ga.
Megan M. Davis, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Albany, N.Y.
Lee Ann DeArman, APR, Weitzenhoffer Family College of Fine Arts, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Okla.
Jeanette M. Dediemar, Ph.D, Florida State University, Office of University Communications, Tallahassee, Fla.
John N. Diamond, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Ariz.
Andrew Dixon, Colorado State University-Global Campus, Greenwood Village, Colo.
Ariel Duchene, Syracuse University College of Engineering and Computer Science, Syracuse, N.Y.
A. Lee Fierbaugh, Milligan College, Milligan College, Tenn.
Angela L. Flagg, VCU School of Nursing, Richmond, Va.
Jeff Gattas, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, Calif.
Sarah Gayken, University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, Okla.
Jennifer French Giarratano, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Atlanta, Ga.
Sally Gilotti, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa.
Stuart Goldstein, William Paterson University, Wayne, N.J.
Diane Marie Gomez, Franklin Park, N.J.
Patrick Gonzales, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas
Jan Greathouse, Trevecca Nazarene University, Nashville, Tenn.
Elizabeth Gregory, North Mississippi State University Extension Service, Mississippi State, Miss.
Kerry-Ann Hamilton, Howard University, Washington, D.C.
Laura J. Hanna, Texas Wesleyan University, Fort Worth, Texas
Ann Hastings, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Ind.
Asia Hauter, St. John's University, Peter J. Tobin College of Business, Queens, N.Y.
Jean M. Hayes, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.
Cristina Henley, Strayer University, Herndon, Va.
Ayana Davis Hernandez, North Carolina Central University, Durham, N.C.
Shelli HollandHandy, Schnake Turnbo Frank, Tulsa, Okla.
Claire Holmes, University of California, Berkeley, Concord, Calif.
Elizabeth Homan, Montgomery College, Rockville, Md.
Amy Hook, Boston University, Boston, Mass.
Joanne Marie Horton, APR, John Tyler Community College, Midlothian, Va.
Mindy L. Hughes, APR, Hughes Communications and Consulting, Virginia Beach, Va.
Joe Hunter, Olin College of Engineering, Needham, Mass.
Sandra Kallio, UW Colleges and UW-Extension, Madison, Wis.
Erin Martin Kane, Syracuse University, Pittsford, N.Y.
Lara M. Kline, American University Kogod School of Business, Washington, D.C.
Elizabeth Klipp, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Ga.
Michael Lassiter, Paul Werth Associates, Chicago, Ill.
Deborah Bell Latter, South Florida State College, Avon Park, Fla.
Leona Christensen Long, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Interior-Aleutians Campus, Fairbanks, Alaska
Eric Mansfield, Kent State University, Akron, Ohio
Laura J. Margoni, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, Calif.
Marissa Beth Marmarelli, University of Michigan-Dearborn, Dearborn, Mich.
Shana Martin, MBA, Vanguard University, Costa Mesa, Calif.
Jack Martin, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kan.
Lorraine U. Martinelle, Assumption College, Worcester, Mass.
Cara Masset, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Alyse Mattioli, Rutgers School of Communication and Information, New Brunswick, N.J.
Cyndi McMahon, Gordon College, Wenham, Mass.
Connie McNamara, Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa.
Brenda Meller, Walsh College, Troy, Mich.
John Merritt, University of Minnesota, School of Public Health, Minneapolis, Minn.
Papsy Mileti, Miami, Fla.
Casey L. Mills, Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics at Oregon State, Corvallis, Ore.
Latryce Noel, Virginia State University, Virginia State University, Va.
Veronica Orozco. Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology, Los Angeles, Calif.
Kim Ossi, Van Brecht, Bowie, Md.
Jennifer Park, University of Denver, Daniels College of Business, Denver, Colo.
Jeff L. Peery, Brigham Young University College of Nursing, Provo, Utah
Monique Perry, York Technical College, Rock Hill, S.C.
Lauren A. Price, Red Deluxe Brand Development, Memphis, Tenn.
Shari Winet Rodriguez, Bridgepoint Education, San Diego, Calif.
Ira Rubien, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pa.
Keri Rursch, Augustana College, Rock Island, Ill.
Pamela J. Russell, Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Washington, D.C.
Margurite Pamilla Saylor, HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College, Harrisburg, Pa.
Robert P. Schweers, APR, Iowa State University, Ankeny, Iowa
Jenifer Shockley, Robison College of Business, Atlanta, Ga.
John Shultz, University of Saint Mary, Leavenworth, Kan.
Anne Bayard Sroka, Becker College, Worcester, Ma.
Kat Stein, Aspen Street PR, Philadelphia, Pa.
LaTonya Taylor, Marketing Communications, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Ill.
Emily K. Truax, Boston University, Boston, Mass.
Matthew R. Turner, Marshall University, Huntington, W.V.
Sonya Udler, Strayer Education, Inc., Herndon, Va.
Kari VanDerVeen, St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn.
Quenta P. Vettel, APR, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, Gainesville, Fla.
Kimberly Ward, APR, Canton, Mich.
Amy Weaver, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pa.
Kim Wilmath, State University System of Florida, Tallahassee, Fla.
Andrea N. Wright, Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond, Va.

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