A proven leader in strategic and brand marketing at a major land-grant research university has been tapped to lead West Virginia University’s Division of University Relations. Sharon L. Martin, assistant vice president of marketing at Purdue University, will join the senior leadership team in early October, WVU President Jim Clements announced today (Aug. 8).

“Sharon comes to us from a very respected integrated marketing communication division at a major land-grant research university that is similar to WVU,” said President Clements. “She has an impressive background in brand management, creative campaigns and market research that will support and enhance our strategic goals and our mission. She has a strong record of creating positive relationships while emphasizing integrity, quality and excellence. We’re anxious to welcome her and her family to Morgantown and our great state.”

“During my visit to West Virginia University, it was evident that this is an institution brimming with passion, ideas and a wonderful spirit,” Martin said. “I am excited and grateful to be joining the Mountaineer family, and look forward to collaborating on initiatives that will showcase the impact WVU makes every day.”

At WVU, Martin will oversee brand research, strategy and management; print, video, photography and digital and social media outreach; content development and creative design; executive communications; internal communications; media relations and news operations; crisis communications; and innovation in technology and emerging media.

She will also provide leadership to and build collaboration with campus marketing communication professionals, including colleges and schools, the research office, athletics, extension, health sciences and others – and will work closely with external partners, including alumni, donors and other constituencies.

The specific units and budgets Martin will oversee include: web, creative design, video, news and photography, editorial services, the Visitors Center and trademark licensing.

Prior to her position as assistant vice president, Martin served as director of brand and advertising and as assistant director of segment marketing at Purdue. Her professional career also includes owning and operating a boutique marketing and communication agency, Full Moon Communications, and founding and co-owning a women’s magazine, Helen, that focused on relevant women’s issues and promoted community awareness. Early in her career, she served as director of communications and editor of the magazine at the Purdue Alumni Association.

A graduate of Central Michigan University, with a degree in journalism and a minor in advertising, Martin and her teams have earned a number of CASE and ADDY awards for integrated marketing and communication initiatives. She is a member of several community and professional associations, including National Mortar Board, Association of Women in Communications and the American Cancer Society.

Maryanne Reed, dean of the Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism, chaired the search.

“I want to thank Dean Maryanne Reed as well as the entire search committee for their hard work in this process,” Clements said. “They are all juggling many responsibilities and so the time and effort they were willing to put into a national search like this is greatly appreciated.”

Martin assumes the position formerly held by Christine Martin, who left in January to become president of the Poynter Foundation.



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