Canton, NY, December 10, 2014 --(PR.com
)-- St. Lawrence University has named Melissa Farmer Richards Vice President for University Communications, President William L. Fox announced on Monday. She will begin her duties at St. Lawrence on Jan. 28, 2015.
Richards most recently served as the assistant vice president for marketing and publications at Virginia Tech, where she was first hired in 2009 as the director of marketing and strategic communications before being promoted in July 2010 to lead a unit of 19 professional administrators and staff.
“Her 21 years of experience in marketing research and strategy, brand management, digital marketing, licensing, trademarks, special events and strategic alliances will bring immeasurable value to our mission,” Fox said. “Our search committee and I appreciated the numerous glowing and positive comments we heard about Melissa’s management skills. She clearly loves being part of a team and consistently praised her co-workers, showing us a leadership style aligned perfectly with the St. Lawrence culture.”
Among her many relevant responsibilities at Virginia Tech, Richards supervises the editorial and graphic design teams that produce the quarterly Virginia Tech Magazine, plus over 300 print materials for marketing purposes. She directs the Virginia Tech Brand Ambassador Certification Program, conducts market research and collaborates widely with academic and administrative departments. She wrote Virginia Tech’s first social media guidelines and oversees its Visitor Center. In 2012, she helped launch TEDxVirginiaTech and has served as an executive co-chair for its three major events.
“These duties, among many other accomplishments,” Fox said “provide Melissa with skills St. Lawrence will need in the next decade.”
From 2012 to 2014, Richards served on the programming committee for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District III conference and as co-chair for the marketing and communications track. She served on the board for the College Communicators Association (CCA) of Virginia and the District of Columbia from 2011 to 2014 and as membership secretary for two years. She also is one of the founding members of a children’s museum that opened in Blacksburg, Va., in March. Before working at Virginia Tech, Richards managed public relations for 10 years for several technology and global software companies. She frequently presents at national, regional, and local events.
“Laurentians are firmly connected to one another by an authentic sense of place,” Richards said. “I am so inspired by their deep emotional commitment to their university. I look forward to becoming a part of the St. Lawrence community.”
Richards replaces Tom Evelyn, who left St. Lawrence in May to become the associate vice president for strategic communications and marketing at the University of Florida.
A graduate of the University of Virginia, Richards is completing her master of public administration degree at Virginia Tech this month. Melissa will be joined in Canton by her husband and two daughters.