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College of Arts & Humanities welcomes new PR director

(Source: Christie Denniston) Arts & Humanities new PR Director Christie Denniston

The Telitha E. Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities has gained a new marketing and public relations director, Christie Denniston. She is scheduled to start work at the college on Sept. 1, and was originally hired at the beginning of the summer as the marketing and public relations director for the department of performing arts.

With a background in journalism, marketing and public relations, Denniston recently moved to Ogden from Ohio with husband Mark Denniston, a professor of criminal justice.

Denniston got into public relations after starting out in journalism at Drake University.

“I really am a storyteller, and that’s what I liked about public relations, and marketing, and news editorial, is that I have a passion for telling people stories and sharing their stories with others,” she said.

The department of performing arts started a search for candidates for the position in the spring 2013 semester and brought three finalists to campus to present tentative marketing plans for the department.

“I remember very clearly at the interview that Christie did,” said Madonne Miner, dean of the College of Arts & Humanities, “I turned to John Kowalewski, who’s in charge of University Communications, and said, ‘You cannot steal her from us’, because she was obviously so professional, so well versed in public relations and marketing strategies.”

Denniston has earned her Bachelor of Arts in journalism/mass communication and public relations/marketing and and a Master of Public Adminstration in executive leadership from DU, and has since worked in marketing and public relations at various corporations as well as the University of Colorado.

“We have been given a gift . . . she is here in Ogden because her husband accepted a position . . . so she came to Ogden as sort of a trailing spouse, and lucky for us, her background is in PR and marketing,” Miner said. “As soon as she started working performing arts, it was quite clear she was going to take the department to a level it had never previously seen.”

Music major Shirelle Barber Benard said she looks forward to more attention being brought to a variety of events within her college, particularly through social media.

“I follow Weber State University on Facebook, and it would be cool if they posted something about choir concerts or other events,” Benard said. “I think if more people knew about (the college’s events), they would come.”

Miner said the department of performing arts has typically been focused on in terms of marketing within the college, which she feels is a narrow view of what the college has to offer.

“We’re thinking about the overall reputation of the departments in the college, the college as a whole,” Miner said. “We want future students to know about us, we want parents to know about us, we want people nationally to know about us — because we’re not just doing things regionally. I really think the caliber and the quality of the work of students and faculty members in this college is such that we can make national news, and Christie’s going to help us do that.”

Denniston said she wants to help highlight every department in the college.

“I am really looking forward to working with all of the various departments that make up the College of Arts & Humanities — each and every one of them. Each of them have a unique story to tell, and I see myself as a storyteller . . . of not only our faculty, but our students.”

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