Marya Barlow has been named director of communications for the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech.

Barlow brings more than 20 years of professional communications experience in higher education, Fortune 500 companies, and newsrooms to the role. At the college, she will lead communications efforts for four nationally ranked schools spanning art, architecture, construction, design, planning, and policy; 250 faculty and staff, 2,200 students; and over 15,000 current alumni.

With a focus on digitally driven communication and advancement objectives, Barlow aims to tell the story of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and its impact, increase engagement with college constituents, and build on the college’s renown through its website, social media, publications, and news media outreach. She joins Chief Advancement Officer Holly Kobia and Director of Alumni Relations Justina Sumpter on the college advancement team.

Barlow came to Virginia Tech after five years as communications manager at California State University Channel Islands, where she helped develop the university’s brand, website content, alumni magazine, media outreach, and presidential op-eds.

She previously served as director of communications for The Ryland Group Inc. (Ryland Homes), a national Fortune 500 home builder, directing external and internal communications for the corporate office and 23 divisions nationwide. Working directly with senior leadership, Barlow managed investor and consumer communications, speeches, annual reports, newsletters, web content, and relationships with national and international media ranging from the Wall Street Journal and CNBC to Builder magazine.

Barlow spent seven years as a journalist in print and television media. She was an anchor/reporter at WDBJ-7 (CBS) in Roanoke and a correspondent at the Ventura County Star in California.

She earned a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a bachelor’s degree from Johns Hopkins University.

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