Leveraging the fall semester’s momentum to elevate, align, and integrate marketing and communications work across the university, Vice President of Communications and Marketing Tracy Vosburgh has announced several key appointments, including the selection of Zeke Barlow as the senior director for colleges after a national search.

Barlow, the director of communications and marketing in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, starts Feb. 27. He has held progressive leadership roles with the college over the last 10 years. He came to the university after extensive experience as a journalist and holds an MBA from Virginia Tech and a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and biology from Gettysburg College.

In the role, Barlow will work closely with deans, chief advancement officers, and communications and marketing directors in all of the colleges to uplift college priorities while also collaborating with members of Vosburgh’s leadership team to apply the division’s resources toward shared university and college priorities.

“Expanding our capacity to support the colleges and their priorities, along with the units’ priorities, will serve to elevate not just the college and unit brands but also the entire university,” Vosburgh said. “Zeke brings a breadth of experience leading a team in a large, complex college while also working across the university with colleagues, and he will be able to leverage existing relationships as we move forward together. He is the ideal complement to our existing team and to our communications and marketing directors in the colleges.”

To provide stronger support to the colleges and units, Vosburgh and Vice President for Advancement Charlie Phlegar had sought to create full-time roles for college and unit leadership. The move aligned well with President Tim Sands’s initiation of a 2022 review of universitywide communications and marketing activities and subsequent realignment.

Now, Vosburgh has reshaped the roles of several members of her leadership team, also effective Feb. 27, to better serve the division and the university:

  • Dawn Jefferies, as senior producer for strategic initiatives, will work with university leadership to elevate signature initiatives through video storytelling, interviews, and more, building upon her previous role as director of visual content strategy. 

  • Michael Stowe, as senior director and executive editor, will supervise the division’s teams for video and photography; writing and editing; VTx, Daily Email, and social media; and media relations. Stowe previously held a media relations role and a colleges and units role. 

  • Jesse Tuel, as senior director for units, will be dedicated to supporting units in a capacity similar to Barlow’s role with colleges. Tuel previously held an editorial role and a colleges and units role.  

Stemming from the 2022 review, Sands and Phlegar charged Vosburgh with developing a five-year communications and marketing plan for the university and leading a steering committee to implement the review’s recommendations. Having delivered both the plan and the committee’s report to Sands and Phlegar, Vosburgh will continue working with them, as well as communications and marketing professionals across the division, to align communications and marketing activities across campus.

“With this alignment, Communications and Marketing is positioned to move forward to support the campus community and our shared university, college, and unit priorities,” Vosburgh said.

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