3-8-2013

Contact: Gayle Saunders, 614-292-5962

Melinda Church to Lead Ohio State University Communications

Responsible for expanding the reach of The Ohio State University brand

The Ohio State University announced today that Melinda Church has been selected to lead the Office of University Communications, reporting directly to Michael Eicher, senior vice president for advancement and president of The Ohio State University Foundation. Church, who has led numerous communications initiatives at Ohio State, replaces Tom Katzenmeyer. In January, Katzenmeyer announced his acceptance of the position as president of the Greater Columbus Arts Council.

Church has more than 25 years of experience leading a broad range of communications efforts. She began her tenure as a Buckeye in 2007. Before joining university communications, she served as executive officer to President Gee with oversight responsibilities for the Office of the President, the Office of Commencement and Special Events, the university residence and executive communications. In her new role, Church is responsible for leading the university’s efforts to continue building Ohio State’s brand and reputation with local, state and national audiences.

Eicher acknowledged Church's leadership and accomplishments, along with her strategic direction to help drive the communications needs of one of the nation's top-20 public universities.

"Melinda has provided ongoing input and leadership in core university communications matters since the university started its advancement journey," said Eicher. "Anyone who has worked with her knows that this is a natural progression of the extraordinary leadership she has provided since she joined Ohio State. She will continue to play an integral role in our advancement efforts as we move forward with a focus on organization, strategy and culture," he continued.

Church joined university communications in January 2012 and played a key role in defining the university's communications efforts as part of the advancement model, combining the staff and programs of the university's central functions of media and public relations, marketing, interactive media, internal communications, WOSU public media, executive communications, alumni and foundation communications. In addition, Church led university communications' newly announced reorganization, designed to increase broad awareness of the institution's excellence.

"This is a transformative moment at Ohio State, and there are an infinite number of remarkable stories to tell about the university's innovation and excellence," said Church. "I am grateful for the opportunity to lead university communications and driven by an endless supply of inspiration in the university's remarkable faculty, staff, students, and alumni."

Church’s accomplishments include providing direction on the university's new visual identity, maximizing opportunities for national recognition such as President Gee's leadership of the American Council on Education (ACE) National Commission on Higher Education Attainment, increasing the use of social media to extend the reach of positive stories, developing strategic communications plans for senior leaders, and managing communications for significant university initiatives including Ohio State’s innovative financial strategies.

The communications strategist has worked for several other colleges and universities, including the University of Virginia, where she served for several years as assistant to the president and chief communications advisor. Prior to her work in higher education, Church was managing editor of Indiana Business Magazine.

Church holds a master's degree in journalism from Indiana University and a bachelor’s degree in English (creative writing) from the University of Washington.

About The Ohio State University

Founded in 1870, The Ohio State University is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 56,000 in Columbus), the Wexner Medical Center, 14 colleges, 80 centers, and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences, and the professions.