Gulf Coast names new communication officer

Courtesy Photo
Courtesy Photo

Jenny Tate, an alumna of The University of Southern Mississippi, will lead the Southern Miss Gulf Park branch of university communications on the Long Beach campus after being named communication officer.

As of Aug. 25, she replaced Shelia White in the position to oversee staff members in university communications in news and media relations, web and creative services, as well as coordinate all marketing, public relations and digital media efforts for the Gulf Park campus.

USM Chief Communication Officer Jim Coll said Tate is a good fit for the position because she understands public relations is all about establishing and enhancing relationships. He believes she will be an asset not only to the university, but to the community in which she is working.

“Jenny Tate was the most impressive candidate in this very important search,” said Casey Maugh, associate professor of communication studies at the Gulf Park Campus, in a press release. “Her experience, education and leadership abilities are a winning combination. The Gulf Park campus will certainly benefit from Jenny’s innovation and creativity as she helps us communicate how very special our campus is.”

She now serves as counsel for all staff and administrators at Gulf Park for various public relations matters and will coordinate crisis communication planning and response on the Gulf Park campus.

“The campus communication officer must be able to respond to media requests, provide guidance on web design, draft exciting social media posts and more—all on the same day,” Coll said. “Jenny’s broad experience ensures she will be able to do all of that successfully.”

She said that the best experience to take on this role came from her previous position as chief of marketing and development at the Mississippi Museum of Art where she was responsible for implementing strategic marketing and public relations initiatives, as well as overseeing new media, graphic design and other communications areas.

“The University of Southern Mississippi is doing great things, and as an alumna, I am pleased to be joining the staff as campus communication officer for the Gulf Park Campus,” Tate said. “I look forward to learning and growing with this campus.”

“I am also new to the Mississippi Gulf Coast, so I look forward to exploring the Coast in the coming months,” she said.

This is what Tate, of Blue Springs, Mississippi, said has also been her biggest challenge during the transition – getting used to the campus and finding her way around.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in communication at Mississippi College and a master’s degree in communications studies at Southern Miss.