Laura H. Jack is vice president for communications and acting chief diversity officer at Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y. At Colgate, Jack leads all internal and external communications efforts to steward Colgate’s reputation and identity; build awareness of the University, the excellence of its faculty, and its strong academic programs; and support the University’s core mission, goals, and priorities.
Prior to arriving at Colgate, Jack was vice president at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she oversaw all fundraising, alumni relations, communications, and university events operations.
Outside of higher education, Jack spent nearly 10 years managing marketing and advertising initiatives and multimillion-dollar campaigns with international marketing and advertising firms, such as JCDecaux and Ogilvy & Mather.
Beyond Jack’s professional responsibilities, she is an active member in the community and serves on the board of directors for Community Memorial Hospital and A Better Chance Clinton. Jack earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Pace University, a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Science in Education from Baruch College. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Higher Education at Syracuse University.
What you’ll learn about in this episode:
- How Laura found her way to the world of #HigherEd marketing, and why she chose to take a “backward step” from her job in the corporate world to follow her passion
- How the field of higher education communications has evolved over the decades, and how Laura bridges the gap between her two roles at Colgate University
- How the outbreak of the global pandemic accelerated Colgate’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) plan
- Why DEI work touches everything the institution does, and how disparities in access to vaccines has impacted the institution’s students
- How Colgate University addressed the challenge of bringing students back to campus in a safe and conscientious way
- Why clear, strong and frequent communication has been crucial for navigating the challenges of the global pandemic
- What key lessons Laura and her team at Colgate learned through the challenges and experiences of the pandemic and lockdown
- How Colgate’s marketing during the pandemic highlighted the institution’s COVID response and shifted toward more digital, remote marketing
- What positives Laura has been able to take away from her team’s experiences through the pandemic thanks to the addition of new technologies
- Why how you engage with your team and colleagues matters, and why it is important to acknowledge differences in how people function and communicate