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Alumna Takes the Helm of Strategic Communications, Marketing at College

heather haskins

A 1998 SUNY Plattsburgh grad has returned to her alma mater as its new executive director of strategic communications and marketing.

Plattsburgh native Heather Haskins, who lived and worked in the Albany area for the past 17 years, was the successful candidate following a national search earlier this summer.

Haskins served as program administrator for the state Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence in Albany. Joining that agency in 2005, Haskins was responsible for coordinating agency communications and public relations, serving in various leadership and specialized project-management roles both internally and externally. She managed statewide projects and programs with local, state and national partner agencies, creating and branding all messaging around gender-based violence.

At SUNY Plattsburgh, Haskins will be responsible for leading a centralized communications and marketing team, providing overarching strategic guidance to related units across campus through the use of print, web, social media, video and other communication means. In addition, she will have oversight of internal and external communications, public and media relations, marketing and the college’s website. She will oversee a team of marketers, writers, designers, web and multimedia professionals.

Reporting to the president, Haskins will advise Enyedi and campus leaders and serve as the college spokesperson. She will also lead SUNY Plattsburgh’s communications responses in emergency and other high-concern situations.

“This job feels custom-made for me; it marries my love of communications with my decades of work in marketing, branding and consistent, coordinated messaging on various complex topics for local, state and national audiences and stakeholders,” Haskins said. “It also allows me to transition back into the world of education and academia. The ability to return to my hometown and alma mater and to serve the SUNY Plattsburgh and North Country community is an honor.”

Before joining the state domestic violence prevention office, Haskins taught writing and communications at Bryant and Stratton College in Albany and English at Seton Catholic High School in Plattsburgh. She holds a master of fine arts from Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass., and master of arts in English from Concordia in Montreal.

The college’s prior spokesperson, Ken Knelly, was promoted to chief of staff to President Enyedi earlier this year. Knelly served as executive director of marketing and communications from 2014 until moving to the Office of the President in 2017.

Haskins spoke highly of the role she’s been tasked with in “supporting President Enyedi’s forward-thinking vision by working with the college’s highly skilled and committed communications and marketing team.”

“SUNY Plattsburgh is truly an innovative , welcoming, progressive campus in the most beautiful part of New York state,”  Haskins said. “I look forward to supporting and messaging its many strengths in whatever ways possible so that others will have the same opportunities I’ve had to learn and live and grow on this campus.”

Haskins returns to the North Country “with my two dogs, Beckett and Gatsby, who are really human personalities in little dog bodies,” she said. “I am also once again surrounded by family and lifelong friends here, and I am thrilled to be close to them.”

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