Stephen Whyte, beloved professor and former PR emphasis coordinator, was named associate vice president of university marketing and communication May 1.
This important position could not have gone to a more capable person than Whyte. He has over 15 years of experience in public relations and has worked around the country and world. He’s been with UVU for over eight years now and has made incredible changes to the university.
Whyte entered the PR program at a time when it lacked a vision, said Janet Colvin, chair of the communication department.
“I think [Whyte’s] vision was that we were going to become a nationally recognized program and then students would be able to get into internships and jobs,” Colvin said.
He took that vision to task and began garnering national recognition for the department. He won several PRSSA awards like National Advisor of the Year, 2013 Outstanding Chapter of the Year and hosted two regional conferences.
“All of those things have been very strategic on Stephen’s part as to where he saw PR students needing to be in order to get them jobs and the attention that they needed,” Colvin said. “Having him be the emphasis coordinator has allowed his vision to kind of drive everything else.”
Whyte is also known around the university for his ability to connect with students. One look at his Rate My Professor page gives a sense of how he has affected them. He has over 110 ratings and a 92 percent in the “would take again” category. There is maybe one negative rating in the sea of positive ones.
He is bringing his passion for helping students and the university to the position of VP of university marketing and communication by increasing the visibility of UVU’s programs. He plans on using a variety of tools like social media, video and writing to tell UVU’s story to engage with key demographics, Whyte said.
“This is such an exciting time in the history of UVU when the university is consistently reaching historic milestones in a variety of different areas all across campus,” Whyte said. “I’m really excited to be a part of the team here to be able to tell those stories; to show, in greater light, the wonderful things that are taking place amongst the student body.”
Cameron Martin, vice president of university relations, has complete confidence in Whyte to accomplish these goals.
“It’s great to have him on staff,” Martin said. “Hiring Stephen is like hiring five people.”
According to Martin, Whyte will help shift the university toward a more proactive and significant brand awareness that will benefit students by opening doors to help them get internships and jobs. Employers, understanding what the UVU brand represents, will know they are getting students who are prepared for the workforce and Whyte will play a central role in accomplishing this objective, Martin said.
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