Repositioning a College: Every Word and Image Counts


Every Word and Image Counts

SUNY Cobleskill is a unique institution. It is a pioneer in applied learning, and a premier college of agriculture and technology. But outside of some educational and professional circles, it was either unknown or thought of as one of those “tech sector” schools. My mission was to build national recognition of the college as the extraordinary place that it is through internal and external communications.

By uncovering and expressing the college’s newsworthy stories, I secured coverage by NPR, Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, and hundreds of print, web and broadcast outlets nationally. Through strategic rethinking of college’s image and voice, I established a fresh new direction for marketing and communications campaigns. The college web site was completely revamped and redesigned with cleaner architecture and navigation leading to greater engagement, and largely rewritten to translate “academic-speak” into effective messaging. To launch the new strategic plan, I created a campaign photographed in unretouched black and white to express the determination and commitment of the students. Working closely with strategic partners such as the Farmers’ Museum, I further projected the message that by cultivating innovation, SUNY Cobleskill and its graduates help feed the world.

“Designing the Future” Campaign

To celebrate the college’s commitment to its new strategic plan and herald a new beginning for the campus, I created a campaign focusing on the students who make SUNY Cobleskill what it is. The campaign included print, web, exhibit, campus graphics, application to the annual report and the college magazine. The first print component of the campaign received an excellent review by Paper Specs available here.

Annual Report / SUNY Cobleskill is available here.

College Magazine / SUNY Cobleskill

As Executive Editor of the college magazine, I develop themes, select and write or edit articles, and direct photography and design. I shifted focus of the magazine from being alumni-focused to express the entire college. Further, seeing the opportunity to dramatically expand readership and save the college money, I converted the magazine to a digital-forward format, available here.

Campus Inspiration and Heritage Graphic Campaign / SUNY Cobleskill

SUNY Cobleskill has a rich history of being a leader in both its programs and its commitment to applied learning. The college photo archives, combined with new photography, provided a wealth of images to portray SUNY Cobleskill’s story to current and prospective students, faculty, staff and visitors. Images are strategically placed in high-traffic locations throughout campus.

Cultivating Innovation to Feed the World / SUNY Cobleskill

Working in collaboration with the Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown, I conceived, designed, directed photography, and supervised production of an exhibit celebrating SUNY Cobleskill’s century of innovation.

Branding and Packaging / Cobleskill Farmstead Creamery / Institute for Rural Vitality

Team member to develop brand name, creative director for identity and package design.