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Molly Polk Coming to University as VP for Marketing and Communication


Posted 07/25/2017
Submitted by Mildred McNeill
Category: Campus Announcements

University President Gregory S. Woodward issued the following announcement to faculty and staff on July 13, 2017.

University of Hartford President Gregory Woodward has announced the appointment of Molly Polk as vice president for marketing and communication, effective August 2017.

Polk will join UHart from Carthage College, where, as vice president for communications since 2013, she is responsible for the development, implementation, and evaluation of the strategic marketing and branding of the college. She has overseen the execution of all aspects of recruitment marketing, advancement and athletic communications, media relations, social media, advertising, multimedia and digital strategy, and editorial and creative services.

While at Carthage College, she led a successful rebranding effort that resulted in a new logo and visual identity, a core messaging strategy, and an award-winning institutional website. She developed the first strategic advertising campaign and marketing report, a comprehensive crisis communication plan, and launched a refreshed athletic identity. She reorganized the talented staff of the Office of Communications into a more effective team, dedicated to providing support and strategic advisement to the broader college community.

“Molly Polk is exactly the right person to take on this new role and to lead this division at UHart. Her work over the past decade has been nationally recognized, while she has created world-class operations and products at her previous institutions,” said Woodward.

“The appointment of a vice president for marketing and communication will build upon our current team’s accomplishments, talents, and good work. The creation of a new Cabinet level position also recognizes the enhanced relevance and importance of marketing and communication in the higher education landscape today. I look forward to working with Molly, Mildred McNeill, and the entire office of marketing and communication in continuing to elevate the impact and importance of our marketing practices and to broadly communicate the many inspiring UHart stories in powerful ways.” 

Polk began her career in hospitality, an industry she credits for her focus on providing high standards of customer service on campus. “I am honored to be joining the vibrant community at the University of Hartford during such an exciting time of momentum and opportunity,” said Polk. “I look forward to working with the president’s leadership team, the talented marketing and communication staff, and the entire campus community as we continue to strengthen our brand and raise awareness by creatively telling the UHart story across platforms and audiences.”

She previously worked in marketing communications for Park Hyatt Hotels and the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau. In these roles, she oversaw strategic communications efforts in the areas of advertising, asset management, partnerships, brand awareness, media relations, and market research. Prior to joining Carthage, she was the Director of Client Marketing Services at Ithaca College, where she managed the development and execution of marketing strategies for five academic schools, athletic communications, and administrative units across campus.

Polk is active in higher education circles, presenting at national conferences including the American Marketing Association’s Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education and the District V Conference for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Her team has been recognized with numerous honors over the last several years, including top industry awards for web and print communications.

Polk holds a BA in sociology from Niagara University and a MA in strategic communication from Villanova University. Originally from upstate New York and an active member of her local community, she looks forward to exploring West Hartford and the region with her husband, Ryan, and their twin daughters.

Please join us in welcoming Molly and her family to our community.