We advance the mission of the university, as well as its reputation and identity as a leading academic and research institution.
Through strategic communications planning, media relations, branding, marketing, executive communications, and a wide range of digital media, we tell the stories of the university and its people.
Vice Chancellor for University Communications
Marie Williams, a marketing communications professional with more than 20 years of experience in the field, is Vice Chancellor for University Communications. Marie leads the team responsible for external and internal communications, media relations, marketing, brand strategy, social media, and web development.
Marie joined CU Denver from Saint Joseph’s University, where she served as Vice President for Marketing and Communications and led the university’s brand image, marketing and advertising initiatives, public relations, and internal communications. Earlier in her career, Marie served as a Senior Vice President at Edelman, a communications and marketing firm headquartered in New York City, and as a Senior Managing Director at RF|Binder.
She holds a BA in Communication from the University of Pennsylvania and has participated in several leading professional communications organizations.
Assistant Vice Chancellor, Marketing and Brand Strategy
Karen directs university marketing and brand development. She oversees implementation of initiatives, including strategy, branding, advertising, digital media, web strategy and content, and creative services.
After spending her formative years in Atlanta, Karen headed west and has called each of the Four Corners states home. She enjoys modern art and design, dystopian and sci-fi novels, snow sports and coastal destinations. Some of her favorite moments include boating on Marigot Bay, seeing the Pixies reunite at Coachella, hiking the Milford Track, and visiting many of London's finest pubs (and some that weren't quite so fine).
Karen earned a BS from Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA from Arizona State University.
Senior Communications Specialist, Enrollment Marketing
Dakota partners with Undergraduate Admissions to develop marketing campaigns, communication plans, and collateral to support the University’s enrollment and recruitment efforts. He leads content creation and strategy to attract prospective students to CU Denver through compelling writing and design.
A Nebraska native, Dakota graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2018 with a bachelor's degree in Advertising & Public Relations. Before joining CU Denver, Dakota spent three years on the marketing team at Roundup River Ranch, a Colorado-based nonprofit, where he focused on elevating the brand's reputation through inspired storytelling and graphic design.
Outside of the office, Dakota enjoys exploring the incredible hikes Colorado has to offer, listening to his personally curated Spotify playlists, and spending time with his Labrador puppy.
Senior Creative Director
With over 25 years of creative experience, Ron currently serves as Senior Creative Director for CU Denver providing hands-on management of the department’s overall brand and creative product. Leading an award-winning team of multi-faceted creative staff as well as freelance talent, his specialties include creative direction, branding and identity strategy, broadcast media, and concepting compelling content.
Discovering a newly found passion for higher ed brand building and marketing in 2015, he served as Creative Director at the University of Central Florida until 2021. A designer at heart, Ron began honing his experience at the branding consultancy, Push, back in 1996 where he played an integral role in the founding and building of one of Florida’s top agencies.
Ron has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Graphic Design from the University of Central Florida (’92). He frequently donates his design and marketing experience to support community projects and organizations and is an active AIGA Mentor. Ron enjoys hiking and mountain biking with his wife Susan, playing guitar and waiting for his three grown children to text him back.
Assistant Director of Marketing
Taylor supports the implementation of university marketing initiatives and communication strategies, projects, and events. In addition to wrangling timelines, projects, and deliverables, Taylor provides marketing support to CU Denver CityCenter. Originally from Seattle, Taylor traded in her rain boots for sunshine in 2006 and has been calling Denver home ever since. She received her bachelor's degree in journalism from Colorado State University and worked in both agency and in-house settings.
In her spare time, Taylor loves reading a good book, traveling to new places, and exploring Denver's culinary scene.
Social Media Coordinator
Grant is responsible for day-to-day management of social media properties, platforms, and plans maintained by University Communications, and additionally supports the digital recruitment and retention efforts of the Undergraduate Admissions office. His role focusses on the development, generation, and implementation of strategic content, specifically video editing, and coordinating with relevant individuals and units to support the university’s mission in digital and social spaces.
Grant is a Colorado native who grew up with the outdoors right in his backyard. After graduating from CU Boulder with a degree in media production, Grant now calls Denver his home, and in his free time he enjoys exploring the city, dancing, skiing, and traveling around the world with family and friends.
Campus News Specialist
Alex is responsible for finding and telling the stories of CU Denver’s people, programs, and research. She primarily oversees CU Denver News, the university’s e-newsletter and website. When she’s not pitching stories or writing on deadline, she’s tracking audience engagement and collaborating with her team members in University Communications.
Alex brings nearly four years of experience as a reporter at a community newspaper in south metro Denver, where she covered suburbia, mental health, and public education. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from CU Boulder and spent a stint of time in New York City before settling in Denver.
Alex was born in Boynton Beach, Florida and raised in Basalt. In her spare time, she enjoys catching up with friends over a good meal, jogging around Washington Park, and planning her next outdoor adventure.
Public Relations Manager
Sarah pitches media, writes announcements and content, and leverages the university’s digital content platforms to reach target audiences. She also assists with results reporting, leadership communications, and special projects.
Sarah served as PR specialist for CU South Denver, overseeing their strategic communications, media relations, and content marketing initiatives. She secured brand-enhancing earned media coverage in outlets including 9News, the DBJ, 5280 and more. She serves on the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce Membership Committee, PRSA’s Young Professional Committee.
Sarah was born in Alaska, has a cat named Puffin, and loves to practice kickboxing.
Kelly supports all marketing and communication strategies, projects, and events on behalf of the university. Ranging from marketing research to digital asset creation and management, she assists on a diverse array of projects and loves the thrill of always having something new and exciting on her plate.
Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, Kelly left palm trees behind when she attended Indiana University earning her BA in Media. She was a member of the Student Affairs marketing team during her time at IU, which is what inspired her to continue to do meaningful work in higher education. Outside of the office, you can find Kelly spending time outdoors with her 3-legged rescue, Joey, traveling, or reading a good book.
Senior eCommunications Specialist
Claire manages eCommunication initiatives for CU Denver, including email and event marketing. She provides support to users of the eComm program through onboarding, training, and continued education around best practices and strategic marketing.
Originally from Minnesota, Claire moved to Colorado in 2014 and has called the mountains home ever since. Before joining CU Denver, she spent four years on the marketing team at Accenture where she managed content creation and distribution via targeted email campaigns.
When she’s not working, you’ll find her enjoying the mountains on skis or snowshoes, playing Settlers of Catan, cheering on the Minnesota Timberwolves (#alleyesnorth), or taking excessive photos of her dog, Alpine, and cat, Elbert. Claire is a proud alum of Denison University where she played on the soccer team and got her bachelor’s degree in English, Spanish, and communication.
Social Media Manager
Ali manages the day-to-day oversight of the official university social media properties. She focuses on telling the university's story through creative means, using digital media and online platforms.
She is an Iowa native who received her bachelor's degrees in journalism and apparel merchandising from Iowa State University, with a semester at the University of the Arts London College of Fashion. She previously spent time at Meredith Media Corporation and two public relations firms. In her spare time, she can be found taking advantage of the beautiful outdoors or exploring the lively city.
Business Operations Manager
Ali supports the University Communications team with business strategy, operations, and logistics. She specializes in project management, process improvement and implements scrum and agile principles while working in teams. She recently completed her MS in Business Management at CU Denver in May 2020. Ali values innovation, diversity, creativity and entrepreneurship in business and in the day to day.
Ali received her undergraduate degrees from CU Boulder in International Relations and Spanish Literature. She was born in Los Angeles but grew up in Colorado. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, dancing salsa and samba, live music, reading, hiking with her pup, Marlo and traveling the world.
Assistant Director, Enrollment Marketing & Communications
Senior Brand and Design Specialist
Laura supports CU Denver's brand including brand standards, their application throughout the university, and designing for the university. From print to digital, she works closely with colleges and offices throughout the campus.
Laura brings nearly 8 years of agency experience as a graphic designer/art director working with clients such as General Mills, Target, Clorox, United Healthcare, and Burt’s Bees. She received her BFA in Graphic Design from Iowa State University and spent a semester studying in Rome before graduating.
An Iowa native, Laura grew up in the country just outside of Lake Mills in north-central Iowa. Her family farmed corn and soybeans, and as of more recently, raising snapping turtles (yep, you read it right). In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, reading, baking, playing cribbage, and planning travel. Laura and her husband, Matt, love to camp and hike with their rescue mutt, Murphy.
Alicita uncovers interesting facts about the university and turns them into compelling stories. She writes news and feature articles about CU Denver people, programs, and research.
An architecture and design aficionado, Alicita loves unusual cities, conceptual furniture, and abandoned places (she lived in a Colorado ghost town for 10 years). She now resides in Denver with her husband, daughter, two dogs, and two cats.
Alicita holds a BA in English Literature from Florida International University, an MFA in Creative Writing from New York University, and a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Denver.
Director of Executive Communications
Gordy leads executive communications for CU Denver Chancellor Michelle Marks, in addition to supporting her senior leadership team. He works to ensure that all executive efforts advance the university’s strategic plan and speak to CU Denver's priorities as an urban, public, research institution. He is also focused on growing Chancellor Marks' national platform as an innovative and inclusive higher education leader.
Gordy joined CU Denver from the University of Missouri (MU), where he was the lead speechwriter and executive communications specialist for the president. Prior to his work in communications, he was a faculty member in MU's English department and taught courses in creative writing, American literature, and composition. Originally from Texas, Gordy holds a BA from Texas A&M University and an MFA in fiction from Columbia University in the City of New York. He published his debut novel in August 2021.
Executive Communications Manager
Daniel leads the management and creation of Chancellor Marks' communications needs. From speeches to video production, Daniel helps with sharing the ambitious vision Chancellor Marks has for CU Denver. With support of the executive team, he also guides and implements the strategy for the Chancellor's social media needs in coordination with the rest of the social media team.
A Tennessee native and musician, you can find Daniel cheering on the Tennessee Vols or taking his Australian Sheperd, Oakley, out for a hike. He received his degree in Economics from Western Kentucky University and is excited to explore the trails, mountains, and rivers of Colorado with his fiancé, Carly.
Web Development Manager
Steve is the webmaster and developer behind the CU Denver News newsroom hub and e-newsletter. He also provides his web development expertise to all websites managed by University Communications.
Steve is a Denver native and proud CU Boulder alum. He joined University Communications in 2008 after spending eight years building websites for the Denver home-building community..
Oliver leads content strategy for University Communications with the goal of delivering the best possible content experience for all CU Denver audiences. He works to ensure alignment with broader content marketing objectives and strategic priorities.
Originally from New Mexico, Oliver worked in media in New York before moving to Colorado in 2015 to help launch Sling TV. Outside the office, he enjoys exploring new places and scouring familiar thrift shops for treasures.
Oliver earned his BA from Flagler College, with a year at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia.