Rita Farlow has been named Roanoke College’s new vice president for marketing and communications, according to a statement from the college on Monday. Farlow will join the college’s senior leadership team on March 1 and report to President Frank Shushok Jr.
Farlow, who is currently the associate vice president for marketing and strategic communications at St. Petersburg College, was selected for the position after a comprehensive national search, the college said. As leader of the marketing and communications team at Roanoke, and the senior brand ambassador for the college, Farlow will oversee a strategic marketing and communications plan and support a variety of essential functions to help advance Roanoke’s goals, including those related to fundraising, enrollment management and growing the college’s reputation.
“During the selection process, Rita’s authentic and relational leadership acumen stood out,” Shushok said. “She combines a people-first orientation with a command of cutting-edge technology, especially the application of digital platforms to strengthen enrollment and enhance our connection with stakeholders. I am so pleased to welcome Rita and her talent to our senior leadership team.”
Farlow holds a B.A. in English from Virginia Tech and an M.A. in mass communications from the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg. Following a 14-year career as a journalist with the Tampa Bay Times, she entered the education field as a communications coordinator for Pinellas County Schools in Largo, Florida. In 2014, Farlow went to work for St. Petersburg College, a public school that serves more than 35,000 students across 11 campuses in West Central Florida. At St. Petersburg, she has served in multiple roles with increasing responsibility within marketing and strategic communications.
As a first-generation college student, Farlow said, she is driven to help students gain wider access to higher education. She looks forward to returning to Southwest Virginia and using her expertise to support the Roanoke College community and help elevate Roanoke’s distinctiveness.
“It’s clear to me that the faculty, staff and leadership at Roanoke College are committed to a collective vision of preparing students for fulfilling careers and meaningful lives,” Farlow said. “I am deeply honored to join a collaborative team that is passionate about the institution. I look forward to working with college stakeholders to harness the power of Roanoke’s story to further the College’s mission, elevate its reputation and advance engagement.”
-The Salem Times-Register