As UCA continues to welcome back students, plans are set to welcome new Director of Media Relations Amanda Hoelzeman, who began her employment Sept. 17.
Hoelzeman, a UCA alumna, earned her bachelor’s degree in creative writing with a minor in linguistics in 2005. She is the former communications director for nonprofit Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, and the former editor of Little Rock Soirée.
“We were really looking for someone who has strong writing skills, and someone who has a passion for the university as well,” Chief of Staff Kelley Erstine said. “[Amanda] shared with the search committee that she’s always had a desire to come and work for the university.”
Hoelzeman replaced former media relations director Christina Muñoz Madsen who took office as the associate vice president of communications, public relations and marketing in 2014.
There was a total of 51 applicants, which were narrowed down to seven finalists by the search committee. From there, two applicants were recommended for the job, and ultimately, Hoelzeman was chosen.
“My professional background is in publishing and strategic communications,” Hoelzeman said. “When I learned about the Director of Media Relations position, I knew it was the perfect fit for me.”
The position includes duties such as helping produce the president’s news releases, answering inquiries from outside media and being in close collaboration with the Creative Services Department.
“Our [faculty]and staff, along with our students, all share in the storytelling and understanding of the UCA story to be learned on campus, [by]the alumni, the city of Conway and anyone with an interest in the university,” Erstine said.
Hoelzeman said she hopes to accomplish her mission through different methods such as building new relationships on campus, improving fundraising efforts and increasing positive UCA press.
“I want to see that positive press continues to support student enrollment. First-time undergraduate enrollment at UCA just surpassed 2,000 students for the first time since 2015,” Hoelzeman said. “I want that number to continue to rise, and this position plays a big supportive role in those efforts.”
As for returning to her alma mater, Hoezleman is excited about helping provide the same kind of career and success opportunities that UCA gave her.
“My years as an undergraduate at UCA were life-changing. If I can play even a small role in giving today’s students what the university gave to me, I would consider it an honor.”
Photo by Lauren Swaim