Dear Colleagues,

After a nationwide search, I am pleased to announce that Tracy Powell will join Drexel as senior vice president of University Marketing and Communications next month.

As the associate vice president of Marketing in the Office of Strategic Communications at Penn State, Tracy collaborated with key leaders to help brand and promote academic initiatives and position Penn State as a modern land-grant university focused on research, education and service. She led an award-winning team and provided counsel across 25 Commonwealth campuses including the online World Campus. She enhanced Penn State’s reputation through results-driven campaigns and modernized enrollment advertising.

Tracy helped to shape a number of initiatives aimed at fostering an internal environment of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. This included developing division-wide educational programs to reinforce awareness and connectivity with diverse student groups across campus; and creating guidelines for prioritizing diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in Penn State’s communications channels and initiatives. She also developed campaigns to showcase the educational and economic impact that the university has across the Commonwealth and beyond.

Prior to joining Penn State, Tracy served as vice president of Distribution Marketing at A+E Networks, where she led marketing efforts to increase availability and viewership of A+E’s top television brands, including A&E, History, Lifetime and FYI. Her career in cable television spans decades having led marketing and business development efforts at various networks, including Fox Family Channel - currently known as Freeform - in Los Angeles and Turner Broadcasting in Atlanta.

At Drexel, she will lead a new division that combines the former offices of University Communications; Marketing and Communications from Enrollment Management and Student Success; and Marketing from Drexel University Online. She will create the vision for and lead the implementation of a comprehensive marketing, communications and branding strategy that highlights Drexel’s academic programs, research, and cooperative education program, and advances the University locally, nationally and globally.

As we continue to implement our strategic plan, while also facing the challenges of the rapidly changing higher education landscape, having a strong communications and marketing leader is critical. I am very confident that Tracy will effectively lead this newly established division and help to continue to build and strengthen the University’s reputation and impact.

I would like to thank David Unruh, senior vice president for Institutional Advancement, for chairing the search, as well as the search committee and every colleague who put their time and effort into this process. I also want to thank Niki Gianakaris for her outstanding leadership as interim senior vice president.

Please join me in congratulating Tracy and welcoming her to Drexel.


John Fry

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