Centre College names new director of communications
March 17, 2011
Centre College announces the appointment of Michael P. Strysick as director of communications. Strysick will succeed Mike Norris, who has worked in the College’s Communications Office for almost 31 years and indicated his plans for retirement in December.
Strysick was chosen from a field of more than 100 candidates generated by a national search.
“Michael brings a superb combination of training and experience to this position,” says Centre president John Roush. “His deep understanding of the workings of American higher education and his first-hand knowledge of both the academic and administrative sides will place him in good stead to continue and enhance the accomplishments of our communications operation in recent years.”
“I’ve long admired Centre College from a distance, particularly because of its strong international focus and dedication to personal education,” Strysick says. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to join this impressive and welcoming academic community, and I look forward to building on the outstanding work of Mike Norris and the communications team. Centre is surely one of the nation's outstanding liberal arts colleges, and I count it as a privilege to help tell its amazing story.”
Strysick's nearly 20 years of professional experience is split evenly between his work as a faculty member and administrator. He earned his Ph.D. in comparative literature at Binghamton University, SUNY, and shortly thereafter completed an NEH Summer Seminar at Yale University with the now late R.W.B. Lewis. He has taught English at Georgia Tech, campuses in the Kent State and University of Wisconsin systems, Davidson College and Wake Forest University, where he transitioned to administrative staff and began his career in communications.
More recently, Strysick served as executive director of college relations and associate vice president for institutional advancement at Austin College in Sherman, Texas. From his work in this position, he is very familiar with sister schools in both the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference and those featured in Loren Pope's influential book “Colleges That Change Lives.”
Immediately prior to his appointment at Centre, Strysick worked as a Strategic Partner with Patton McDowell & Associates, a Charlotte-based consultancy that provides philanthropic counsel and organizational strategy.
Over the course of his career, Strysick has had the opportunity to provide communications for a $600 million campaign at Wake Forest in addition to involvement in other fundraising efforts. At Austin, Strysick provided leadership for a branding effort and website redesign to strengthen the college's brand awareness, and he worked closely with admissions to implement new messaging in support of recruitment efforts. He also had oversight for the annual Austin College Posey Leadership Award and worked with advancement staff to organize campus, public and donor events for several of the recipients, including Muhammad Yunus, Greg Mortenson, Geoffrey Canada and Dr. Paul Farmer.
Strysick will be joined by his wife, Karen Roper, who lived in Lexington for six years while earning her Ph.D. in experimental psychology at the University of Kentucky, and their two young daughters, Claire (9) and Chloe (6).
He will begin work at the College on April 4th.