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Robin Oliver - PRNEWS Top Women Awards Nominee

Robin Oliver receives AMA Marketer of the Year Award

Robin Oliver serves as the Vice President for Communications and Marketing at Ohio University, located in Athens, Ohio. She leads a group of highly talented professionals in communications and public relations, digital content and social media, photo and video, creative and design, media planning and buying, web design and development, and enterprise marketing strategy. The team is charged with elevating the marketing and branding of the institution and ultimately driving reputation in the marketplace.

Robin possesses more than 20 years of experience in marketing and communications in various industries, with former positions at Western Carolina University, Big Communications, and the Birmingham Post-Herald. She received the American Marketing Association’s Higher Education Marketer of the Year award in 2018.

She was named as Ohio University's first Vice President for University Communications and Marketing in July 2019, arriving to great expectations. In just under three years in this role, Robin has instituted momentous change at the University. To name a few accomplishments – Robin has developed and launched a new brand, centralized communications and marketing at the institution through a strategic reorganization, created and defined strategic university initiatives with other University leaders, and partnered with Diversity & Inclusion to implement a diversity brand and initiative promoting diversity and respect – all while navigating a global pandemic and a social justice movement. Throughout her tenure, the University Communications & Marketing department received dozens of awards in the higher education and marketing industries. 

Outside of work, Robin manages to find time for many hobbies, including owning and operating a Pygora goat farm with her family.

Recommendation by Former University President, Dr. M. Duane Nellis

"I am writing to lend my strong support for Robin Oliver’s nomination for the 2022 PRNEWS' Top Women Awards in the Changemaker category.


I served as Ohio University’s 21st President when Ms. Oliver was hired to serve as our University’s first-ever Vice President for Marketing and Communication. In my decision to hire Robin, her ability to impact positive change was the primary reason she was the standout candidate to fill this critical role on my cabinet. I have not once regretted this choice."


Read full recommendation letter


Key Accomplishments

Centralization of University Communications & Marketing Services

In the weeks following the COVID-19 pandemic, OHIO's President asked leaders to come forward with any and all solutions that could help rebalance a crashing budget picture. Robin responded with a revised realignment proposal for marketing and communications – cut most distributed staff in the academic colleges, advancement, and student affairs and build (and manage) a central unit with the talent and expertise to do it all. The solution not only would save the institution $1.3 million annually in salary costs but would also bolster resources in key focus areas including social media, web design and development, search engine optimization, and paid digital media. The benefits were obvious but such a “rip off the band-aid” approach was almost unheard of in higher education. Nonetheless, Robin was approved to move forward with the understanding that she would handle the HR logistics, the change management, and the internal communications needs associated.

When Robin arrived at the University in 2019, the decentralized University Communications & Marketing (UCM) department was comprised of a staff of 16. Through this major reorganization, she developed a comprehensive department of six teams with proven leaders and centralized communications and marketing services at the University, breaking down college-level and divisional-level silos. Through this change, she created a more comprehensive and streamlined workflow for marketing and communications at the University.

View UCM staff listing

University Strategic Initiatives Creation and Definition

With other University leaders, Robin created and defined strategic University initiatives. She serves as the chair for the committees to Elevate Marketing and Branding and to Catalyze Strategic Enrollment Strategy for Lifelong Learning

Forever OHIO Brand Development

Within her first months at Ohio University, Robin began work to develop a unifying brand message strategy. This complete overhaul of the University brand was informed by market research and stakeholder engagement.

This brand, Forever OHIO, reflects the reworked, authentic brand position for Ohio University – which resonates with prospective students, current students, alumni, and the University community alike:

Ohio University doesn’t simply deliver a degree. It offers an experience that becomes a part of who you are and what you’ll be forever.

Learn more about the Forever OHIO brand development in Robin's Ohio Today magazine article.

Amplifying the Forever OHIO Brand

Click any thumbnail to enlarge image and to activate image slideshow.

VISIBLE Diversity Brand & 'Make Respect Visible' Initiative Implementation

In partnership with the Division of Diversity & Inclusion, Robin worked to create and implement the VISIBLE brand, which is centered around uniting the University's work to build an inclusive community. VISIBLE is about shining a light on all of it – the good work, the hard truths, the differences we easily embrace and those that make us uncomfortable, the barriers, the opportunities, and most of all of the people who are or strive to be a part of our Bobcat community.

Robin was also involved in developing of the 'Make Respect Visible' initative that promotes diversity and respect, with expectations for engaging across differences.

Diversity is understanding made visible.
The harder we look the more becomes visible. The more we make visible the more we see.
Series of Make respect visible visuals

Leading Award-Winning Work

Recent awards for work produced under Robin's leadership include:

  • Grand Gold: Give Like Gary Annual Giving Campaign – CASE Awards, Circle of Excellence - Fundraising and Annual/Regular Giving Campaigns (2022)
  • Bronze: Forever OHIO Graffiti Wall Takeover – CASE Awards, Circle of Excellence - Design and Environmental Graphics (2022)
  • Silver: Forever OHIO – The Telly Awards, Regional TV - Editing (2022)
  • Silver: Forever OHIO – The Telly Awards, Regional TV - Recruitment (2022)
  • Bronze: Forever OHIO – The Telly Awards, Regional TV - Directing (2022)
  • Bronze: Forever OHIO – The Telly Awards, Regional TV - Videography/Cinematography (2022)
  • Bronze: Forever OHIO – The Telly Awards, Regional TV - Writing (2022)
  • Bronze: Forever OHIO – The Telly Awards, Regional TV - Schools/Colleges/Universities (2022)
  • #4 Overall: Ohio University social media presence – Rival IQ Higher Education Social Media Engagement Awards, Top Overall Higher Education Institutions on Social (2021)


  • Gold: Editorial photography of the School of Dance Performance "The Chronicles of the Fish Diaries" – University and College Designers Association Design Award, Editorial Photography (2021)
  • Silver: Forever OHIO – University and College Designers Association Design Award, Video in Social Media (2021)
  • Silver: Forever OHIO Graffiti Wall Takeover – University and College Designers Association Design Award, Integrated Marketing Campaign (2021)
  • Silver: OHIO Today  – University and College Designers Association Design Award, Illustration (2021) 
  • Award of Excellence: Portfolio including: The Chronicles of Fish Diaries, OHIO Today Ridges Map infographic, Forever OHIO Graffiti Wall Takeover, Forever OHIO social and digital ads, and a Diversity and Inclusion identity guide – University and College Designers Association Design Award, In-House Portfolio (2021)
  • #6 Overall: Ohio University social media presence – Rival IQ Higher Education Social Media Engagement Awards, Top Overall Higher Education Institutions on Social (2020)

A Woman of Many Talents and Hobbies

Robin is the Vice President for University Communications and Marketing by day — and also by day: A wife to a part-time dad and part-time potter, mother to a 12-year-old son, and a woman of many hobbies. She was recognized on International Women’s Day for leadership at the university while owning and operating a Pygora goat farm.


Read International Women's Day feature story 


Robin Oliver on her Pygora goat farm