John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education

Gardner Institute Names Kristie Pirkey, APR, Director of Marketing and Communications

The John N. Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education, a national non-profit focused on helping higher education institutions improve student learning, persistence and completion, is pleased to announce the appointment of Kristie Pirkey, APR to the position of Director of Marketing and Communications. Selected after a national search, Ms. Pirkey began her work on January 12, 2015.

“Kristie is a seasoned marketing and communications professional who will greatly enhance the manner in which we disseminate information to former, current and new partners about the most effective ways to boost student learning, retention and completion,” said Drew Koch, the Gardner Institute’s Executive Vice President. “We are thrilled to have her as a part of our team.”

“At the Gardner Institute, we constantly strive to inform institutions about the very best in student success practices,” added John N. Gardner, President of the Gardner Institute. “With the support and expertise of Kristie Pirkey in this newly established role, we know that we will be able to enhance this effort and add to our momentum as a national student success non-profit organization.”

A 15-year non-profit professional specializing in marketing and corporate communications, Pirkey most recently served as Association Director of Public Relations and Communications for the YMCA of San Diego County. At the Y, she was responsible for strategic direction and implementation of the charitable non-profit Association’s marketing, public relations and communications program including media relations, branch support and countywide events.

Prior to her work with the Y and for more than seven years, she served as Director of Corporate Communications with the American Council on Exercise (ACE), an accredited, national non-profit organization dedicated to the education, training and certification of more than 45,000 fitness professionals.

“I am excited to join the John N. Gardner Institute, collaborate with higher education institutions and expand our collective impact,” Pirkey said. “I am passionate about serving mission driven organizations and honored for the opportunity to focus our efforts and build on the incredible reputation of the Institute.”

A native of California, Ms. Pirkey earned a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from Menlo College in Atherton, CA and her accreditation in Public Relations (APR) from the Public Relations Society of America.

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