Jackson brings journalism experience to the College

Features

Ruth Jackson

Last month, President David A. Greene announced Ruth Jackson’s new position as Vice President of Communications. Jackson began working at the College in 2004, and prior to her current position, she held four positions within the Communications department.

When interviewed, Jackson noted that when she was first hired, she only expected to stay for three to five years, since at that point she had not been in one job for more than two years. “But what I found when I got here surprised me. I knew I was entering an intellectual community that would provide me with the kind of lifelong learning I sought. But what I didn’t anticipate was the strong sense of community,’ Jackson said in an email correspondence.

“It pervades the place, and the connections I have made, including with students, have fueled me for more than a decade. The work I have done with students, especially teaching them the reporting, writing and editing techniques of great journalism, has been very rewarding,” she said.

Over the past decade, Jackson has learned the ins and outs of the College. When asked how her experiences would play into her work as the new Vice President for Communications, she responded, “I know this place really well. I know the faculty and have a great sense of the transformational experiences that happen in and out of the classroom because of the relationships students have with them. I know the students, having worked with them for many years, having developed friendships with many that have extended long after they graduated. I know the staff and our aspirations for the College and what may need to change to bring some aspirations to fruition. This is an incredible advantage for me and will allow the communications team to continue, without pause, the transformative work it has been doing.”

However, a combination of unexpected events originally brought Jackson to Colby. After graduating college, she thought she wanted to enter the legal field, but she ended up working at Buckingham Browne & Nichols School, where she realized she ultimately wanted to work in an educational environment. She then attended Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism “That experience was transformational in so many ways…I was challenged to go into communities I may not otherwise have gotten to know, to make connections, talk with people, step out of my comfort zone,” she said.

“I also was at Columbia when 9/11 happened, so I had the experience of being downtown on that day and struggling in the aftermath. I mention it because one never knows what life has in store and ultimately experiencing that played a role in me rethinking my intention to live in New York City. I am from Maine originally, and when I found an amazing job opportunity in my home state, I jumped at it. I graduated from Columbia in May and moved to Maine that November,” Jackson added. After a stint at The Maine Times, Jackson began working at Colby, using her journalism experience to write for Colby Magazine.

When asked about the goals she wants to achieve in this new position, Jackson discussed the intellectual growth and connections that she witnesses everyday on campus. She believes that Colby can better the way in which it communicates and markets those strengths. “We who live and breathe Colby know that this place is truly intellectual and life changing. But not everyone can see that, and it is my responsibility to make sure that people outside of this community are able to see and understand what Colby offers young people who want a truly challenging and rewarding college experience. That’s the big, overarching piece. We do that work in all kinds of ways, and there are always ways to get better at sharing our stories.”

Additionally, she wants to focus on internal communications and strengthening the community. “I want to help ensure that within this community people are able to communicate effectively—whether publicizing events, engaging in dialogue around important issues, or beyond.”

Besides her work for the Communications department, Jackson will also continue to be a host for international students and stay in touch with College alumni. “The work I do at Colby is incredibly important and rewarding. But beyond that, the people I have met through Colby have changed my life, and not everyone can say that about their job.”

Leave a Reply