A longtime leader in USA’s Public Relations program has been named interim director of public relations, Acting President Dr. John W. Smith has announced.
Bob Lowry, senior associate director for USA hospital marketing and public relations, has been named interim director of public relations. Lowry will work alongside longtime USA Public Relations Director Keith Ayers to provide continuity on key objectives prior to Ayers’ retirement on Sept. 30 after more than 30 years of service to Alabama higher education. Lowry will continue to serve in the interim role pending the completion of USA’s presidential search and the hiring of a permanent director of public relations. Lowry will work out of the central Public Relations Office in room 250 of the Administration Building.
Jennifer Ekman, associate director of public relations, has assumed Lowry’s duties in the hospitals during this interim period, in addition to maintaining duties in the central Public Relations Office.
A graduate of the University of Tennessee who holds a master’s in communications from USA, Lowry has served the USA Public Relations program for 22 years, including directing USA hospital marketing and public relations for the past decade. He previously served 13 years as a television journalist, and was an anchor at WKRG-5 in Mobile.
A graduate of The Catholic University of America with a master’s in public administration from USA, Ekman has served USA’s Public Relations Office for 10 years, after working as a journalist for the Press-Register and the Charlottesville Business Journal.
USA’s director of public relations reports to the University President and is responsible for the institution’s internal and external public relations, marketing, and communications efforts with all key constituencies for all mission areas. The director is responsible for news media relations, advertising, execution of Board of Trustees meetings, emergency and crisis communication, USA Publications, Web Services, and other essential communication functions.