You may have seen Marlene Olson around the Middlesex Community College campus or at The Meriden Center with a microphone, camera, TV news crew, or even a megaphone. She’s the one with the pencil tucked behind her ear, using every opportunity she can to let the world know how great MxCC is as a place of higher learning.
After all, that is the whole reason she is on campus as the director of marketing and public relations. Each day she and her team tap into all forms of communication – including the robust MxCC web site, many types of social media, traditional print and broadcast media, along with phone, e-mail, and face-to-face meetings – to share the many positive messages the College has to offer. Her audiences are numerous – potential students, parents and influencers, faculty and staff, high school guidance counselors, potential employers, legislatures, and the larger community. Just about everyone and anyone!
Being a “communications leader” means being “multi-skilled” to get the job done. For Marlene, that includes strategizing, planning events, speaking to different groups, planning ad campaigns, writing countless types of reports and materials … and so much more. She even serves as producer for Middlesex Moments, a popular radio show that airs weekly on WMRD/WLIS.
Off campus, Marlene contributes to the community in many different ways. She was the College’s representative in an effort to help the City of Meriden achieve national “Playful City” USA status. She also was the co-liaison of the service project, Foundations of Excellence in the First Year (2006-2007), and is a founding member and presenter of the program, Connecting Kids 2 College (2007- 2009). She was the National Coordinator for the 2009 Paragon Awards for radio, e-marketing, and social media categories.
Marlene served as City Commissioner for the Middletown Commission on the Arts from 2005-2008, and was named vice-chair in 2008. She is a member of the American Association of University Women (was emcee of the 2005 regional dinner) and served on the 350th Anniversary Planning Committee for Middletown, Connecticut.
Prior to joining MxCC, Marlene worked as the interim executive director for the Connecticut Psychological Association based in East Hartford, Conn. While there she was responsible for all aspects of association operations including fund raising, special events, and member solicitations. Marlene also served for many years as an independent marketing and community relations consultant for various businesses and organizations, focusing on management, marketing, regulatory compliance, funding, and political representation.
She also was a state and federal nuclear regulatory compliance consultant for HMM Associates in Concord, Mass., helping Northeast Utilities with its planning, training, implementation, communication network development, and evacuation plans. Additionally, she served as executive director for STREMS, Inc. in Elmira, New York training program development, personnel management, financial planning, public relations, marketing, grant writing, and recruiting.
When not at MxCC, Marlene enjoys her family life and laughs when relaying how her daughter presented her with an Obsessive Mother Recognition Award, which was meant to recognize that her mom was obsessive about clean hair, brushing teeth, eating vegetables, and going to bed on time. Gardening and carpentry are two of Marlene’s favorite hobbies.
Marlene earned her master’s of arts degree in humanities from Wesleyan University, her bachelor’s of science degree in health care management and planning from the State University of New York (S.U.N.Y.) Empire State College, and her associate’s degree in economics, also from Empire State College.