At the heart of the West Virginia University Extension Service is a passion for the state and its people. That statement also holds true for Tara Curtis, the new director of communications and marketing for the University’s main outreach arm, bringing more than 20 years of public relations, communications and marketing experience to the unit.
Not only is she a Mountaineer through and through in regards to her work experience and academic career, but she’s also acutely aware of Extension’s mission as she spent part of her youth growing up in West Virginia 4-H programs.
According to Curtis, it’s a foundation that will serve her well as the University and Extension Service work tirelessly to improve the lives of all West Virginians.
“The work done through WVU Extension is vital to our state. Our educational programs, resources, outreach initiatives and research open doors to opportunity for our fellow West Virginians,” said Curtis. “I’m looking forward to working with the Extension team to showcase these amazing stories while connecting people to the wonderful things we offer.”
WVU Extension Service Dean and Director Steve Bonanno expressed that he was delighted with the hire, and knows full well the capabilities that Curtis brings to the WVU Extension Service.
“Tara is well respected in the WVU community for her professionalism and passion for the University’s mission,” said Bonanno. “But, what gives me the most confidence in her is the fact that she’s so active in numerous community and charitable organizations around town — that demonstrates a character that aligns with the core of what we’re all about.”
Curtis comes to the WVU Extension Service after serving as the director of communications and marketing for the WVU School of Nursing. Before that, she led communications for the WVU Alumni Association for more than 11 years.
She holds a bachelor’s in journalism and a master’s in communications from WVU and also has completed coursework in post-graduate programs in higher education leadership and digital marketing.
Curtis is actively engaged in several community and non-profit organizations. She serves on the Greater Morgantown Convention and Visitors Bureau board of directors, the advisory board of the Rosenbaum Family House and is a volunteer with United Way of Monongalia and Preston Counties. She is a 2007 graduate of Leadership West Virginia.
Connecting the people of West Virginia to the University’s resources and programs is the primary goal of WVU Extension Service and its 55 offices throughout the state. Local experts, like WVU Extension’s agents and specialists, work to help improve the lifestyles and well-being of youths, workforces, communities, farms and businesses through trusted research in the counties in which they serve.
To learn more about WVU Extension programs, visit extension.wvu.edu, or contact your local office of the WVU Extension Service.
Zane Lacko, WVU Extension Service