In November 2011, Melanie Cannon stepped into her role at the College of Nursing as assistant director of marketing and publications in the college’s Center for Academic Technologies and Educational Resources (CATER).
CATER, as it’s best known around the college, is made up of a crackerjack team of information technology (IT) and multi-media experts (Cannon among them) who provide IT, communications and graphic design support to the college’s faculty, staff, administration and students.
What are your job responsibilities?
"I manage internal and external communications, develop and implement marketing strategies, provide event support, design and maintain websites and digital signs, update social media websites and provide photography, graphic design and video production services. CATER itself has a unique structure, as it combines both IT and marketing in one unit. This collaborative approach enables us to develop innovative, technology-based solutions to help enhance the college's marketing efforts and to facilitate the success of our faculty, staff and students. For example, we recently created a "Smart Recruitment Booth" that utilized several iPads as self-serve kiosks. This enabled us to create electronic-based recruitment materials that can be easily tailored to reach specific target audiences and eliminated the need for costly print-based materials that become quickly outdated. The iPads were also linked wirelessly to a MacBook Pro server in order to build a database of prospective candidate contact information and areas of interest."
When did you come to UC and how did your employment progress over those years?
"I began my career at UC in January 2005 as a graphic designer in the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences' Office of Marketing & Communications. Over the years, I was promoted to senior graphic designer and eventually managed the office as the marketing and promotions coordinator."
What would you tell a new employee about what it means to work for an Academic Health Center?
"The Academic Health Center is an exciting community to work in because it not only includes the colleges, but also the hospital partners and affiliates. The world of health care is constantly evolving and the innovative education and research taking place is truly amazing. One of the many things I enjoy about my position is promoting the numerous achievements of the faculty, staff and students in the College of Nursing."
What makes your role different than in other departments?
"I have a creative role that serves as the image and voice of the college. I am involved with the production of the college's publications, advertisements, websites, videos and more, to ensure that its brand and message are consistent and effectively communicated to mass audiences."
Have you had a mentor here, and if so who and what did they teach you?
"While I was working full time as a senior graphic designer in the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences, I enrolled part time in the Master of Science in Marketing program in the College of Business. Professor Andrea Dixon, PhD, was a great mentor during my capstone and really challenged me to take my project to the next level. It was a very exciting moment for me when my capstone client implemented my recommendations and rebranded their organization with my designs. Dixon also took a genuine interest in me and nominated me to attend the Greater Cincinnati Network of Executive Women's semi-annual networking event. As a first-generation student, I was always greatly appreciative of her support."
What do you like to do in your spare time?
"I do some freelance work for nonprofits during my spare time. When I'm not sitting at a computer, I'm usually out running or reconnecting with my fine arts side and drawing or sculpting. I also enjoy traveling and try to go on an international trip every year."