Shirley Skidmore began her career as a television news reporter, producer, and anchor. Now director of marketing and communications at Marylhurst University near Portland, Oregon, she leads a team responsible for promotion and marketing of the university and its programs, services, and events. Working with the university president and other stakeholders, she has created messaging and outreach strategies and a brand platform to raise the educational reputation of Marylhurst across Oregon and nationwide.
Shirley previously served as assistant superintendent for communications and community outreach in Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, where she managed all internal and external communications efforts and served as a top advisor to Washington’s state school superintendent. She and her team created several award-winning collateral materials that supported school district communications with parents and other key publics.
Her prior professional posts include director of communications and outreach for the Chalkboard Project, customer communications manager for Clark Public Utilities, and senior account executive with a Portland public relations firm.
Shirley is an active member of the professional advisory boards of the WSU Honors College and the Murrow College of Communication (serving as chair of the latter in 2002-03), and the branding and messaging task force of the Portland City Club. She previously served on communications/marketing committees for WSU and WSU Vancouver and has been active in a number of professional communications and marketing organizations, presenting at numerous conferences and workshops on topics in public relations, communications, and marketing.
Shirley earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at WSU in communication in 1984 and 1989, respectively, and her bachelor’s degree in English in 2002.
“I owe my professional success to the amazing education I received at WSU and the strong mentoring of my professors,” Shirley said. “They taught me more than strong practical skills they taught me by example how important it is to work hard, keep learning, and, above all, live a life of integrity.”