University Communications Specialist – Lisha Dunlap

Stan T.Leave a Comment

Day in the life of
University Communications Specialist – Lisha Dunlap

Lisha Dunlap
University Communications Specialist
University of Advancing Technology (UAT)

My name is Lisha Dunlap, and I work at the University of Advancing Technology (UAT) in Tempe, AZ. We are a 100% STEM university, offering a large variety of tech degree programs both online and on campus. I work in Marketing, specializing in PR and Communications.

My Typical Day

My day starts by reading and responding to social comments across all of our channels. As a tech university, this can be pretty entertaining, from being accused of creating Skynet to more crazy GIFs than one would normally see in a month. I have the freedom to respond with humor, so I get to spend time making myself laugh… and hopefully our followers, too.

My favorite days include student events. I am also the school photographer, so I attend the events for photos, then edit and post to social. As a small university, we know many students by name. We get to interact and watch them achieve great things. I often follow up on their adventures with blogs where I get to highlight their successes.

In addition to responding to social, my overall job is to manage the reputation of the university. On paper, that seems like any other job, but it’s a lot more fun than that. I search for news and mentions about UAT, and find ways to tell the story of the school for those who are here now—and those who aren’t yet.

My goal is to show life on campus! I attend events, take photos, talk to students, and then find the best medium/outlet to share all that I uncover.

For example, I attend classes and lab projects, taking photos and videos to share the excitement of unique courses and campus events. And our students aren’t exactly the norm… as a 100% STEM university, the students are creators and innovators that do amazing things. From building drones to creating epic video games, there’s always an amazing story to tell. Our campus is also very small, so I actually get to know many of the students. For me, that’s good and bad, because when they move on after graduating, it’s like losing a kid—but we’re always so proud.

My position’s success is measured by how many positive media stories and mentions we receive. That can be difficult because it’s ultimately not in my control after I pitch to various sources, but then again, it makes each of them so much more exciting each time it happens. I get to be a writer, photographer, reporter, advocate, and storyteller, then see my work on display in various media—I love it.


The pros definitely relate to the size of the university. It’s great to have a small marketing team to strategize with and have fun with… today we’re all wearing really bad holiday shirts for no reason at all. We like to hear “what in the world is marketing doing today,” because then people see the fun, and our job is to show the kind of environment that students would want to be in. That can also be a con though, as it’s hard to be happy all the time.


When you work with a group of passionate people, you share the good and bad—and that can be difficult. But just like any good relationship, the positive times definitely outweigh the negative, and that’s what keeps me and the rest of the team coming back every day. We literally create our own fun, and it filters right down to the students to result in a job well done.

Advice to students interested in pursuing a career in Communications

If you are considering a career in Communications, you need to make sure that you are truly a versatile communicator. Great writing skills are essential, and that doesn’t mean just one style. You need to be able to write articles, media pitches, social posts, white papers, and blogs in the right style for each and at the drop of a hat, because everyone communicates in different ways and it’s your job to master them all. Also, you need to be comfortable talking to people on the phone and in person, because you are often the voice and face of a department or business. Being good with video and photography is a major bonus, too. Be smart, fun, and flexible, and make yourself into a complete storyteller, because if you look at what you’re communicating as a bigger picture that’s interesting and compelling, others will too.

Lisha Dunlap
University Communications Specialist
University of Advancing Technology (UAT)
My Typical Day Battling ice dams produces very long days in below-freezing temperatures, all across the northern states of the country, so we’re usual … Read More
My Responsibilities Creating an SEO strategy using best practices, and a roadmap based on resources available and the competitive advantages of the br … Read More
I currently work as a Child Protective Specialist (CPS) for the City of New York. What this means, is that I investigate cases/investigations for NYC. … Read More
A multi-national engineering firm
I am a professional practicing Structural Engineer. I have been working as a Structural Engineer for tier one consultancies for over 16 years. I curre … Read More
My name is Maryjane Duquette, RN, BSN, LNC. I am the Founder & CEO of MJD Legal Nurse Consulting. I became a legal nurse consultant after some fri … Read More
I head up design for all divisions. We design lifestyle product collections across a variety of styles – bags, accessories, stationery, 3D Pop Up Card … Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.