SARASOTA, Fla. (Jan. 11, 2017) – USF Sarasota-Manatee Regional Chancellor Dr. Karen Holbrook has named Shawn Ahearn as the new director of communications and marketing at USFSM.
Dr. Holbrook announced her decision to staff and faculty on Wednesday after the recommendation of a search committee and several rounds of interviews with Ahearn. His first day is Feb. 5.
“After speaking with Shawn and other representatives of the University of Pittsburgh, it quickly became apparent to me that he was the right person for the job,” Dr. Holbrook said. “He displayed the talent, commitment and passion necessary to move our communications and marketing team forward, and he has an extensive and proven track record. He’s a great fit for us.”
While at Pitt, Ahearn oversaw a comprehensive multimedia marketing communications operation that provided a wide range of services for 12 student affairs departments, including development of marketing strategies and promotional materials for the many programs and services within the division to support student success.
“During the search process, I learned that USFSM is clearly a university on the rise,” Ahearn said. “It’s a place that already is making such a positive impact in the lives of students, and the programs and services offered are based on meeting the needs of the community.
“I was impressed with the commitment to student success, the vision of the leadership team and the quality of the faculty and staff,” he said. “I look forward to working with the campus community to achieve ambitious goals and continue to enhance the quality of life in the region.”
Prior to his service in student affairs, Ahearn worked as a communications manager in Pitt’s Office of Public Affairs for more than five years, as public relations director for 84 Lumber Co. for two years, and as a college sports information director for 12 years.
A native of Pennsylvania, Ahearn earned a bachelor’s degree in communications at Clarion University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree in public policy and management at Pitt.
Ahearn and his wife, Karen, are in the process of moving to Southwest Florida. They have family residing in Bradenton and Palmetto.
“It’s been an honor to work at the University of Pittsburgh, and although it’s difficult to say goodbye to my many friends and colleagues at Pitt, I am really excited about the opportunity to join the team at USF Sarasota-Manatee,” Ahearn said. “I look forward to getting started there.”