Sylvia Wright

Sylvia Wright

Awards

Pulitzer Prize, for San Jose Mercury News team coverage of Loma Prieta earthquake, 1990

Summary

I am a seasoned communications manager with a reputation for successful partnerships between my team and other essential stakeholders, both inside and outside my institution. • I plan ahead but adapt promptly to changed circumstances. • I am an energetic and positive collaborator. • I seek out and employ new communications practices, media and technologies. • I enjoy attempting the impossible.

Work History

Work History
Aug 1997 - Present

Senior public information representative

University of California, Davis

I promote the value of the University to the people of California and beyond through traditional and new media. In 12 years at UC Davis I have led from the ranks and the front as a respected, and respectful, professional.

• Pioneered News Service innovations that transformed our roles in student recruitment, campus marketing and development communications, including:

• helped script our first TV interview-format news program, “UC Davis Frontiers”;

• launched our multimedia Web projects, including the campus’ first news-feature video, first news-release video, first video of new chancellor Katehi, and first multimedia Spotlight with video and slide show; and

• issued news reports via social media, including one of the campus’s first Twitter feeds and the campus’s first blog-style online bulletins and photographs live from a news event.

• Managed highly successful communications programs for many complex, high-stakes public partnerships, including collaborations with Government & Community Relations, Development (in University Relations as well as decentralized campus units); Office of Research; and other campus units on issues from student recruitment and sexual-assault statistics to budgets and sustainability.

• Prepared UC Davis faculty members to speak on national stages (transportation futurist Daniel Sperling on TV's "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart"; Thomas Cahill at the Ground Zero Air Quality congressional investigation in New York City) and international stages (Martina McLoughlin at the World Trade Organization “battle in Seattle.”

• Made significant contributions to UC Davis’ reputation for credibility and transparency, by leading strategic communications planning in crises, from the first activist “Primate Freedom Tour” in 1999 to the recent crime-statistics revisions.

• Taught message development and interview skills to dozens of faculty, staff, students and administrators, including Chancellor Katehi.

• Improved technological currency in our unit, including serving as University Communications’ IT-support liaison since December.

Mar 2004 - Nov 2004

Interim News Service director

UC Davis

Supervised seven staffers (five senior public information representatives and two editors of Dateline UC Davis), including conducting their annual performance reviews. (Did not apply for permanent position.)

1995 - 1997

Associate editor

Consumer Reports on Health Newsletter

Planned and produced content for a research-based newsletter for older, educated, affluent subscribers.

1993 - 1997

Editor

The Medical Adviser, nationally syndicated newspaper column

Produced research-based advice column for United Features Syndicate that ran weekly in 200 U.S. newspapers.

1989 - 1995

Science & Medicine Editor

San Jose Mercury News

Managed five reporters writing for the paper's front page and weekly sci/med/health sections. Directed staff photographers and graphic designers on their work for those stories. Commissioned and edited freelance writers.

1984 - 1989

Features Copy Desk Chief

San Jose Mercury News

Managed nine copy editors producing newspaper feature sections (lifestyle, arts, travel, entertainment). Ensured top-tier layout, headlines, photo captions, grammar, punctuation and spelling.

1977 - 1983

Photographer, editor and reporter

The Tampa Tribune

Photographed news, features and sports events. Reported on police, courts, county government and higher education.

Education

Education
1994 - 1995

Knight Fellow (top competitive fellowship for science journalists)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1979

Bachelor of Arts

University of South Florida (Tampa)