Sherrie R. Whaley has been named director of communications at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, a two-state, three-campus school operated by Virginia Tech in Blacksburg and the University of Maryland at College Park.

In her new position, Whaley will be responsible for strategic communications, including internal and external communications, branding, media relations and marketing of programs. She will also manage the college’s Office of Public Relations and Communications.

Whaley comes to Virginia Tech from the University of Georgia, where she served as director of communications and marketing for the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications. She began her new position on Nov. 12.

“Animals have always been a passion of mine, so to be able to combine that passion with my career is a dream come true,” said Whaley. “I’m excited to join the veterinary college team and share the many good stories emanating from this premier facility where cutting-edge medical strategies are being developed and applied.”

The Tennessee native brings to the veterinary college expertise in public relations, communications, teaching, and research. She has worked as a daily newspaper reporter in Tennessee, a communications specialist for the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service, a freelance writer and photographer, an evaluation and academic program coordinator at Purdue University, and a faculty member at The Ohio State University.

In her most recent position at the University of Georgia, she served as college writer and photographer, managed the college website, edited an award-winning alumni magazine, oversaw social media communities, and advised a student organization that was named national Chapter of the Year in 2009 and 2012.

Whaley received her bachelor's degree in mass communications and English from East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tenn. She also holds two graduate degrees from The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio – a master's in journalism and a doctorate in Extension education.

She is a member of the International Association of Business Communicators and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. She has received national and regional CASE Awards for media relations and alumni magazines, as well as national awards for writing, photography, direct mail, and public relations campaigns. Her social media expertise was recognized in 2012 when she was named “Georgia’s Technology Tweet Champion” by the Technology Association of Georgia.

A native of Jonesborough, Tenn., Whaley is the owner of three dogs: a Golden Retriever, a silky terrier, and a cockapoo.

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