Wells brings 22 years of marketing, public relations and communications experience to the position. She begins her new duties March 1, following the recent reorganization of the unit formerly known as University Communications and Marketing.
In her new role leading the renamed University Marketing department, Wells will be responsible for the overall, research-based brand management and marketing strategy for Southeast. She will lead a team of web communications, digital image, graphic design and internet marketing professionals who work with the University community to develop branding and marketing solutions to meet department and University-wide goals.
Since 2008, Wells has led a team responsible for marketing, design, photography, videography and social media for the University, Southeast Athletics and the Holland School for Visual and Performing Arts. She also has served as editor and creative director of Southeast magazine, magazine.semo.edu and the iAMSoutheast alumni newsletter. She also has managed email marketing for the Southeast Missouri University Foundation and Alumni Association, created multi-media campaigns for campus offices and departments, and assisted in developing an integrated marketing and brand strategy for the University. She also has served as a member of the Power of Women Committee and the TEDx Team.
“The end result of the marketing we do has the power to change people’s lives through education and, hopefully, families, communities and the world,” Wells said.
She cited the potential and desire of the University Marketing team, saying it “is poised to do great things, and that is an effort that I very much want to lead and champion.”
Dr. Debbie Below, vice president for enrollment management and student success, said, “With her knowledge and success in promoting Southeast through a variety of marketing platforms, I am confident in our ability to share who we are and where we are going as one of the most comprehensive and dynamic universities in the Midwest. Tonya is a hardworking, talented marketing professional and someone who is widely respected in the industry.”
Wells has garnered 44 American Advertising Awards and two Awards for Communications Excellence for Chambers of Commerce.
She has been active in a number of civic organizations, having served on the Advertising & Marketing Professionals (AAF) Board of Directors and chair of both its American Advertising Awards Committee and University Relations Committee. She is a member of the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce and has been active in its Women’s Network. She also has chaired the Advocacy Committee of the Zonta Club of Cape Girardeau.
Prior to her tenure at Southeast, Wells served as community relations specialist with the Missouri Department of Transportation and communications director for the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce.
Wells holds a Master of Arts in English from Southeast and a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Communication from Murray State University.