At the heart of the West Virginia University Extension Service is a passion for the state and its people. That statement also holds true for Tara Curtis, the new director of communications and marketing for the University’s main outreach arm, bringing more than 20 years of public relations, communications and marketing experience to the unit.
Not only is she a Mountaineer through and through in regards to her work experience and academic career, but she’s also acutely aware of Extension’s mission as she spent part of her youth growing up in West Virginia 4-H programs.
“The WVU Extension Service is such a vital piece of West Virginia, and as a native West Virginian, I know firsthand the important role we play in helping our state,” Curtis said. “The education, resources and outreach that we provide changes lives every day — I’m excited to work with our team to help showcase those stories.”
That firsthand experience with WVU and WVU Extension Service programs has cultivated her personal and professional drive.
“Part of what excites me every single day is the fact that I’m doing what I love for my alma mater and my home state,” Curtis said. “It’s rewarding to get to know the amazing people associated with the University and discovering the wonderful stories about how our programs are making lives better and how we are connecting people and places together. I genuinely love that part of my job.”
A communications professional is a bit of a far cry from the Harley-Davidson riding police officer she wanted to be at age 10, but the fit seems to be spot-on.
“There are always great stories to tell, wonderful people to work with and you never have a cookie-cutter day. There’s no time to be bored,” she added.
Curtis comes to the WVU Extension Service after serving as the director of communications and marketing for the WVU School of Nursing. Before that, she led communications for the WVU Alumni Association for more than 11 years.
She holds a bachelor’s in journalism and a master’s in communications from WVU and also has completed coursework in post-graduate programs in higher education leadership and digital marketing.
In addition to her day job, Curtis is actively engaged in several community and non-profit organizations. She serves on the Greater Morgantown Convention and Visitors Bureau board of directors, the advisory board of the Rosenbaum Family House and is a volunteer with United Way of Monongalia and Preston Counties. She is also a 2007 graduate of Leadership West Virginia.