Spotlighting Staff #6

We're happy to spotlight April Jordan, Marketing and PR Coordinator for Recreational Sports!

Who are you (name, title, department)? 
April Jordan, Marketing, Public Relations and Student Development Coordinator, Department of Recreational Sports

How long have you been with Southern Miss and Student Affairs, specifically?
I began working at Southern Miss in the Department of Recreational Sports in January 2015.

What do you do?
In my role I oversee the development and promotion for all Rec Sports programs and services. I manage a design team, update our social media pages, website and mobile application, plan special events, oversee advertising opportunities and serve as the assessment coordinator for our department. Within the Division, I serve on the Assessment Review, Marketing and and New Strategic Plan committees. 

What does that mean?
I use a variety of platforms and methods to educate students, faculty and staff about the many wellness and recreational opportunities available to them through the Payne Center and within the Department of Recreational Sports. I do this while maintaining proper branding and breaking down any barriers that may hinder our programs’ overall success.

Where did you attend college?
Right here! I graduated from The University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor’s degree in journalism with an emphasis in public relations in 2002. SMTTT!

Where have you been employed during your professional career?
Thus far my marketing career has been very diverse, which has allowed me extensive experience within all aspects of the communications industry. I started my career as a brand coordinator for Godwin Group Advertising Agency then became the Public Relations Coordinator for Beau Rivage Resort & Casino. I later became the Communications Manager for United Way for Jackson and George Counties and then the Account Executive/Public Relations Specialist for Singing River Health System. I moved back to Hattiesburg in 2015 and continued my marketing career at Southern Miss Recreational Sports.

What brought you to (and/or keeps you at) Southern Miss?
This is my home and the place that inspired me to keep learning and striving to become the most well-rounded communications professional possible within my field. I thrive working in a place with lots of different activities and people and love the interactions I have with students and my fellow professional staff. My coworkers are like family and Southern Miss is such a welcoming and supportive environment. 
What does your average day look like?
Every day is different, which I love! I spend most days juggling the different promotional needs of our active programming schedule. This includes working with our graphic design team, program coordinators and marketing interns to develop strategic communication pieces and promotional outreach plans that target our students and help educate them about the many opportunities available to them. On a typical day, I can be found passing out flyers across campus, drafting social media posts for our different pages, attending meetings on behalf of our department and tending to any building or special event needs that may arise during the day.   

What has been your most memorable or impactful experience at Southern Miss?
My most memorable experience thus far has been having my hard work and that of my team recognized on an industry level through the Public Relations Association of Mississippi and the Southern Public Relations Federation. In the past two years, several of our marketing promotional pieces and special events have won local, state and regional awards for their overall quality and success. Being recognized for this work has been a career milestone and has been extra special because of the talented team of students who have spent numerous hours designing and helping plan for these projects in order to provide quality programming for Southern Miss students. I am so thankful to Rec Sports for encouraging me to enter these competitions and providing an opportunity for me to continue to improve my marketing and public relations skills.

What kinds of things were you involved with as an undergraduate student?
As an undergrad, I was a very involved student. I lived on campus for three years, which encouraged me to get involved with many different groups including Chi Omega sorority, Public Relations Student Society of America, GEWW Crew leader, Eagle Connection, Golden Girls, Gamma Rho Chi counselor, Lambda Sigma Honor Society, Kappa Tau Alpha Honor Society, Mass Communication and Journalism Executive Council and even “The Pride of Mississippi” band. In addition to these organizations, I was also an avid Southern Miss football fan and attended all the home and bowl games.

What do you know now as a staff member that you wish you knew as an undergraduate student?
Since joining the Rec Sports staff, I have been amazed at all the different programs and services available to students, most of which are free or very inexpensive. While I knew about the Payne Center as an undergrad, I mostly just thought of it as a gym that didn’t easily fit into my day. Now that I work here, I know my undergrad self would have enjoyed participating more in the many programs offered through our fitness, group exercise, outdoor adventures and aquatics programs. With more dorms now in the center of campus, it makes it so easy for students to head over to the Payne Center after a day of classes and take advantage of all the great programs available.


Who else has been spotlighted? Find our Spotlight Archive here!