Columbia College faculty and staff newsletter
Select an issue:
Connections faculty and staff newsletter
 December 2012

Suzanne Rothwell, Senior Director of Public Relations

Suzanne Rothwell, Senior Director of Public Relations

Suzanne Rothwell, Senior Director of Public Relations

Please welcome Suzanne Rothwell, who starts this month as the new leader of the PR team.

This is your first week on the job; what excites you most about working here?
This position is the perfect match for my skills and interests, and I’m very excited to get started. Everyone that I’ve shared this exciting news with seems to have a very positive, personal story about Columbia College. While I’m well versed in public relations and leadership, I’m very interested to learn more about higher education and the culture at Columbia College. My husband and brother-in-law are both alums, and my niece is currently enrolled; involvement in Columbia College runs in the family!

Where did you work previously?
I had the pleasure of working as the Membership Director for the Columbia Chamber of Commerce for the past three years. That was a great job where I was able to consult with business owners on a daily basis about strategies that could help their businesses become and remain successful. I also have 13 years of management experience with State Farm Insurance, 10 of those years were in public affairs.

Where are you from originally?
I grew up in the Chicago area, then in seventh grade moved to southeast Missouri and graduated from high school in Doniphan before moving to Columbia for college. We stayed in Columbia for many years before moving to St. Louis for three years and then to Tulsa for two years before coming home to Columbia in 2008.

Who or what has influenced you professionally?
I’m a strong believer in the value of having mentors and champions. The people who have influenced, and who continue to influence me, are too many to mention. I think that the many life experiences I’ve had, including relocations and traveling, have also enriched me personally as well as professionally. The highest compliment anyone can give me is if they let me know that I’ve been able to be a mentor to them.

What’s your favorite thing about living in Columbia?
You do remember that I’m coming from the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, right? My favorite thing about Columbia is EVERYTHING! It is as close to perfect as I can imagine. I love the trails, the focus on higher education, the quality of the public schools, the diverse cultures, the restaurants, and the people.

Tell us about your family.
I’ve been married to my husband, Jim, for 19 years. He is the Marketing Director at Shelter Insurance. We have two children, Kaitlyn, who is 14 and an eighth grader at Jefferson Junior High School, and Olivia, who is 12 and is a seventh grader at Gentry Middle School. We also have two dogs, Angel & Zoey, and a cat, Taz.

What are some of your hobbies and interests?
I enjoy spending time with my family, walking on the trail, walking the dogs and traveling. I also enjoy community involvement and am proud to serve on the Board for the Greater Missouri Leadership Foundation and for the College of Human Environmental Sciences at MU, as well as serving as Co-Chair of the Chi Omega Centennial Steering Committee.

Favorite book and/or author?
I enjoy all motivational and inspirational books and have a library full of them at home.

Favorite food?
Basically anything they are serving at Murray’s.

Favorite type of music?
I enjoy all types of music and pride myself on my ability to name a song, band and year it came out for about any song you can hear on the radio.

Favorite sports team?
All Missouri sports, especially the Cardinals. I also love the Cubs and the Bears, and, of course, the Columbia College Cougars!

Tell us something about yourself not many people know.
Some people might not know that my maiden name is Claus, so I grew up being S. Claus, so this will forever be my very special time of year.

Any other thoughts?
I am excited to get started, and I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead as I begin a long relationship with Columbia College.