As principal and creative director for H·A ThirtyOne, a higher ed-focused marketing and communications company, Karyn Adams supports the recruitment and communication strategies for colleges and universities throughout the Southeast, Midwest, and Northeast. The firm specializes in authentic and highly-tailored student search and communication/branding efforts to help institutions reach and engage with prospective students and families. Prior to leading H·A ThirtyOne, Karyn served inside the academy as a director of communications, director of public relations, and associate vice president for marketing and communications. Her experience includes all aspects of communications and marketing: integrated marketing and institutional branding, enrollment initiatives, capital campaigns, crisis communications, website redesigns, and public-private partnerships (including the planning and campaign work to establish Maryville College’s Clayton Center for the Arts). In a previous lifetime, Karyn was the director of web development and interactive media for IPIX (an immersive imaging company) working with clients including NASA, Discovery Channel, Travel Channel, Motorola, Intel, and USA Today.
Karyn is a frequent speaker and judge for higher education organizations, including NACAC, AMA, SACAC, CASE, and UCDA. She resides in Knoxville, Tennessee, with her husband, Bruce, and her two sons, Auden and Crispin.
“Having worked in higher education since 2002, both inside the academy and out, with large public universities and small private colleges, I’m excited about sharing and applying my industry knowledge to help the University of Tennessee’s School of Art reach its recruitment, fundraising, and programmatic goals,” Karyn says. “As a creative, I’m looking forward to the numerous opportunities to leverage the School of Art’s unique expertise and content with specific goals in sight. Through the years I’ve learned that no two schools are alike and that every program or division inside a University has distinct qualities, but these characteristics aren’t always visible to the audience that needs them most. The rewarding work ahead is finding the hidden gems that can inspire and engage, and connecting the dots that create a new picture, new opportunity or fruitful relationship.”