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University Relations

University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


Efforts to Tell UCM Story Contribute to Dickson’s Top University Relations Honor   

Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Sept. 21, 2017) – Having grown up on a farm outside the British community of King’s Lynn, Norfolk, Ruth Dickson’s earliest influences in education came from her parents who were both teachers. The strong appreciation they instilled in her about the value of an education not only led to a job at the University of Central Missouri, but also has contributed to a prestigious honor among individuals working in UCM’s Office of University Relations.

Foster-Inglish Dickson

Ruth Dickson, left, assistant director of marketing in the University of Central Missouri Office of University Relations, receives the 2017 Foster/Inglish Award for Outstanding Service and Achievement in Public Relations, from Kelly Waldram Cramer, director of marketing and promotions. 

Dickson is the recipient of the 2017 Foster/Inglish Award for Outstanding Achievement and Service in Public Relations. She becomes the 15th person to receive the award, announced this month by Kelly Waldram Cramer, who serves as director of marketing and promotions while overseeing University Relations.

The Foster/Inglish Award is named for two individuals who pioneered institutional public relations at UCM. The award was established in 2000 to honor achievement and service by members of the university’s public relations staff, which today also is integrated with marketing and promotions. John Inglish, director emeritus of public relations, established an endowment for the award through the UCM Foundation the year he retired to honor his longtime friend and mentor Carl Foster, who retired as director emeritus of public relations in 1986 after 19 years of service to UCM. Inglish devoted 27 years to the university’s public relations efforts before he retired. 

“The Foster/Inglish Award means a great deal to our office. We are grateful to be in the unique position of being able to reward our staff for their achievement and service,” said Kelly Waldram Cramer, director of marketing and promotions. “Ruth is such a deserving recipient. She is someone who is always up for a challenge and is excited for new opportunities. She is deeply invested and dedicated to UCM and has passion for a job well done. Every UCM employee has the ability to make a positive mark and in the year and a half Ruth has been here, she certainly has done that.”

Dickson, assistant director of marketing, joined the university staff in April 2016 with over a decade of professional experience, mostly in the Kansas City area, but also in London, leading creative teams in the development of printed and digital marketing materials for industry and education. In University Relations, she works with clients to develop marketing strategy, design, and vision and advisement regarding UCM brand and best practices. She benefits from a degree in creative writing and American literature that she received from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, Norfolk, which also led to completion of a thesis project at the University of Kansas in 2005.

“I came to UCM because I felt like it was a good place to be,” Dickson said. “I have no tie to the university, but from the moment I applied and learned about UCM and the type of students who come here - their passion for what they learn, the passion of our faculty and staff for those students and the institutional commitment to those students - it really spoke to me. It’s what I personally believe higher education should be.”

 She said University Relations and UCM have proven to be a good fit for “who I am as a person and as a professional,” and appreciates the opportunity to serve as part of the team that is shaping the institution’s identity. Dickson also values the opportunity to be recognized and associated with individuals who blazed an early trail in the university communications arena.  

“Obviously, it’s a huge honor to receive the Foster/Inglish Award, especially given the caliber of people who have received it before me,” Dickson said. “I think the legacy that both of those individuals (Foster and Inglish) have left on this campus is one that is to be commended. We are a campus that takes public relations and student relations incredibly seriously.”

While Dickson’s personal touch has contributed to high-quality marketing and public relations pieces ranging from print publications and video to social media posts over the past year, she takes great pride in helping to spread the word about new partnerships and initiatives at UCM that are not being accomplished anywhere else. One such effort is The Missouri Innovation Campus (MIC), a joint initiative of UCM, the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, and Metropolitan Community College in partnership with nearly 50 corporations. A milestone in this five-year partnership was experienced in September with the grand opening of the new MIC building, a project between UCM and the school district. Dickson was part of the planning committee that met monthly to prepare for this successful event.

“When I think about the last 12 months, one of greatest accomplishments as an institution has been the opening of The MIC in Lee’s Summit. Being part of the group that helped build a communication plan, and how we talk about affordability with students in that area, and how we learn from our partners in the Lee’s Summit School District, that’s definitely a great opportunity for me to personally grow and develop. It’s also an opportunity to work with current students on developing a message that really resonates and will help more students moving forward.”

Dickson added that continuing to tell the university story is important to her work. This includes her hand in many communication efforts that demonstrate what learning to a greater degree strategic position means, “not as a statement, but something students live and breathe and walk through, and the stories that support it. My job is to piece all of that together.”