I am a leader, strategic marketer and communications professional specializing in the higher education industry. Prior to consulting, I served as Vice President, Interim Vice President and Associate Vice President at several institutions.
Rachel Reuben believes in the power of higher education, and the profound effect it has on the lives of students—and, by extension, the global community. A seasoned veteran in marketing and communications in the higher education industry, she has worked on staff in leadership positions in both public and private institutions, as well as with marketing agencies. She now fuses that experience into a comprehensive, strategic approach to marketing that identifies challenges and develops creative solutions to improve marketing processes. As a result, she is able to help colleges and universities find and effectively communicate with prospective students, as well as provide ongoing stewardship as they transition into their roles as alumni.
In March 2020 Rachel transitioned from consulting on her own into a new full-time role as Vice President, Account Strategy with OHO Interactive where she is expanding OHO’s higher education practice and bringing new perspectives to their clients on long-term marketing strategy, organizational design, and enrollment marketing.
After earning her bachelor’s and master’s degree while working full-time, Rachel was recruited for a position at the State University of New York at New Paltz. For the first time, she saw how tight higher education budgets really are, and how hard universities work to offer the best possible services at the best value. The concept of using a student’s tuition dollars in the most fiscally conservative way possible has stayed with her throughout her 20-year career as a higher education professional.
Rachel is simply one of the most insightful and experienced higher ed marketing professionals in our industry.
Rachel has led marketing and communications departments at several colleges. From January – June 2019 she served as interim vice president for marketing and communications at California College of the Arts during their leadership transition.
In her role as vice president of communication at Colgate University, she provided strategic communication counsel to former President Jeffrey Herbst and his senior leadership team, trustees, and university colleagues. She also developed a crisis communication and issues-management program, including extensive standard operating procedures documentation.
As the associate vice president for marketing communications at Ithaca College, Rachel spearheaded a new brand identity and strategy, including a brand-awareness advertising campaign. She co-authored the college’s first institutional strategic marketing plan, implemented integrated marketing tactics, and created a trademark and licensing program. Under her leadership, the Office of Marketing Communications transformed into a more flexible and effective team, providing support and strategic advisement to the broader college community. In addition, she led efforts in advancement communications, athletic communications, client marketing services, editorial services, media relations, creative services, and recruitment marketing.
She has also served as the director of web communication, strategic projects, and the welcome center at her alma mater, SUNY New Paltz, where she earned her bachelor of science in organizational communication and her MBA in marketing and management.
Rachel has worked alongside boards of trustees, university presidents and their councils or cabinets, and key stakeholders such as university-wide marketing councils. She also works with select marketing-related agencies who serve higher education as a subcontractor for assessments, web strategy, brand strategy launch implementation planning, and more.
While Rachel has found her strategic work tremendously rewarding, at heart she’s a doer. Her approach to working with clients starts with listening closely to their needs and challenges, then applying creative problem-solving skills. Working at both the big-picture and detail level, she is able to help colleges and universities develop marketing processes and programs that are customized to their needs, and then help implement them. Her extensive experience in marketing and leading teams means she’s able to steer an institution through a variety of challenging situations—from staff turnover to identifying marketing-agency partners and crisis communications—always ensuring that milestones are met on time and on budget.
Higher Education Positions Held
- Interim Executive Director, Marketing Strategy
- Interim Vice President, Marketing and Communications
- Vice President of Communications
- Associate Vice President, Marketing Communications
- Director of Web Communication & Strategic Projects
Rachel is a sought-after speaker for a variety of higher education events. She has presented at dozens of conferences and educational events, among them the American Marketing Association’s Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), eduWeb, HighEdWeb, the University and College Designers Association (UCDA), the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Statmats, and the State University of New York Council for University Advancement (SUNY CUAD).
A multi-award-winning communications leader, Rachel’s work has been featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education, University Business, CASE Currents, Campus Technology, and on many blogs. She was an early adopter of social media and pioneered its use in marketing higher education.
Rachel lives in the Hudson Valley region in New York. She enjoys connecting people and businesses and is a dedicated member of several community organizations, including her church and Hudson Valley Women in Business. She serves on the advisory board for One EPIC Place, a creative co-working and business incubator hub.
Awards & Honors
- Bronze CUPPIE award, the Association for University Communicators for the category “Electronic Media – Social Media” for “Life at IC,” 2013
- Bronze CUPPIE award, the Association for University Communicators for the category “Print Publications: Magazines” for Ithaca College Fuse Magazine, 2013
- Gold CUPPIE award, the Association for University Communicators for the category “Advertising – Complete Campaign” for the Ithaca College “Ready” advertising campaign, 2012
- Gold CUPPIE award, the Association for University Communicators for the category “Electronic Media – Website” for the Ithaca College website (ithaca.edu), 2012
- 2009 eduStyle Best Higher Education Blog, .eduGuru, staff writer Nov. 2008 – Jan. 2010Graphic Design USA
Awards of Excellence in the 2012 American Graphic Design Awards
- Ithaca College Fuse magazine
- Ready campaign advertisements
International Brand Master Finalist
- Educational Marketing Group’s 2013 International Brand Master Nominee and Finalist
Sigma Beta Delta International Business Honor Society
- Honorary member 2007, MBA graduate student 2009
SUNY Council for University Advancement Awards for Excellence
- 2008 Best of Category: Electronic Communications and Interactive Media/Social Networking – SUNY New Paltz Facebook Fan Page
- 2007 Best of Category: Community Relations Programs – SUNY New Paltz Welcome Center
- 2006 Judge’s Citation: Student Recruitment Web site – npbloggers.newpaltz.edu
- 2005 Judge’s Citation: Student Recruitment Web site – Faces of New Paltz
- 2005, 2000 & 1999 Best of Category: University Web site – www.newpaltz.edu
- 2002 Best of Category: Media Relations – SUNY New Paltz News & Experts
- 1999 SUNY Confederation of Alumni Associations: Internet Sites and Electronic Communication – SUNY New Paltz Office of Alumni Affairs Web site
- 2012 Award of Excellence: Ready campaign video
I am pleased to post an enthusiastic recommendation for Rachel Reuben. I hired Rachel at California College of the Arts in September 2018 as a marketing and communications consultant and subsequently as Interim VP for Marketing and Communications when we experienced a leadership change in that department. As are result I worked with her continuously for 11 months. Throughout, she was a tremendous asset, and her professionalism helped the college weather a challenging time of transition in the mar/comm unit. She is very knowledgeable about higher ed marketing and communications — tried-and-true best practices as well as leading edge trends. She is smart, organized, and driven yet flexible, friendly, and fun to work with. She understands big picture challenges and opportunities and how to address them on a tactical level. She learned the culture of our school, operated well within it, and had the respect of the president, provost and other senior leaders. I’d hire her again as a project based consultant or an interim leader if the circumstances required it.
Rachel Reuben provided valuable enrollment marketing support to Teachers College as we were launching new online programs and growing our operation. From the outset, she proved to have deep technical and structural knowledge, experience and savvy in the higher ed landscape–all of which helped us to make sound decisions and to be more nimble. She consistently demonstrated an extremely high level of professionalism and organization in her work, and she is notable in her ability and willingness to offer both high-level strategic counsel, and a roll-up-your-sleeves approach to getting things done.
Rachel is solutions-driven and excelled at spearheading projects that involved research and quick turnarounds, driving and supporting social media and email marketing campaigns through writing, vendor relations, execution and data analysis. Rachel is also a pleasure to work with, and I highly recommend her to businesses and institutions looking for marketing support.
Rachel is simply one of the most insightful and experienced higher ed marketing professionals in our industry. She has deep understanding of organization, managing leadership, best practices, digital marketing, advertising strategies, issues management and so much more. Rachel recently led an assessment for us and worked to benchmark and identify organizational structures and tools/resources in supporting a capital campaign. Her work was thorough and greatly valued by our client.
Rachel is an invaluable partner and resource to any organization. She has deep knowledge and expertise across a myriad of marketing topics and strategies and is able to translate her contributions into effective action. She worked with my team to identify necessary improvements to our crisis communication plan. She was extremely organized and detail-oriented, resulting in comprehensive documentation and enhanced emergency preparedness across campus. The quality of her work reflects her diverse higher education experience and her ability to see the big picture on any project.
Rachel was a colleague of mine on the senior leadership team at Colgate University; she was VP of Communications while I was Provost/Dean of the Faculty. Rachel was an outstanding collaborator who understood a university’s communications needs. She was a vital member in shaping and sharing Colgate’s strategic planning and timely implementation efforts.
Rachel’s deep knowledge of higher education, as well as her extensive contacts in the industry, were invaluable to us when we engaged Rachel to assist with product planning and market assessment. Rachel was easy and flexible to work with and she delivered critical insight in a short turnaround. I would not hesitate to recommend Rachel to any organization that wants a higher ed thought leader involved in their project. She’ll deliver.
I’ve worked with Rachel at both Ithaca College and Colgate University. She is a consummate professional– her ability to develop big-picture solutions for campus problems is impressive. She is well aware of her own strengths and assembles teams to compliment her skill sets. Her marketing insights not only incorporate data and employ campus-specific strategies, they allow for aspirational growth by the institution. She is an asset to her fellow cabinet members and is a trustworthy colleague.
Rachel is a delight to work with and know. I’ve been in the higher ed business for almost 25 years and I couldn’t recommend her more highly. She’s smart, funny, intuitive, driven, clear and an absolute expert in all things marketing communications. She knows how to develop and structure staff, manage budgets, navigate political waters, develop strategy, spot great creative, and, most important, move needles. Happy to say more in person if it’s helpful. Give a ring.
Rachel was an asset to our president’s leadership team. She is detailed oriented, very organized, and is able to manage multiple priorities at once. She is professional and a good team player. She and I worked on some fairly complex communications issues and Rachel brought a level of expertise to the job that was very helpful, especially relating to crisis management.
Rachel Reuben is one of the most positive, kind yet driven professionals I ever met. She is a recognized higher ed expert in social media, web communications and marketing. I had the pleasure to work with Rachel when she presented a webinar about the strategic use of online communities by colleges and universities. While she mastered the topic, she still welcomed suggestions all along the process. The final presentation was a great success.
Rachel Reuben is a true business professional with deep-level knowledge and experience in marketing strategy and public relations as it applies to colleges and universities. She’s a “get it done” manager with a track record of success that touches all aspects of marketing communications. Rachel artfully blends traditional marketing techniques with emerging media in a way that sets her apart from others in her field.