In announcing her appointment, Lisa M. Rudgers, vice president for communications, said Connell brings a great depth of news and communications experience to this critical role including work in higher education, government and print journalism.
Connell comes to the U-M from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in New York state where she served as director of marketing and media relations.
Prior to her work in higher education, Connell was the press secretary for New York state attorney general Robert Abrams. She also spent 11 years as an award-winning reporter for the Albany Times Union.
Connell holds a B.A. in English literature from the College of St. Rose in Albany, N.Y. and an M.A. in English literature from the University of Chicago.
Asked about her new role as NIS director, Connell says, Im thrilled to be joining the University. The University of Michigan is a national treasure and the depth, the breadth and the volume of faculty research is simply amazing.
I hope to bring an approach that is as focused and strategic and proactive as possiblean approach that results in an even greater national profile for the University. I look forward to optimizing the Universitys ability to obtain broadcast placements and to maximize the impact of the Universitys own broadcast capabilities. Finally, its impossible to underestimate the importance of building on what I know is a long-standing commitment to being highly responsive to the needs of the news media.
Connell succeeds Julie Peterson who was named associate vice president for media relations and public affairs in December.