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J. Todd Bennett, Executive Director | 404.364.8329

It says a lot about Todd that one of his favorite artists is Georges Seurat, the 19th century French painter whose masterpieces consisted of thousands of tiny dots that came together to form a coherent whole.  Todd approaches his work in much the same way, relying on meticulous research to first envision a creative outcome and to then put in place the components and processes that will be needed to achieve it.  He is that rare combination of a big-picture person who’s also fanatic about details, and who understands how the latter give shape to the former.

Todd currently serves as the chief marketing and communication officer at Oglethorpe University. Before joining the executive leadership team at Oglethorpe, he was co-founder and managing partner of decimal152, a digital communications consultancy. Todd also served as managing director of consulting services for Dotmarketing, where he helped the firm become one of the nation’s top agencies for higher education and nonprofit website development and played a key role in the development of the enterprise open source web content management system, dotCMS.  In these roles, Todd worked with dozens of the nation’s top colleges, universities and foundations, including Princeton, Emory, Bucknell, Oberlin and the Knight Foundation. A communication strategist, marketer, researcher and writer, Todd also has extensive hands-on experience in higher education, including enrollment management, student affairs, continuing education, market research and marketing communications.

Todd has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Stetson University and a master’s degree in higher education with a certificate in enrollment management from the University of Miami.



Renee Vary, Director | 404.364.8868

Since she was a Scrabble-playing five-year-old, Renee has had an affinity for words and red pens—perhaps inspired by her parents, both former teachers. An editor at heart, she stepped into her role as Director of University Communications in fall 2009, where her attention to detail and writing skills help to share Oglethorpe’s many interesting stories. In her own words, she is responsible for directing traffic: she oversees media relations and is strategist and editor for marketing collateral and publications, including the OU blog and the nationally award-winning alumni magazine, the Carillon. In previous lives, she worked in Washington, D.C. for the U.S. Department of Justice (Antitrust) and the Council on Foundations, and at the Southeastern Council of Foundations and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in Atlanta.

Originally from New York, Renee is a graduate of Ithaca College, where ironically, she did not major in communications (political science!). Renee recently discovered Words with Friends and now has less free time on her hands.

 

Debbie Aiken, Assistant Director | 404.364.8447

Debbie is an Oglethorpe adult degree program success story. She graduated from the adult degree program with a 4.0 GPA, while managing a busy household with three young children. Debbie majored in communication & rhetoric studies and interned in University Communications during her last semester. Upon graduation, she was immediately scooped up to join the full time staff. Debbie keeps University Communications in line: she manages the department’s projects and tasks and oversees the students in Pegasus Creative, Oglethorpe’s student communications agency.

Prior to coming to Oglethorpe, Debbie lived in six states and attended just as many colleges while her husband served in the military for eight years. Debbie has a love for writing. As a student, she wrote for The Nightcap, the adult degree program newsletter, and now blogs for Expedition Mom.

 

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