College of Agriculture & Natural Resources

Assistant Director of Communications

University of Maryland   |  College Park, MD  |  Posted: Apr 5 2017

Position Number: 122878
Category Status: Exempt Regular
Unit: AGNR-Dean-Communication Office

Campus/College Information:

Founded in 1856, University of Maryland, College Park is the flagship institution in the University System of Maryland. Our 1,250-acre College Park campus is just minutes away from Washington, D.C., and the nexus of the nation's legislative, executive, and judicial centers of power. This unique proximity to business and technology leaders, federal departments and agencies, and a myriad of research entities, embassies, think tanks, cultural centers, and non-profit organizations is simply unparalleled. Synergistic opportunities for our faculty and students abound and are virtually limitless in the nation's capital and surrounding areas. The University is committed to attracting and retaining outstanding and diverse faculty and staff that will enhance our stature of preeminence in our three missions of teaching, scholarship, and full engagement in our community, the state of Maryland, and in the world.

Position Summary/Purpose of Position:

As Assistant Director for AGNR’s Communications Office, he/she will support strategic initiatives related to public relations, social media and various areas of communications. This position will work closely with AGNR’s liaison in University Communications, helping to increase exposure for the college’s programs, research and international impact.

Position Responsibilities:

  • Support the Director of Communications in managing a robust, integrated and strategic communications plan for the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources where academics, research and statewide Extension contribute to Maryland’s agricultural industry, global food security and safety, economic and workforce development, natural resource preservation and overall quality of life.
  • Investigate, research, write and edit stories focusing on research and core message driven themes of AGNR, including those within our academic programs, Extension, research centers and special projects. Assignments will cover a range of scientific topics for research news releases, web stories, feature stories for the college’s Momentum magazine and social media.
  • Build a multi-tiered network of regional, national and international media contacts and facilitate consistent outreach to ensure AGNR is top of mind.
  • Pitch newsworthy items to relevant contacts and secure important media placements for the college across broadcast, print and web.
  • Ensure that content is optimized for target audience consumption. Work should be engaging, informative, distilled, understandable, and should demonstrate transfer of research to impact.
  • Assist director in strengthening social media outreach and engagement through enhanced measurement, editorial planning and increased sponsorship.
  • Serve as a contact for AGNR liaison within University Communications, helping to feed the University’s news pipeline with AGNR news.
  • Assist in the coverage of college events; grants and awards; and other topics, as assigned.
  • Handle media requests for faculty experts.
  • Assist the director of communications in conducting faculty media trainings and coaching.
  • Remain in constant contact with college leaders, faculty, staff, and students to determine timeframes for release of important research.
  • Help coordinate press events.
  • Maintain a keen awareness of world events and potential connections to the college.
  • Manage projects in accordance with the director’s strategic communications plan.




  • Bachelor’s Degree.
  • Five plus (5+) year’s professional experience in a combination of the following: Communications, journalism, science, technical writing, media relations, and/or public relations.
  • Must embrace science and be able to comprehend complex research and academic writing
  • Demonstrated ability in strategic social media outreach and program management
  • Familiarity with websites and website content management systems
  • Expert knowledge of writing, editing, proofreading and tenets of journalism, including AP style.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects of varying scale, meet deadlines and work independently.


  • Emphasis in journalism, communications, science writing, public relations or marketing is highly desired.
  • Knowledge of or experience in agriculture.
  • Professional experience within an academic institution.

Physical Demands–

  • This position does not carry any extensive physical demands. The majority of his/her work will be performed in a seated, office setting. The position does occasionally require walking some distance to attend meetings, and programs. Willingness to travel statewide.


Salary & Benfit Information:

Salary will be commensurate with experience. Hiring Range Minimum: $60,174 – Hiring Range Maximum: $75,218. The University of Maryland offers an extensive benefits package.

Application Instructions:

All candidates must apply online at A complete application packet includes a letter of application, a resume, 2 Writing Samples, copies of transcripts, and three (3) professional references, including name, mailing address, telephone number, and e-mail address.


Position Closing Date:

Saturday, April 29, 2017

The University of Maryland, College Park, actively subscribes to a policy of equal employment opportunity, and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry or national origin, marital status, genetic information, or political affiliation. Minorities and women are encouraged to apply.

Maintained by the IET Department of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. © 2017.