Monica VanDerWeide ’95 started her new job as the director of marketing content just before winter break. Before taking this position, she was the director of publications for External Affairs, which dealt largely with print publications.
VanDerWeide said she is looking forward to new projects as she takes on Hillsdale’s digital media.
“It’s just exciting that I’ll be involved in some new projects and involved in different platforms like email newsletters and social media,” VanDerWeide said. “The neat thing about the digital realm is that you can get immediate feedback and have a back-and-forth conversation, whereas with print projects you still get feedback, but it’s not always immediate.”
VanDerWeide graduated from Hillsdale in 1995, where she studied English and German. She was also the yearbook editor for one year and a member of the Lambda lota Tau literature honorary.
Three years after graduating, VanDerWeide returned to her alma mater to work as a staff writer for External Affairs. Soon after, in 2002, she became the director of publications until the end of 2018.
As the new director of marketing content, VanDerWeide said her job is to help “implement the marketing department’s mission: to radiate the mission of the college to audiences across the country through multiple mediums and bring the college to life through strategic and creative content that inspires action.”
“I’m a writer and editor, and my goal is to tell great stories about the college, our alumni, and students,” VanDerWeide said. “We do a lot with alumni, and some faculty, as well.”
One of her first big projects is updating the course catalog.
“I’m just getting started on that now, which involves going back and forth with department chairs and updating their sections,” she said.
Gianna Marchese ’17, social media coordinator for Hillsdale’s marketing department, started working with VanDerWeide last summer to digitize the Alumni Magazine archives. She said she is looking forward to working with VanDerWeide more in her new position.
“Monica has an incredible way with words,” Marchese said in an email. “Copywriting is no easy task, and Monica masterfully works wonders with it. The work she publishes is bar none. But not only is she an absolute artist with her words, she also has an incredible passion for what she does.”
VanDerWeide has two student writers who helped her during her time as the director of publications for External Affairs. Junior Kasia Ignatik was hired in spring 2018 and wrote for the college’s print publications such as the Hillsdale Magazine and others that are sent to alumni.
Ignatik said she is looking forward to working with VanDerWeide for the Marketing Department.
“It looks like we will have a lot more freedom to write what we like,” Ignatik said. “The thing with external publications is that we had set topics, and sometimes they didn’t make it in the publications or they’d cut them down to half the size. With the new changes, we will be able to tell our stories in their totality.”
Ignatik will be writing pieces for an email newsletter that will focus on Hillsdale’s faculty and alumni.
“It’s still a little bit up in the air as to what I’m going to be doing,” Ignatik said. “But the plan is to have a newsletter, like an e-newsletter that I’ll get to write for.”
Marchese said VanDerWeide is good at passing along her knowledge and skills to her student writers.
“She also teaches her student writers to do the same, which leads to a dedicated team cranking out amazing work,” Marchese said.
The Marketing Department is looking forward to having VanDerWeide on its team, according to Marchese.
“In marketing, we have a strong focus on storytelling,” she said. “With Monica’s incredible talent for copywriting, she will breathe new life into our words. Plus, we are very excited to have her on the team simply because she is a kind and wonderful person.”