Merrie Sue Holtan, an assistant professor in Minnesota State University Moorhead’s School of Communication and Journalism, has been named director of the university’s Marcil Center for Innovative Journalism.
The position is part of a $1 million gift from Forum Communications to the MSUM Alumni Foundation announced in Fall 2013 to create the William C. Marcil, Sr. and Jane B. Marcil Center for Innovative Journalism. The Center enhances the university’s long-standing reputation for producing highly qualified reporters, photographers and other media professionals.
In this new position, Holtan will collaborate with several campus departments and Forum Communications Company to create an integrated news environment across print, broadcast and digital platforms to give students relevant journalism experience and develop business skills for the rapidly evolving media industry. She will also direct community and high school outreach activities, facilitate a scholarship program for high school and MSUM students, and provide apprentices for a digital communication sports journalism collaborative.
“The Center will permit us to continue our efforts to remain on the cutting edge of journalism and provide our students with new experiences using innovative media platforms and new communication strategies,” Holtan said. “It’s a win-win for our students, the community and Forum Communications.”
Holtan has 30 years experience in public relations and communications, including more than 20 years teaching at the college level.
Holtan earned a bachelor’s degree in speech/English education from the University of Minnesota and holds graduate degrees in speech communication/community education from North Dakota State University and an MFA in creative writing from MSUM.