By Taylor Fitzgerald
Following its increased development over the past few years, the NC Collaboratory has hired a specialist to lead its communications efforts. Sarah Fitzgerald, the Collaboratory’s new Communications Specialist, will spearhead initiatives to further communicate the Collaboratory’s work and understand its audiences to strengthen the connection between the Collaboratory and the many groups with which it serves and works.
Sarah’s multitude of experiences in communications and beyond make her a great addition to the Collaboratory’s team, as she will be the first full-time employee to lead communication efforts. Sarah received her Bachelor’s degree in exercise science at UNC-Wilmington in 2015 and her Master of Public Health at the Colorado School of Public Health in 2019. Sarah began her career in communications when she worked within health communications for the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment. From there, she has expanded her experience in health communications, as she has served as a Health Messaging Coordinator for UNC-Chapel Hill’s Student Wellness program for nearly three years.
Sarah explains what has drawn her to work with the Collaboratory, “I’ve always wanted to get back to more of the things that are of interest to me in the health field, environmental and policy level change versus working with folks on behavior change.”
Using her expertise in communications and the UNC system, Sarah will enhance initiatives to spread the Collaboratory’s work and mission of utilizing university research to inform and assist state and local government decision-makers. As the Collaboratory’s first Communications Specialist, Sarah will be doing a lot of work to figure out what the organization’s exact communication needs are while also preparing the communications team to meet needs as they come. She states, “I’m expecting to be able to be really hands-on and creative as well as build relationships within the community and with other communications folks to push out the work that is happening.”
Sarah explains that she is most excited about being able to move into a position of creating community-centered communication material as she moves into her new role at the Collaboratory.
In her free time, Sarah enjoys doing “anything outside” where she can get away from screens and into the outdoors, which includes everything from hiking to playing recreational sports.
Taylor Fitzgerald is a second-year graduate student completing a dual degree in Environment and Science Communication with a concentration in Strategic Communication.