Almond honored by trustees

B.J. Almond, senior director of news and media relations in Rice’s Office of Public Affairs, was honored by the Rice Board of Trustees at the Sept. 18 meeting for his professionalism and extraordinary dedication to the university.

B.J. Almond

B.J. Almond

Vice President for Public Affairs Linda Thrane said that over his 14 years at Rice, Almond has both continuously increased the amount of coverage of the university in the news media and improved communications to the campus community.

Public Affairs’ job is to protect and promote the university’s reputation, she said, and Almond is a critical contributor to both.  “He is also a solid, caring manager of his media relations team and has helped them handle an increasingly heavy workload as they produce several news releases each day, daily Dateline Rice, weekly Rice News and monthly @Rice to keep the community and alumni aware of what’s going on at their university,” Thrane said.

The News and Media Relations team covers all of the campus beats — from the academic schools, departments and institutes to administration, admissions, development, athletics, RUPD and alumni — and collaborates with other members of Public Affairs, including the Web Development team, which helps promote stories on and social media, and Creative Services, which provides photography.

Thrane noted that News and Media Relations transformed Rice News from a weekly print publication into an electronic publication that reaches more than 8,000 readers, more than tripled the media coverage of Rice and created Dateline Rice to highlight these daily media placements.  She said is a timely and comprehensive source of news about the university.

Increasing Rice’s visibility is just one result of Almond’s efforts, she said. Other departments are able to share the Rice News stories with people they are cultivating relationships with. Faculty members use their media coverage to help win sponsored grants, and the visibility is an important way the university shows how much it appreciates its faculty, staff and students, Thrane said.

Previous Public Affairs recipients of this Board of Trustees honor include science writer Jade Boyd and senior creative services director Jeff Cox.




About Arie Passwaters

Arie Wilson Passwaters is a Web editor in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.