By Chris Cunningham
The Scene staff
A shake-up in the St. Louis Community College Public Information and Marketing department has reduced its staff from 19 to 14 employees, changed job titles and descriptions and replaced some longtime employees with new faces.
The main effect on Forest Park is that a new campus marketing and communications coordinator, Brittney Aladegbami, has replaced Susie Edmiston.
“I know there has been a lot of regrouping and change, and to me that is just an opportunity to do something great,” said Aladegbami, 31. “I don’t have a magic wand to say what that is, but I hope in a year we can look back and be proud of what we have accomplished.”
STLCC Executive Director of Marketing and Communications Dan Kimack said he was asked to reorganize the department by Dennis Michaelis, who left earlier this month after serving as interim chancellor nearly two years.
“The past organizational structure was somewhat askew,” said Kimack, who came on board last summer. “It was outdated and archaic.”
Before the reorganization, the department’s 19 employees included two on the Forest Park campus, two at Meramec, two at Florissant Valley, one at Wildwood and the rest at the Cosand Center (district headquarters) in downtown St. Louis.
All employees who wanted to keep their jobs were required to reapply in March. Seven reapplied but weren’t rehired. Five chose not to reapply.
Employees who weren’t rehired included the former manager of public information and marketing, district coordinator of marketing communications, district coordinator of college communications, two communications specialists, a graphic designer and a typesetter.
Employees who didn’t get rehired were told on June 1. They were asked to gather their belongings and leave that day.
“We gave them the opportunity to leave the college (to focus on their job searches),” Kimack said. “They were still paid through the end of their contracts.”
Those contracts officially ended June 30. Employees who didn’t reapply for their jobs stayed with the college until that date.
Employees who didn’t reapply included the former district coordinator of public information and media relations, one communication specialist and three campus coordinators, including Edmiston.
The college eliminated four positions, including all three communications specialists (one on each campus) and a typesetter.
“The typesetter actually did graphic design work, not typesetting,” Kimack said. “It was an old, outdated title.”
Five districtwide positions were “repurposed” into four new ones. A director of marketing, director of communications, director of digital services and digital services coordinator will replace the manager of public information and marketing, district coordinator of marketing communications, district coordinator of college communications, district coordinator of public information and media relations and district coordinator of Web communications.
Kimack estimates the reorganization will save the college “six figures” annually while improving functionality.
“(The new structure) allows people to work more harmoniously together,” he said.
The Scene contacted several former Public Information and Marketing employees. All declined to comment on the reorganization.
“My association with the community college has always been a good one,” said Debra Ward, former campus coordinator of public information and marketing at Wildwood, who didn’t reapply for her job.
Aladegbami formerly worked in community relations at St. Louis Integrated Health Network. She said her job was turning into case management more suited to a nurse.
”I am the furthest thing from a nurse,” she said. “I can barely put a Band-Aid on my finger.”
Aladegbami grew up in St. Louis. She earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations at Lindenwood University and a master’s in education at University of Missouri-St. Louis.
Aladegbami applied for the STLCC job after seeing an online posting. The campus marketing and communications coordinator provides information to students, staff, faculty and the public.
“When I read the description I thought it would be perfect,” Aladegbami said.
Aladegbami is recently married. She enjoys going to independently owned restaurants. One of her favorites is The Kitchen Sink.
“My husband and I like to go to Mom-and-Pop places where the dishes don’t match,” she said.
Aladegbami also likes to travel. Last year, she went to Dimona, Israel, to visit family. They served vegan food, prompting her to expand her horizons and try different dishes.
Aladegbami already is publishing Forest Park Weekly, an electronic newsletter for faculty and staff that replaced FP Daily. She also will also be writing press releases and other communications.
“We don’t always just send out information when something bad happens,” she said. “We also want to send out information when positive things are happening.”