Cwach is a Vermillion native who holds a Master’s degree in journalism and communication from Iowa State University and bachelor’s degrees in contemporary media and journalism and English from USD. Most recently, she served as senior web editor for USD’s marketing communications and university relations department.

Prior to coming to USD in 2016, Cwach served as media relations manager for KPI-JCI and Astec Mobile Screens, an international heavy equipment manufacturer based in Yankton. She succeeds Tena Haraldson, who retired June 21.

As director of communications, Cwach is responsible for promoting the mission, vision and reputation of the university. She also serves as the university liaison to media outlets.

“We are excited to have Michelle Cwach step into a greater leadership role after two years of managing digital communications and online retail at USD,” said Scott Pohlson, vice president of marketing, enrollment and university relations. “Michelle met every requirement for us. She brings a wealth of experience in marketing and public relations from both a major private corporation and a Division 1 higher education institution. She’s been an energetic leader on USD’s strategic communication team and has demonstrated her ability to work with other campus leaders to elevate USD’s brand. She’s a proven and effective communicator who takes prides in uncovering stories of innovation and success at USD.”

Cwach said she is thrilled to have the opportunity to further USD’s brand, elevate its reputation and increase enrollment.

“As the state’s flagship university, USD plays a critical role in South Dakota, particularly when it comes to building the state’s workforce and educating tomorrow’s leaders,” she said. “I’m excited by the forward momentum and transformational change occurring on campus. As an alumna of the university, this is an extra special role for me, and I’m eager to get to work and continue building the USD brand.”

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