Sweet Briar adds new faces in admissions and communications

Admissions HouseSweet Briar College has announced new hires in its admissions and communications offices. Beth Clarke will begin her post as senior executive director of admissions strategy and counseling on Aug. 13, while Joe Blum starts as director of photography and cinematography on Aug. 6.

Both will report to Melissa Farmer Richards, vice president for communications and enrollment management.

Beth Clarke
Beth Clarke

“As recognized professionals in their fields, Beth and Joe bring noteworthy talents to their complementary roles for student recruitment,” Richards said. “Video is an effective medium for helping prospective students visualize how a Sweet Briar education will differentiate them as leaders in the workplace and in the world.”

Clarke comes to Sweet Briar from Virginia Wesleyan University, where she began her professional career 12 years ago as director of alumni relations. After two years, she moved into fundraising as director of development before making the leap to admissions in 2010 as associate dean of admission. In 2016, Clarke was promoted to assistant vice president for enrollment. During her tenure, she helped the university achieve its highest enrollment on record — more than 1,500 students last fall. Virginia Wesleyan exceeded its new-student enrollment by 25 that fall, enrolling the largest first-year class since 2001.

Clarke has a B.A. in communications from Virginia Wesleyan University and an M.Ed. in educational policy, planning and leadership with a specialization in higher education administration from the College of William and Mary.

Joe Blum
Joe Blum

Blum’s most recent experience includes two years as a video producer at St. Lawrence University, where he planned, directed, shot and edited video for social media, the university website and St. Lawrence’s capital campaign. He also produced and directed multi-camera video-recording and livestreaming of TEDxStLawrenceU events.

Before that, he spent two years as a video producer at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and worked as a freelance videographer and photographer.

Blum has a B.A. in communication from Virginia Tech and an M.S. in multimedia, photography and design from Syracuse University.

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