Shirley Melikian Armbruster
Shirley thought she’d always be a news reporter. With a degree in journalism, she loved being the eyes and ears of newspaper readers – gathering information about people, institutions and events and creating compelling news and feature stories. She started her career at a small community newspaper and then moved to a major metropolitan paper, The Fresno Bee. She won numerous regional and state news writing awards and the National Epilepsy Society Feature Story of the Year award.
After more than 20 years as a reporter and editor, as Shirley saw changes in the news industry and decided it was time to look for new challenges, her alma mater came calling. She joined the University Communications staff at California State University, Fresno (Fresno State) as the News Director and within a few years was named Associate Vice President, serving a total of 16 years at the school.
As a member of the President’s Cabinet, she provided media and public relations counsel to the president and senior administrators. She was the university’s chief spokesperson and led a 15-member, award-winning communications team that brought together communications, media relations, social media, web, graphic design, photography, video and brand. She won a CASE District VII Award of Excellence for Integrated Marketing Program.
Shirley has conducted numerous workshops, seminars and media training for senior university officials, faculty, staff, and industry colleagues.
Giving back to her profession, she has volunteered in leadership roles with the Public Relations Society of America – Counselors to Higher Education, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, and CASE Commission on Communications and Marketing.