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Lara Wade appointed as NOVA’s Director of Strategic Communications and Media Relations

Lara Wade

Northern Virginia Community College is pleased to announce Lara Wade as the new director of strategic communications and media relations. With over a decade of experience in the fields of media affairs and public relations, Wade has spent majority of her career working throughout the Tampa Bay area.  

Wade comes to NOVA from the University of South Florida (USF), where she was employed at her alma mater for 14 years and most recently held the position of director of media relations/public affairs. In this role, she was responsible for the creation and oversight of the communications program as well as securing local, statewide, national and international publicity for the metropolitan-based research university with more than 55,000 students on three campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee. She acted as the designated media spokesperson, handled all crisis communications issues/response, was the primary media contact/chief information officer and led the media relations team in one of the top media markets in the nation. The Florida native also worked closely with the executive leadership team at USF to create strategic media plans. 

Wade publicized the ground-breaking research of USF anthropologist Dr. Erin Kimmerle.

Since 2011, Kimmerle worked to excavate the remains of more than 50 children who died under mysterious circumstances and were buried in unmarked graves on the property of the Arthur Dozier School for Boys, owned and operated by the state of Florida. She also secured worldwide coverage for these efforts resulting in thousands of stories in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Associated Press, Newsweek, PEOPLE Magazine, National Public Radio, CNN, the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley, FOX National News, NBC National News, BBC and other international outlets. The publicity for this work also resulted in the production of a two-hour televised documentary that aired in 2016 on the Lifetime Movie network.

Prior to her appointment at USF, she previously worked for several media outlets, including Channel 10/CBS in St. Petersburg, Fla. and served as the public relations director for non-profit organizations, such as LifePath Hospice and Florida's Healthy Start program. 

“I am thrilled to join the talented NOVA team and I look forward to sharing all of the amazing accomplishments of the students, faculty and staff at this incredible and well-respected college,” said Wade.

Wade received her B.A. degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of South Florida and an A.A. degree from St. Petersburg College, (formerly St. Petersburg Junior College). 

Media Contact: Kristina Ogburn | 703.503.6338 | kogburn@nvcc.edu


Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through NOVA Online. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.