From the first time she met him, Marlin Fitzwater has said that he wanted the Center to be more than a name on a building, and that was her cue.
In the summer of 2002, only a couple of months after its dedication, Dr. Kristen Nevious joined the Fitzwater Center as a Staff Member. Not long after, Dr. Nevious became Director of the Marlin Fitzwater Center for Communication in 2004.
Alongside her three degrees in Journalism, her professional experience has been in public relations for non-profit organizations, and she has taught journalism, public relations, adtertising, photography and more at SIU-C, Southern Missouri State University, the University of Southern Mississippi, and the University of South Dakota, where she earned tenure.
Her first task as Director was to frame its mission: to engage intellects, challenge perspectives, teach skills and help people find their voices in the public discourse that is essential to the health of our democracy. Since becoming Director, she has estabilshed numerous programs and organizations including the Pierce Media Group, The Fry Lectures, Franklin Pierce University Polling, The Presidency and the Press, PoliticsFitzU, and she produced a Forum on Civility in Presidential Election Discourse with the Newseum in Washington, D.C. Dr. Nevious is also a producing partner for IndieLens Pop-Up and has produced a teacher's guide entitled "Democracy."
All students, faculty and friends at the Fitzwater Center are so proud of Kristen,” said Marlin Fitzwater, White House press secretary for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. “She has led this institution to national recognition and respect. She is a dedicated teacher and advocate for good communications. And she marches her students into the front row of journalism.”