Name: Carol Fountain Nix
Where do you currently work and what is your job title?
I am the Director of Marketing, Communications and Public Relations at the NC State College of Design. I also serve as Associate Professor of the Practice where I often teach a professional practices practicum in user experience design [UXD]
What was your major at Elon?
English journalism with minors in communications and studio art.
What is one thing you wish you could have done differently at Elon or during your career path?
Believed in myself more — and earlier in my career.
What is your biggest challenge in your current position?
Doing way too much under very tight state budgets. I am thankful for the combination of my journalism and design education because I am putting it all to very good use! My job requires covering a lot of different areas. My experience at Elon as both a student and working in the publications office really prepared me to take initiative. As an entrepreneur, that was invaluable as well.
What is your advice to Elon students venturing out into the PR industry?
Don’t think of it as just PR. Today, professionals in the communications field must be able to cover many bases and understand the full range of marketing tools and opportunities available. With so many new technologies coming into play every day, there are more challenges for breaking through the myriad of messages and media that bombard the public. The public relations profession has much broader implications in the world today. It’s not just press releases anymore; it’s an ongoing and strategic engagement with key audiences on many levels and through many media channels.
What was your favorite Elon tradition/memory? What do you miss the most?
I worked in the publications office the entire time I was at Elon. It was a really exceptional office and space—the huge arched windows and warm environment was inviting for some of the professors and staff to drop by for coffee [and we always had really great coffee!]. The conversations that took place during those mornings were just priceless and I learned as much about about politics, culture and society from that experience as in the classroom.
One other memory I have to share—I went to summer school before I started my freshman year and during that summer, they put in the fountain that graces the main part of campus. It was a huge controversy because at the time it was viewed as an unnecessary, aesthetic addition at an extravagant cost —and it took away the roundabout parking in front of Alamance. That fountain just BEGGED for a few pre-freshmen to christen it by jumping in one morning at 2am. It had alternating spraying and lighting patterns so we timed it just right and all leapt in. It wasn’t long before Burlington’s finest spotted our dancing silhouettes in the glow of the fountain’s lights. Let’s just say, that’s my one and only brush with the law and I’m keeping it that way.
Feel free to add any other interesting material or fun facts!
Our new poodle pup is named: Phoenix!