13:14 PM

Sandra Soliz retires, dons garden gloves

Sandra SolizTouting the good news about the University of St. Thomas-Houston and its faculty, staff, students, alumni and donors for 26 years, Director of Communications Sandra Soliz, MLA '01,  is trading her keyboard for a gardening trowel when she retires on April 2.

Joining UST in 1997, she worked for Alumni Relations and Public Affairs. During the first 10 years, Soliz was in Institutional Advancement’s shop with Vice President Ken DeDominicis at the helm. She reported to Public Affairs Directors Paul Harasim and the late Tom Overton

Lovingly teased about running a “student worker sweatshop,” she had the able assistance of many top-of-the-class Communication Department student workers, including Aaron Stryk ’01; Meredith Stasny McCrary ’03; Gloria Luna Bounds ‘03, MBA ’05; Pearl Cajoles ’04; Jennifer Bryant; Daniella Guzman; Darnell Miller ’10, MLA ’15; Vivian Cabrera ’14; Emily Bierschenk Drew ’12; and Katie Fleming ’19. Also on the list, but not a communication major, was the student body president, the late Emiliano Herrera III ’06 who demystified everything technical.

Soliz has produced the UST Weekly and the weekly campus newsletter for 26 years. She has skillfully handled media relations, faculty expert media training, the website, advertising and many other roles and aspects of marketing and communications. During this time, she had the good fortune to work with contract employees Jamie Roark and Claudia Deschamps.

She also worked closely with former IT employees Chris Barry and Joanna Palasota, developing the university’s plans and systems for emergency management after the Virginia Tech mass shooting. Over the years, she deployed most emergency management notices to the campus.

One of her greatest joys was working alongside and laughing with her former colleague Marionette Mitchell, director of Publications, for more than 20 years. Under Mitchell’s tutelage, she assisted with the UST Magazine, Insider, Annual Report, and more. Soliz went on to serve as editor of UST’s Encounter Magazine for 12 issues under Publisher Jeff Olsen.

Soliz served under UST Presidents Fr. J. Michael Miller, CSB, Dr. Joseph McFadden (interim), Dr. Robert Ivany and Dr. Richard Ludwick.