“Our story is about people. The point of a university is to make the world better, to reduce the pain and suffering and to improve the justice,” Bruce Erickson said.
With more than 30 years of experience in managing communications departments at institutions of higher education, Bruce Erickson, director of communications, is here to tell the story of Sam Houston State University.
Erickson began working at Sam Houston in April 2009. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degree in journalism at the University of Kansas.
He is a former associate vice president for university communications and marketing at California State University, Fullerton; a former executive director for marketing and communications at Wichita State University, a former director of public relations at California State University, Northridge and a former director of university relations at The University of Texas- Pan American.
Erickson is the recipient of numerous awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. He was awarded the Public Communicators of Los Angeles’ inaugural Most Valuable Professional Award for his work and visibility as California State Northridge’s spokesperson following the Northridge earthquake in 1994.
Erickson volunteered for the Peace Corps from 1973-75 in Kalasin, Thailand.
The Director of Communications position requires Erickson to “tell the Sam Houston story.” Erickson said. “We have a great university, great faculty, we have great teachers, they are doing great research and we have not been as effective as we should be in telling that story.”
To tell that story, Erickson has formed a relationship with many media outlets, such as radio, television, and newspapers in surrounding cities.
“The Sam story is very much a public story,” Erickson said. “Within the next month or so, you will see spots running on Houston public television of our beautiful campus.”
With the Sam story out in the media it brings funding and interest to the university.
Erickson is very grateful for his position of director of communications.
“It’s a privilege for me to be doing this. It’s not about sitting behind a computer; it’s about interacting with people. It’s exciting,” Erickson said.
Erickson says the highlight of his career is now.
“I really appreciate this place. It is one of the most beautiful campuses and has the most unpretentious people,” Erickson said.
Erickson is very excited about the opening of the new performing arts center.
“I think it is going to be the greatest venue for the performing arts in East Texas, including Houston,” he said. He looks forward to getting public interest in the new project because it is all part of telling the Sam Houston story.
Erickson is a man with a lot of work experience. Through his journey from school in Kansas and working in California, his advice to the students of Sam Houston State University is to “consider your first five years after graduation your graduate school. You have all the opinions in life that you create for yourself, and enjoy the journey: it’s an adventure”.
Erickson is excited about the future for Sam Houston State University. “I look forward to working with the entire university community to help find new and creative ways to tell the Sam Houston State story,” Erickson said.
After contributing a dutiful 37 years at SHSU, former director Frank Krystyniak retired. Upon his retirement, Erickson was hired for the position following a national search.