Director of Student Media candidates selected, planning for July 1 campus visit


Photo Illustration: Regan Foster, left, and Sarah Leach, right, were selected as finalists for the position of Director of Student Media.

The Central Michigan University Director of Student Media Search Committee selected two candidates to visit campus this week.

The director oversees and advises Central Michigan Life students, acts as an advocate for student media on campus and works closely with the the assistant director of student media and business manager.

The candidates, Regan Foster and Sarah Leach, will meet with campus leaders and partners throughout the day on July 1.

Open forums, in-person and live-streamed, will occur throughout the day. The morning forums, at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., are open only to search committee members, CMU staff and the candidates.

The following are the afternoon forums open to the public.

Regan Foster

12 p.m.

Moore Hall 490 and via Webex

Sarah Leach

1 p.m.

Moore Hall 490 and via Webex

Meet the candidates

Foster is currently a lecturer of journalism at Colorado State University Pueblo, faculty advisor to CSU Pueblo student media and the student-run newspaper, The Today.

She graduated from the University of Iowa in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and received a Master of Science in Journalism in 2002 from Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism.

If selected, Foster said her priorities would include establishing more diversity both in the newsroom and on campus.

“That’s something I’ve been working on with my student leaders,” Foster said. “Making sure that we have a demographic within our newsroom that reflects our greater public community, not just our campus but our entire community and that we’re reaching out in the community to share those stories that are otherwise being overlooked.”

She said she has many ideas and passions, like growing multimedia coverage, but wants to hear from and collaborate with others.

“I’d probably spend the first year without making any changes,” Foster said. “I want to get to know it and see where we can maybe fill some gaps.”

Foster said her career has prepared her for the position of director of student media at CMU.

“I feel like everything has kind of led to this convergence,” Foster said. “To be able to use all of (my experiences), and then this love that I have for working with young talented people and bringing them up and getting them started in their careers, with an established organization at a D-1 school, that's kind of the dream, really.”

Leach is currently the Editor of the Holland Sentinel, Petoskey News-Review, Charlevoix Courier, Gaylord Herald Times, Cheboygan Tribune, Sault News and Ionia Sentinel-Standard. She is a former chair of the Student Publications Advisory Board at CMU.

She is a 2002 CMU graduate, and CMLife alumnus, having received a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and obtained a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design from Baker College in 2014.

If selected, Leach said her priorities would include strengthening relationships with media organizations around the state as well as with departments on campus.

“Through the strong ties that you develop with those organizations, you're able to know what they're looking for in graduates,” Leach said. “And then you can better prepare your graduates to meet those needs.”

Leach said it is a life-long dream to return to her alma mater as the director of student media at CMU.

“When I left (CMU), it was something that I told myself I wanted to do one day, but I wanted to go out and have a very full career before I even tackled something like that,” she said. “I wanted to make sure that I lived a very full life and learned a lot of lessons before I felt like I had the chops to be able to go in and actually help other people prepare for this kind of a career.”

“I'm not saying that I'm necessarily at that point… (but) when opportunity knocks sometimes you have to answer.”

The search for a new director of student media began after the former director, Dave Clark, announced his decision to resign from his role at CMU, effective May 6. Clark is now editor of the Midland Daily News.