Marilyn kiarsis starrett

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3500 Clay St., Denver, CO 80211

303 941.5890 cell or



Communications and PR Manager, University of Colorado Foundation

  • Plan, develop, write and edit donor brochures for the University of Colorado Foundation.

  • Work with a variety of deans, faculty, development professionals to create and target donor brochures for specific schools, colleges and departments on all four campuses of the University of Colorado system.

  • Write news releases for gifts and donations that have a significant impact, meet strategic goals and have human-interest appeal.

  • Work with media relations teams on each campus to pitch stories.

  • Develop and conduct media training sessions for development teams, deans and faculty.


Strategic Communications Director, Kaiser Permanente of Colorado

  • Planned, developed, directed and evaluated strategic communications for Colorado Kaiser Permanente (KP), including media relations, public relations, member communications and internal communications.

  • Directed and integrated communications for a variety of audiences, including staff, physicians, members, patients, media and the public.
  • Editor in chief of member, physician and staff magazines, including weekly, monthly and quarterly magazines with a circulation of more than 215,000 a quarter.

  • Worked with Colorado regional president, executive medical director and senior leaders to design, develop, implement and evaluate multidirectional communications programs.

  • Directed and conducted monthly on-camera media training for KP physicians, executives and other medical experts.

  • Colorado Program Lead for national Web site including public site, Kaiser Permanente Members’ Web site and KP Intranet.

  • Managed Colorado Kaiser Permanente discussion group moderators for national KP Online members’ site.

  • Managed the launch of new functionality for Web applications, including all public and media relations, and internal and member communications. Launched “Select your personal physician directory,” and the online prescription refill capabilities for members.

  • Directed research activities regarding member magazine, Rocky Mountain Health, internal communications and media coverage.

  • Chaired the Kaiser Permanente national public relations and communications senior leadership team and conferences.

  • Managed communications department staff, including professional and clerical positions.

  • Managed a $1,500,000 annual budget.

  • Retained responsibilities for both positions below.

1993 – 1997

Communications Coordinator, Kaiser Permanente of Colorado

  • Planned, developed, wrote and directed strategic communications. Taught, advised and consulted with senior and middle managers and physicians at Kaiser Permanente about communications.
  • Recommended and implemented communication plans after critical analyses of projects.

  • Determined how to frame messages, what methods to use, analyzed the best timing and negotiated responsibilities.

  • Developed, led and taught crisis communications for all levels of employees, physicians and labor partners.


Publications Coordinator, Kaiser Permanente of Colorado

  • Managed all publications for Kaiser Permanente. Duties included theme and content development, interviewing and writing or assigning those duties, editing copy, and hiring and directing the work of independent designers, photographers, writers, illustrators, printers and video producers on a project-to-project basis.

  • Evaluated results.

  • Publications included the periodicals: Rocky Mountain Health Magazine, a four-color quarterly mailed to more than 215,000 households; KP NewsBreak, a two-page weekly for all staff and physicians; At Our Best Magazine, a monthly for all staff and physicians celebrating great stories and great people.

  • Developed and managed the periodical budget of more than $500,000 a year.


  • M.A., University of Colorado at Denver, Visual Communications, 1994.

  • B.A., Metropolitan State College of Denver, Journalism, cum laud, 1979.



Adjunct Journalism Professor, Metropolitan State College of Denver

  • Teaching online and experiential courses that pair reporters with photojournalists to create magazine packages.

  • Directed editing and publication of SEEN Magazine, which showcases students’ articles and photographs.

  • Interviewed internationally-known Navajo artist R.C. Gorman along with a student photographer. Our article, which was Gorman’s last interview, was published by The Denver Post and the photos appeared in the New York Times.


Project Manager, Reporter and Writer, University of Colorado Denver

  • Worked on contract with Associate Vice Chancellor for Communications on a new magazine that highlights UC Denver as a new university for the 21st century.

  • Magazine completed in December 2008.


Writing Teacher, Speech Coach and Consultant, Kaiser Permanente of Colorado

  • Teach online and in-person writing to a variety of community and local government staff members.

  • Coach staff members on speaking succinctly and clearly in meetings and presentations.

  • Wrote and edited a variety of papers, proposals and minutes for the community and local government department.


Edited Book, Woman to Woman, Active Aging, by Catharine Stewart-Roach and Barbara Yarnell.

  • Copy and content editor.


Consultant, Department of Advancement, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

  • Consulted on visual communications issues and implementation strategies.


Adjunct Public Relations Professor, Metropolitan State College of Denver

  • Taught public relations strategic planning that included research, writing and on-camera experience.


  • How cover design influences magazine readership.

  • How magazine design influences readability and memorability.

  • Can magazines influence reader behavior and actions?

  • Use of video/DVD in training physicians, executives and medical experts to become media spokespersons.

  • Use of video/DVD to help patients make decisions about treatment choices.

  • How photographs influence the placement of pitched stories.

  • Use of images in branding campaigns.

  • The impact of images on message credibility in corporate communications.


  • “The Art of Medicine: A patient doesn’t care how much a doctor knows, until he knows how much a doctor cares. Using video to teach bedside manner.” 15th Annual Visual Communications conference. Yamhill, Oregon, 2001.

  • “I Dream of Colors That Do Not Exist: Using Ritual to See the Light,” with Paul Lester, California State University. 15th Annual Visual Communication conference. Yamhill, Oregon, 2001.

  • “Us and Them and Us: Images of a Strike.”14th Annual Visual Communications conference, Chico Hot Springs, Montana, 2000.

  • “Videos Help Patients Make Treatment Decisions.” 11th Annual Visual Communications conference, Jackson Hole, Wyoming,1997.

  • “Magazine Design and Public Relations Strategy.” Western States Communication Association, Los Angeles, California, 1996.

  • "Impact of Cover Design on Readers." 9th Annual Visual Communication conference, Flagstaff, Arizona, 1995.


  • Public Relations Society’s Gold Pick Award for media relations, positioning Kaiser Permanente as the Colorado health care expert, 2002.

  • Three Gold Pick Awards for Rocky Mountain Health Magazine, crisis communications and best of show for Rocky Mountain Health Magazines from PRSA, 2001.

  • Cecil Award for Excellence in Medical Journalism from the Arthritis Foundation, 2001.


  • National Lifetime Achievement Award from Kaiser Permanente, 2003.

  • First Distinguished Alumni in Communications from the University of Colorado at Denver, nominated by Mike Monsour, Ph.D., Communications Professor, University of Colorado at Denver, 2003.

  • Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities, nominated by Mike Monsour, Ph.D., and Sam Betty, Ph.D., Communications Department, University of Colorado at Denver, 1994.

  • First Outstanding Graduate in Public Relations from Metropolitan State College of Denver, named by Greg Pearson, founder of Journalism Department at Metropolitan State College of Denver, 1986.


  • Consulted with technical communications students at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology who are designing a Web site and public relations materials for the Rio Fest International Environmental Film Festival, 2007-2008. Coordinated PR and served as master of ceremonies for Saturday afternoon screenings. The film festival netted nearly $5,000.

  • Reviewed article for Visual Communication Quarterly, the official publication of the Visual Communication Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, 2007.

  • Moderated Socorro Candidates’ Forum for New Mexico state-wide offices, 2006.

  • Chaired KP National Communications Leaders Team, 2001-2002.

  • Public Relations Consultant who worked with students on the Auraria Campus Grand Opening of the Kenneth King Academic and Performing Arts Center. 2000-2001

  • Communications Consultant to the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation 1999-2003.

  • Public Relations liaison to KP National Marketing Communications Leadership Team, 1998-2003.

  • Conference Co-organizer, 12th Annual Visual Communication Conference, Winter Park, CO, 1998.

  • Communications Consultant for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to develop a five-year Public Relations Strategic Plan, 1997.

  • Editorial Advisor to Rocky Mountain Health Care Observer, a biweekly newspaper covering the health industry, 1996-1998.

  • Communications Advisor to Colorado HMO Association, 1995-2000.

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