A member of the staffs of both the office of the executive vice president and provost and the Division of Integrated Marketing and Branding, Juliet Casey brings years of communication experience to her new job at UNLV.
UNLV is on a great path. We’re rising in rankings and making the most of this community’s gift of diversity. I love seeing the immediate impact our work has on the lives of students, and how their work, research, and breakthroughs are shaping the future.
What about UNLV strikes you as different from other places you have worked?
I am surrounded by talented people whose passion for the mission seems to dwarf the challenges. There is a common focus and energy that is contagious. Plus, I have never worked with so many Ph.Ds. I’m hoping their brilliance is contagious, too.
Where did you grow up and what was that like?
I grew up in New Mexico with wide-open skies and vibrant landscapes. Las Vegas is a lot like where I grew up. But I miss green chile and luminarias at Christmas.
What was your previous job?
My previous jobs — from newspapers to a local government, where I spent eight years as a public information officer, to my three years in a public relations firm – they were all preparing me for UNLV. Coming to work for UNLV gives me a chance to bring all that experience into play.
What is your job?
I am the director of communications for the office of the executive vice president and provost. I promote provost initiatives and assist with internal and external communications. I am also a member of the Division of Integrated Branding and Marketing, where I help with strategic planning and emergency communications.
What inspired you to get into your field?
I grew up in a bilingual family, and I had the great fortune of having lively storytellers on both sides. Among them, my Uncle Ramon Armando was the greatest inspiration. He was a veterinarian in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. When we’d visit in the summers, he took me into the field with him to check on livestock. He encouraged me to keep journals. On these trips, he would tell me stories about the ranchers and their families. He sometimes told fantastic tales about “aluxes,” or “el Huay Chivo,” mythical creatures of Maya lore. At the end of the day, the stories made it into my journals. I have no idea about the cows he examined.
What is the biggest challenge in your field?
The biggest challenge is knowing the best way to reach people with information they want and need.
What can people on campus do to make your job easier?
Be engaged. Take advantage of the communication resources on campus, and don’t hesitate to use old-fashioned technology. Give me a call.
Finish this sentence, “If I couldn’t work in my current field, I would like to…
… Go back to school and study ornithology.”
Tell us about a time in your life when you have been daring.
My approach to covering homelessness in Las Vegas as a newspaper reporter in the early 2000s was daring. I went to homeless encampments alone, sometimes in the evenings when I knew I would find people. I learned about the holes in our social services and the resilience of people who find their way back from desperate situations to lead productive lives. The daring part comes from having been threatened several times, and deciding that one person’s bad mood shouldn’t prevent me from going back the next day to get the rest of the story.
Tell us about an object in your office that has significance for you and why it is significant.
My youngest son made me a card last year and on the front he drew “Squirrel Girl” — his idea of my super-human alter ego. If I’m having a tough day, I glance over at it and ask myself, “What would Squirrel Girl do?”
Pastimes or hobbies?
Soccer, swimming, yoga, and hiking.
What book do you have on your bedside table?
Book of the Hopi by Frank Waters.
What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?
Thanks to my childhood Mexican folkloric dance teacher, I have the best party trick. I can balance a lit candle inside of a glass on my head, while dancing a zapateado.