Media Relations at Amherst College

The goal of the College’s media relations operation is, generally, to publicize strategically the stories of the members of our community and promote the excellence of Amherst’s academic offerings, financial aid program, and other initiatives. We take the College’s commitment to freedom of speech and of the press and the open exchange of ideas very seriously and strive not just to serve as a conduit for reporters to potential sources within the College community, but also to disseminate accurate and timely information to the media when needed. We serve as the primary point of contact with the news media for the College and our colleagues.

The Office of Communications alone is responsible for these public-facing functions:

  • Proactively pitching media on College stories
  • Issuing official news releases and statements on College matters
  • Responding to requests for interviews with the media
  • Approving and assisting reporters in their work, including when they visit campus
  • Making a spokesperson or public information officer available to journalists
  • Providing College-approved data, graphics, photographs and other materials

Crisis Communications

In times of institutional crisis or campus emergencies, our philosophy is to be as accurate, transparent, and open as possible with the media while looking out for the best interests of members of our community, including their privacy and safety. Because of this priority, we require that all media inquiries be directed to the Office of Communications. Our staff is solely responsible for responding to journalists’ requests, serving as the institutional voice in emergencies, and determining whether or not reporters have permission to access College property. Our campus is private property, and media access can be limited or prohibited by the Office in some instances (such as an unfolding emergency) for health and safety reasons. 

Recommendations For Members of the Amherst Community Engaging with the Media

As part of our general mission to publicize Amherst people and programs, we support members of the College community by disseminating news, assessing and preparing for media interviews, editing opinion pieces, and producing and/or promoting campus events, among other functions. We ask that members of our community contact the Office of Communications to assist with coordinating media interviews and logistics, given that appropriate legal permissions or consents often need to be obtained.

If you are contacted by a reporter, please reach out to the following:

  • Office of Communications: 413.542.2321,
  • Caroline Hanna, Director of Media Communications (she/her/hers): 413.542.8417 (o), 413.658.4123 (c),
  • Lawrence Kluttz, Associate Chief Communications Officer (he/him/his), (c) 704.340.0596,
  • Sandra Genelius, Chief Communications Officer (she/her/hers): 413.658.5036 (c),
Caroline J. Hanna

Caroline J. Hanna

Director of Media Communications

I joined Amherst in 2007 after working in the communications offices of two other prestigious universities. In my current job, I focus on protecting and bolstering the reputation of the College by identifying, developing and pitching stories to the media that reflect Amherst’s strategic priorities. I serve as the main contact for the local, regional and national press; coordinate interviews and visits with reporters; and, in partnership with Conferences and Special Events, help promote select special events. I also write for the website and other College publications, and play a major role in shaping Amherst’s communications strategy in emergency and crisis situations. As a member of the Town of Amherst’s Business Improvement District Marketing Committee, I embrace opportunities to collaborate with local businesses and Five College counterparts, in addition to my College colleagues.

Contact me with story ideas about the following departments/offices: President's Office, Beneski Museum, Biology, Environmental Studies, Geology, Neuroscience & Psychology, Physics & Astronomy and Biochemistry & Biophysics.

Pronouns: she/her/hers