Zeke Barlow was named the director of communications and marketing in the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in February 2017.
Barlow has been with the college for the past five years, serving as a communications manager and assistant director before assuming his newest position on the advancement team.
In this role, he will lead the Office of Communications and Marketing in a digital-first strategy that aligns with the college’s advancement priorities and helps promote the research and academics of the college as well as the impact of Virginia Cooperative Extension and Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station. He will be responsible for integrating the messages of the three missions of the college and furthering its reputation as a global leader in issues ranging from clean water and agricultural profitability to infectious diseases and community viability.
During his time at the college, Barlow has served as the editor of the college’s flagship publication, which has won national awards; put on an art show to highlight the work of the college’s researchers; landed media placements in outlets ranging from The New Yorker to Late Night with Seth Myers; and garnered social media attention for campaigns like one surrounding the blooming corpse plant Stinky Phil.
In 2014, he was named Communicator of the Year by University Relations for the creative and innovative ways he communicated Virginia Tech’s brand promises of quality, innovations, and results. That same year, he was also a finalist for the NSF’s International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge for his Art of Science project.
Prior to Virginia Tech, Barlow was a newspaper reporter for 15 years, working at the Roanoke Times, the Ventura County Star (California), and as a freelance foreign correspondent with the San Francisco Chronicle, the Boston Globe, and others. He has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and ABC’s 20/20.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from Gettysburg College and is currently enrolled in the Professional MBA program at Virginia Tech.