Malcolm Holmes to lead strategic initiatives and diversity at ASU Cronkite School

July 20, 2022

Malcolm Holmes, an accomplished marketing and public affairs professional, will join Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication to serve as its executive director of strategic initiatives and diversity.

Holmes will serve on the Cronkite School’s leadership team, tracking progress and measures on strategic initiatives, helping to enhance and expand the student experience, executing and assessing the school’s comprehensive diversity strategy, and directing the pursuit of, and reporting on government grant opportunities. Portrait of Malcolm Holmes Malcolm Holmes Download Full Image

“I have known Malcolm Holmes for a very long time and have always respected his talent, work ethic and leadership. He is committed to quality, standards and, most importantly, student success. Malcolm will be an excellent addition to our leadership team and a tremendous asset to all of Cronkite nation,” Cronkite School Dean Battinto L. Batts Jr. said.

Holmes brings more than 30 years of experience in community relations, public affairs, mentorship, marketing, communications, media planning and advertising while serving on a number of boards and committees. He’s also won numerous awards for advertising, marketing and community service.

“I am humbled and grateful for this opportunity. I look forward to working with Dean Batts and the entire team to actualize the strategic vision, goals and priorities of the Cronkite School,” Holmes said.

Holmes was most recently the director of university marketing and brand manager at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where he was a member of the advancement and university relations leadership team since 2013. In that role, he was responsible for enhancing the university’s visibility and brand awareness, which included creating and implementing marketing plans for academic programs and admissions, and developing advertising objectives and media plans.

Holmes also served on a number of university committees and councils at Mary Washington, including the diversity task force, leadership council and marketing committee. 

Prior to that position, Holmes was director of marketing communications and public affairs at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in Richmond, Virginia, where he worked to broaden the impact of the college’s programs, oversaw organizational messaging and promoted constituent services.

He started with the college in 1993 as printing and publications services manager before advancing through various positions during almost 20 years at the school.

During that time, Holmes also served as board chairman for the Carver Promise, a nonprofit mentoring partnership in Richmond between local colleges and universities and elementary-age students. 

He graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor of Science in mass communications and received a Master of Arts in media and communications from Norfolk State University. 

Jamar Younger

Associate Editor, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

ASU Online history grad used his passion to become an award-winning filmmaker

July 20, 2022

Matthew Wilcox grew up in Spring Hill, Florida, with his parents, who were both teachers. They loved to travel as a family and especially liked to travel to historical sites in the U.S., such as Gettysburg and other battlefields. 

With his lifelong interest in history, he decided to enroll as a double major in history and religious studies at the University of South Florida for his undergraduate. While he was attending USF, he took a class on the topic of World War II and decided to make a documentary about it by involving veterans in the local area. Matthew Wilcox stands in a dark blue hoodie with three actors dressed in military air uniforms next to a retired military plane. Matthew Wilcox directing three reenactment actors for a documentary he filmed. Photo courtesy Matthew Wilcox Download Full Image

Wilcox had an interest in film production in high school, and after taking some time to learn more technical aspects, produced some quality work. A friend of his who was in local broadcasting and knew how good his work was told him he would broadcast his documentary once it was completed. 

“One of the regional, local newspapers at the time published an article and it allowed veterans to call me,” Wilcox said. “I had dozens and dozens of WWII veterans calling me, and I would set up interviews with them.”

He started establishing connections in production and with the community, and began making documentaries as passion projects. 

After graduating with his bachelor’s degree, he started a local business where he restored and preserved old film and photos. People brought him all kinds of footage, including a lot of footage from World War II that has never been published or seen before.

“People would bring in their stuff and I’d be able to talk to them,” Wilcox said. “In the process, I was able to use a lot of the clients that came in, and I’d say, ‘I’ll do this for free if you do an interview with me and I can use it for a film festival.’”

For a few years after graduating, he kept himself busy as a teacher and joined the Army Reserves on top of making short films and documentaries.

One day, his mother saw a link on Facebook, advertising the new World War II studies master’s program at Arizona State University. She sent it to him thinking he would be interested in it, to which he said, “Oh yeah, of course.”

This online master’s program was the first of its kind in the U.S. and was a collaborative effort between Arizona State University's School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies and the National World War II Museum in Louisiana. 

Wilcox enrolled in the program and was part of the first graduating class in December 2020.

Matthew Wilcox holding a film camera

Matthew Wilcox earned his master's degree in World War II studies in December 2020 and is currently working toward earning another master's degree in history. Photo courtesy Matthew Wilcox

One of his professors, Yan Mann, remembers having Wilcox in the program.

“(Wilcox) helped pave the way for our current students,” Mann said. “He was a diligent, budding scholar who fully engaged with critical questions and explored concepts that aimed at the heart of our understanding of the war's lived experience and how various regional identities have been influenced and shaped by the war's collective memory." 

After graduating from the program, Wilcox took some time off, but decided to enroll at ASU again to pursue his master’s degree in history, which he is currently working on completing. 

“The passion projects have led to others,” Wilcox said. “I’m not a rich man from it, but it has opened incredible doors. It’s really just an amazing amount of material out there that really should be in an archive or should be used for public access and it’s not. It’s eroding away.”

Wilcox has recently left his job as a sixth grade history teacher and started a new job at the Museum of Florida History. His latest venture allows him to take some of the footage he gets in his restoration business that pertains to Florida history and submit it to the museum archives with the permission of the clients.

“I don’t know how many history teachers are in the state of Florida, but there are only two people who can do my job, and I’m one of them, so it has opened up doors,” Wilcox said.

Wilcox has won awards for his film projects, including Best Microfilm at the 2020 Los Angeles Film Awards, Best Short Film at the 2021 Halicarnassus Film Festival, Best War Film at the 2021 Oniros FIlm Awards, Winner of the 2021 2.11.17 International Film Festival and many more. 

He is working on new projects, including a film about the Vietnam War and a documentary about one of the clients who walked into his business who was a Jewish survivor of Auschwitz, one of the most infamous concentration camps operated by Nazi Germany during World War II. 

Wilcox's website showcases many of his films and awards, and his YouTube channel hosts his films. 

Rachel Bunning

Communications program coordinator, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies