UMD Announces New Communication Specialist

Sep 20, 2022

The University of Minnesota Duluth hires Alex Messenger as a communication specialist in the office of University Marketing and Public Relations. In this role, Messenger will create a mix of content about UMD and help oversee media relations.

"We are thrilled to welcome Alex to UMD.” said Lynne Williams, UMD’s chief marketing and public relations officer. “His mix of experience and talent, along with his passion for education and Duluth are a perfect fit for this position and our team.”  

Messenger is a talented author and photographer with extensive experience in marketing and communications. He is most well known for his bestselling memoir, The Twenty-Ninth Day; Surviving a Grizzly Attack in the Canadian Tundra, which was a Wall Street Journal Bestseller and finalist for the Minnesota Book Award.

A headshot of UMD Communication Specialist Alex Messenger

"I’m really looking forward to telling and lifting up the stories about what’s going on at UMD,” said Messenger. “Whether it’s visually, through photography, through the written word, or simply connecting storytellers with stories that matter, I want to get out there and share things that are impactful and engaging.”  

Messenger comes to UMD from St. Luke’s, where he served as a communications specialist and focused on internal and executive communications preceding and throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Before St. Luke’s, he worked with premiere northland brands like Duluth-based waxed canvas pack and bag manufacturer Frost River and National Geographic Photographer Jim Brandenburg. In his spare time, Messenger is a member of the St. Louis County Sheriff’s Volunteer Rescue Squad, which performs search and rescue services throughout the county.

“UMD is such a hub of activity and knowledge in our region,” said Messenger, “and there is a breadth to the work here that I find really exciting. Some of the research and development that goes on happens right under our noses, in neighborhoods and classrooms around us, from Glensheen’s amazing programming, to research going on in the Land Lab, Hartley Park and NRRI; that’s UMD. And you don’t see it until you look. The impact that has on our community, region and beyond is amazing. The opportunity to lift that up, to share and celebrate it, is incredibly motivating.”

Messenger began serving at UMD on September 12, following in the footsteps of Lori Melton, who had been in the role from April 2013 to June 2022.