In her first year as the Associate Athletic Director for Communications at Northern Illinois University, Donna Turner has made an immediate impact by upgrading the office's technology and expanding the outreach of Huskie Athletics across the region and the nation.
In her first season at NIU, Turner led the publicity efforts for Northern Illinois All-America running back Garrett Wolfe while ensuring that a media guide was published for each of the school's 16 athletic teams.
Turner came to DeKalb after six years as the Assistant Athletics Director for Media Relations at Tulane University in New Orleans, La. Turner played a vital role in helping Tulane Athletics cope with the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina in the Fall of 2005, when the Green Wave student-athletes and coaches scattered to four separate campuses while continuing to compete. Turner and her staff ran six "home" football games in six different cities, and, upon returning to New Orleans, assumed increased responsibilities in marketing and promotions due to staff cuts.
In 2003, she directed a massive publicity campaign - the "Think Green" effort - and compiled a 70-page presentation to the Board of Tulane which resulted in the Board's recommendation to continue athletics at the Division I-A level.
Prior to her arrival in New Orleans, Turner spent one year as the Director of Media Relations and Publicity for the WTA (Women's Tennis Association) Tour, after a five-year stint as the Assistant Athletics Director for Sports Information at the University of Houston. At Houston, Turner was responsible for developing the first official athletics website.
From 1988-94, Turner was Assistant and then Associate Sports Information Director at Florida State University, where she was the primary contact for the Seminoles' nationally-ranked football and baseball teams. She was the football contact for Heisman Trophy winner Charlie Ward and the 1993 National Championship FSU team and also worked with award winners Marvin Jones, Casey Weldon and Derrick Brooks during her tenure. In addition to six consecutive New Year's Day bowl appearances during her time at FSU, the baseball Seminoles made multiple trips to the College World Series.
Her experience includes working at the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga. and in press operations at the 1999 NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four and numerous NCAA Men's Basketball Regionals. Turner has been media relations director for six NCAA Baseball regionals. She served as the local media coordinator for the 2004 NCAA Women's Final Four, hosted by Tulane at the New Orleans Arena.
A native of Gainesville, Fla., she received a bachelor's degree in communications from FSU in 1985 and a master's in sports administration from Ohio University in 1987.