Mississippi Valley State University has named Donell D. Maxie as its new director of communications and marketing.

Maxie has over 15 years of experience as a staff writer, photographer and editor with the now-closed Bolivar Commercial in Cleveland. For the past three years, the Duncan native has served as the communications specialist at MVSU.

“When I arrived on campus in January of 2017 as the communications specialist, it felt like I had been reunited with a long-lost family,” said Maxie. “The MVSU family reminds me of my family. The closeness and genuine love for this university are second to none. Serving here has been one of the greatest joys of my life. The students are amazing, and I enjoy getting to tell their stories and share in their experiences as they matriculate through this great institution.”

Being a native of the Mississippi Delta, working in the area is something Maxie is proud of, and having the opportunity to work for a university that is impacting the livelihood of the Delta is an honor, he said.

“I live, attended high school and college right here in the Delta,” he said. “I started my journalism career in the Delta. MVSU has always stood out as a representation of positivity, promise and prosperity for people who grew up in this area. I’m excited about the opportunity to accentuate the myriad of positive events happening here at MVSU and to highlight the impact Valley is making in this region and across the world.”

Interim Vice President of University Advancement Dameon Shaw is excited to welcome Maxie aboard.

“Being a native of Bolivar County, I am familiar with Donell’s work ethic, professionalism and positivity from his time as a reporter in the county,” Shaw said. “As a communications specialist at MVSU, he added to the talented communications and marketing team here. Donell’s first-hand knowledge of the assets and unique challenges we have facing the Mississippi Delta, as well as his diverse skillset and experience in the communications and marketing sphere, makes him the ideal fit.”

Maxie is a graduate of Coahoma Community College, where he received an Associate of Arts degree. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Delta State University, and he received a Master of Education degree from Strayer University. He will complete a Master of Christian Leadership and Ministry from Grand Canyon University in May 2021.

Maxie is a member of the College Public Relations Association of Mississippi and serves as the associate pastor at St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church in Cleveland.

During his journalism career, Maxie won numerous awards for writing and photography from the Mississippi Press Association and The Associated Press Managing Editors Association of Louisiana and Mississippi.

While a member of the MVSU team, Maxie has won 13 College Public Relations Association of Mississippi awards.

Maxie and his wife, Jasmyne, reside in Cleveland. He has four daughters, Michaela, Joriah, Tayla and Pryce.

Maxie said he is looking forward to collaborating with members of the MVSU community in his new role.

“MVSU is an incredible place, and the Valley family all must pull together so that this special place continues to offer unique opportunities for individuals to develop educationally and personally,” he said.

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