The University Communications, Publications and Design team is the principal distributor of official university communications and coordinator of the health science center’s integrated marketing initiative, creating a common public “face” and consistent “voice” for the institution.
Assistant Vice President, Office of Public Affairs
Chief Communications Officer
Director, University Communications & Publications
Karen Krakower Kaplan has returned to the UTHealth Office of Public Affairs three times over 35 years, most recently in 2002.
As assistant vice president, Karen leads the four teams that comprise the office of Public Affairs – Communications and Design, Media Relations, Special Events and Web Services – which serve to “inform, engage and inspire” the university at the central level and work collaboratively with the individual schools.
Together with her colleagues, Karen plays key roles in marketing, branding, university communications, publications and special events to tell the stories of the people behind the science and position UTHealth as a premier institution dedicated to the mission areas of teaching, healing and discovery.
Karen serves on several advisory boards and committees both within the university and the broader Houston community and lectures on personal health and medical journalism. Her work has appeared in more than 50 journals, magazines, newspapers and anthologies and is the recipient of more than 20 awards for writing as editor of HealthLEADER Online Magazine. Her additional work in end-stage disease counseling through AIDS organizations, organ transplant and hospice provides a necessary depth to her understanding of current health information needs.
Born and raised in Leicester, England, Joy moved with her family to Houston in 1985. In November 2013, Joy rejoined UTHealth as Executive Assistant supporting the University Communications, Publications and Design team. She previously worked for two years in the Department of Surgery at UTHealth Medical School before leaving for Philadelphia to work at Penn Medicine. Joy is the “go to person” whose expertise is called upon to coordinate executives’ busy schedules, conferences, travel, and ensure a smooth and efficient flow of daily operations. She also serves as one of the department’s Area Safety Liaison personnel.
Senior Graphic Designer
As an Office of Public Affairs graphic designer, Lauren Laman provides services that can include design and production of brochures, university-event invitations and display posters. In addition she is one reason the department can produce a variety of collateral materials in both a timely and cost effective manner. Some of her responsibilities include concept and design of brochures, invitations and other collateral materials for the university’s development and marketing efforts and other departments and schools, plus event materials. Lauren came to UTHealth after working as a graphic designer in the Community Relations office of Lamar Consolidated Independent School District in Rosenberg, Texas. She graduated with a bachelor of fine art degree from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas.
Marketing Coordinator/Project Manager
Michelle Ray is the Marketing Coordinator and Project Manager for the Creative Team. She joined the UTHealth Office of Public Affairs in February 2014 after working as a Marketing Coordinator for an independently owned manufacturing company. In addition to supporting the Creative Team, Michelle is responsible for communicating with several offices, departments and vendors to ensure UTHealth graphic standards are met by providing logos and usage guidelines. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication with a background in project management, marketing, writing, graphic design and social media.