College of Arts and Sciences alumnae wins national award, credits MSU’s Dept of Communication for solid foundation

College of Arts and Sciences alumnae wins national award, credits MSU’s Dept of Communication for solid foundation

MSU Office of Public Affairs

News Bureau (662) 325-3442

Contact: Sarah Nicholas

November 29, 2021

     STARKVILLE, Miss.—Anisa Sullivan Jimenez, a 2002 graduate of Mississippi State University, is the recipient of a National School Public Relations Association Front-Runner Award, one of four presented annually. Jimenez is the recipient for the Southeastern region.

     Jimenez graduated from MSU with a bachelor’s degree in communication with a joint emphasis in public relations and journalism. She received her master’s degree in public administration from the University of Georgia in 2008 and earned her Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) in 2020.

     “Receiving a Front-Runner Award from the National School Public Relations Association, after being nominated by the Georgia School Public Relations Association, is an incredible honor. To have your colleagues recognize both your leadership and your work is extremely validating.” Jimenez said.

     “The education I received at Mississippi State absolutely laid the foundation for my successful career in communications, which is nearing its 20-year mark,” Jimenez said. “I am so fortunate to have learned from the best of the best—the late Lora DeFore, Dr. John Forde, Pattye Archer, Karyn Brown and Frances McDavid. In one of Lora’s courses, I made my first-ever portfolio, and as I look at the shelves in my office today, I count fourteen of them—full of writing, graphic design, web design, social media, event planning, photography and much more.

     Having such a wide range of skills and expertise all started with what I learned at Mississippi State University.”

     Jimenez currently serves as the director of communications for Oconee County Schools, located in Watkinsville, GA, where she is a member of the senior staff and serves on the superintendent’s cabinet.

     “In addition to all the tangibles I produce—videos, flyers, press releases and more—I provide leadership and counsel at the highest levels of the organization,” she said.

     “College, just like anything else, is what you make it, and I encourage current communication students to make their time at Mississippi State the best it can be by working hard and valuing relationships.

     “Get to know your professors, instructors and fellow students. Join PRSSA and take an active role in the department,” Jimenez said. “I knew when I started taking courses in McComas Hall that I had found my home, and I look back on those four years with such fond memories because of the relationships I formed.”

     Jimenez said “maroon runs deep in the family” noting her husband, Albert Jimenez, earned his master’s degree from MSU in 2004 and her mother, Rani Warsi Sullivan, is a professor and interim department head for the Department of Aerospace Engineering.

     MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences includes more than 5,000 students, 323 full-time faculty members, nine doctoral programs, 14 master’s programs, and 27 undergraduate academic majors offered in 14 departments. It also is home to diverse units for research and scholarly activities, including natural and physical sciences, social and behavioral sciences, and the humanities. For more details about the College of Arts and Sciences, visit MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at