Literature. The written word. Tales told on paper, on screens both big and small or through the combination of voice and instruments. They have been core pillars of Edirin Oputu's life from the very beginning.
At her heart, Oputu is a storyteller. Now she will be guiding and helping to craft the stories that illuminate the rich tapestry of programs offered by Temple University University College as the new Director of Marketing.
"Marketing, to me, has always been another avenue to explore writing and storytelling. I started out as a journalist, graduated journalism school, worked at a magazine and then got an opportunity to work at another magazine but more on the branded content side," she said. "My first real marketing job was Content Marketing Manager at The New Yorker in their branded content studio. That's how I got started on this path."
According to Oputu, what drew her to the Director of Marketing position was the opportunity to work within University College.
"I happened across this new position within University College, and I was really excited by it because it is so multifaceted," she said. "It's a position that will allow me to use all of the skills that I've developed over the years but also gives me the opportunity to explore even further and develop new skills."
University College is comprised of an eclectic mix of Temple locations and programs, including the Temple University Ambler, Harrisburg and Center City campuses, Temple's Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) program, the Office of Non-Credit and Continuing Education, Summer and Special Programs, Digital Education, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), the Real Estate Institute, Off-Campus Programs and Training, and the Park Ranger Law Enforcement Academy held at the Ambler Campus.
"We are so grateful to have Edirin join the University College team. She brings a set of skills to the role that truly runs the gamut of the marketing field, which will be a great benefit to University College's diverse programs," said Dr. Vicki Lewis McGarvey, Vice Provost for University College and Director of Temple University Ambler. "Different audiences require different ways to connect with our programs and offerings. We know that Edirin is the right voice to help share the story of University College across a broad range of marketing opportunities."
Prior to taking on her new role as Director of Marketing for University College, Oputu was the Assistant Director of Marketing for La Salle University.
"I was involved in a great deal of project management, editing, writing and proofreading. My major internal campus partners were admissions and advancement," she said. "My goal was always to keep everything on track and on deadline and make sure that it got to print or the vendor or the intended audience on time while also looking at things from a writing and storytelling perspective."
Oputu is also no stranger to Temple University, beginning as a freelance copywriter and copyeditor in early 2020 and transitioning to a Content Manager position in Temple's Office of Strategic Marketing and Communications from August 2020 through February 2022.
"I wrote longform articles and managed content for Temple's news center. I pitched and researched story ideas and assigned, tracked and published articles," she said. "My responsibilities expanded to include editing all articles submitted by news center writers and supervising a team of three employees and an intern. I also wrote copy for out-of-home, digital and radio ads for university ad campaigns and special projects; helped plan content for a weekly e-newsletter; and trained writers in news center and photo processes."
Before becoming part of the Temple team the first time, Oputu was the Content Marketing Manager and then Brand Marketing Manager at The New Yorker. She was additionally selected for a prestigious one-year fellowship at the Columbia Journalism Review prior to her time at The New Yorker.
With University College, Oputu said, her first goal will be "to help ensure that there is a consistent and cohesive message about University College overall."
"Part of what makes it unique is all of the different components that are brought together under the University College banner. I want to help make sure that no matter what someone among our audiences is looking at, whether it's a printed piece, an article, an ad, a tweet or some other social media post, it all still feels like it comes from the same place," she said. "I know that I will be working with a team that is spread across many different locations. Alongside having a cohesive message, it's also about making sure that everyone feels like we're all in this together, working together toward a greater whole."
All of University College's locations and programs serve a very important role, Oputu said, "because they add to the diversity of Temple's community."
"It means that the University isn't just focused on Main Campus and traditional students — both undergraduate and graduate — but instead it's a wider focus that encompasses non-traditional students. When non-traditional students pass through the University, the first place they are likely to go through is part of University College," she said. "If someone is considering continuing education, they will be passing through University College. At Temple Ambler, for example, all of the programs offered by the Ambler Arboretum that are community-focused provide a way for people to interact with the University that they might not otherwise have."
It is essential that Temple offers these alternative educational experiences, which are presented "in the spirit in which the University was founded," Oputu said.
"Temple was founded as a night school to give everyone educational opportunities that they might not have been able to access otherwise. What the programs within University College do is provide education for all," she said. "No matter where you're coming from, no matter what your specific circumstances or your interests are, you'll find a place at Temple through University College."
Oputu said she is excited to have the opportunity to talk to numerous audiences at once "and figuring out what makes them tick."
"I want to understand the difference between someone who wants to take a part-time program in Real Estate versus someone who graduates with a Bachelor's degree in General Studies or a parent interested in music classes for their children," she said. "I know it's going to be a challenge speaking to all of those different audiences, but I think that's what makes it great. That's what's going to make it fun."
About University College
No matter their interests, goals or locations, the programs and resources offered by University College provide educational opportunities for students of every age.
University College provides access to quality hands-on educational programs and services for a diverse community of traditional and non-traditional learners who are seeking enhanced knowledge and skills through credit, non-credit, and continuing education programs offered at our regional campuses, off-campus locations, and online.
From summer camps for children and teens to pre-college programs for high school students, from a new degree program to help adult learners finish what they started to an institute devoted to the needs of lifelong learners, University College is designed to meet the needs of students at every point in their lives. Learn more about University College at unversitycollege.temple.edu.