We are pleased to welcome Elina Ojanen to Niagara College in the position of Communications Lead with SONAMI.
As the Communication Lead, Elina heads a full range of communications services for the Southern Ontario Network for Advanced Manufacturing Innovation (SONAMI), within the Research & Innovation (R&I) division at Niagara College, and implements communication plans to support projects, events, publications, and media relations.
Elina’s role is centred around raising awareness for SONAMI among industry partners and students, as well as showcasing the capabilities of our institutional partners.
“I get to tell the stories of the people and companies that work with us. Every day is different for me. One day I might be writing a success story to highlight the impact our projects have had on our industry partners, the next day I may be writing content for our promotional material or website. Then there are days that I may pitch a story to the media or work with team members to develop our communication plan for the year,” says Ojanen.
Another important part of her role is to build and maintain relationships with the project managers and communications professionals across the SONAMI Network, collaborating with them on campaigns and communication material.
As for her experience at the College so far, she noted, “It’s been an amazing experience. The culture at Niagara College and SONAMI is warm, welcoming, and collaborative. The onboarding experience was excellent, and I felt that I was being taken care of from the moment I walked through the door.”
Elina brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in communications, marketing, project management, and event planning to the role. Most recently, Elina has worked at McMaster University as a Communication Manager promoting programs and events aimed at entrepreneurs and innovators.
“I look forward to being part of a team supporting students and companies in Southern Ontario. Through SONAMI projects, students are given the opportunity to apply theory and academic content to solve real-world problems for small- and medium-sized companies.”
She spent over seven years working within higher education institutions and innovative companies in Canada and the United States. She holds a BA in Psychology with a minor in Communication Studies from The College of Wooster, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Cleveland State University, both located in Ohio.
“I have always enjoyed working within the higher education sector and working at Niagara College, one of Ontario’s premier post-secondary institutions, was a great fit. When I came across the Communications Lead position at SONAMI I was instantly interested in the role and the organization’s mission,” says Ojanen.
“I look forward to being part of a team supporting students and companies in Southern Ontario. Through SONAMI projects, students are given the opportunity to apply theory and academic content to solve real-world problems for small- and medium-sized companies. Being part of SONAMI is highly rewarding because my work positively impacts students’ lives, businesses in Southern Ontario, and educational institutions within the SONAMI network,” says Ojanen.
In her free time, she loves to travel and explore the world. “I have travelled and lived in numerous countries and have learned about different places and cultures. I never turn away a good road trip with family or friends, as I find that to be the most relaxing way to travel, enjoying views along the way,” says Ojanen. She especially savours spending time with family and finds that her daughter reminds her how living in the moment is the secret to staying happy and enjoying life.
For more information on the communication objectives of SONAMI, you can contact Elina via email at [email protected], or by phone at 905-735-2211, ext. 7182.