2024 National Rising Star

2024 National Rising Star

Lisé Freking
Director of Strategic Marketing and Communications
Dakota County Technical College/Inver Hills Community College
Inver Grove Heights, MN

When Lisé Freking applied for, and eventually won, the marcom job at Dakota County Technical College (DCTC) and Inver Hills Community College, she saw that the job description included two institutions.  

It was Freking’s first job in higher ed, and she didn’t realize that two-for-one situation was unusual. After nearly five years, she’s developed ways to work smarter, which is one of the reasons she’s been named NCMPR’s 2024 Rising Star of the Year. The award recognizes newcomers who’ve demonstrated special creativity or ability in marketing and PR and show evidence of a promising future in the field. It is awarded annually in NCMPR’s seven districts, and district recipients compete for the national award.  

Before coming to two-year college marcom and PR, Freking got her law degree and worked at West Publishing, now Thomson Reuters, which provides legal and technology solutions for judges, attorneys, law schools and others in the legal industry.   

She found the job at DCTC and Inver Hills, managing employees who worked in graphic design, project management, photography, video, and strategy—aka the tasks Freking did over the years at Thomson Reuters or managed in her prior product marketing and management roles.  

While she oversees marcom and PR at two different institutions that are about 10 minutes apart, the sister colleges—one a technical school and one a community college—have a shared president and services including facilities, IT, marketing and HR.  

“I try to create efficiencies across both organizations,” Freking says. “My team tries to have the mantra of, ‘Create it once, and deploy it twice.’”  

Freking directly supports the Office of the President and developed marketing strategies to support the colleges’ strategic plans, enrollment plans, DEI website updates and guided learning pathway proposals.   

“The skills I came into this role with are easily transferrable into this industry,” she says. “I can bring some different aspects to the role—how we think, how we do things—for the betterment of the students and for the colleges themselves.”  

View past Rising Star winners »

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