Elizabeth Whittington (MBA ’19)
“One of my fondest memories at CBU was graduation. My MBA cohort had finished our classes months earlier, so Commencement was more than just a milestone — it was like a reunion. Learning how everyone’s lives had changed in just a few months, including engagements and new jobs, highlighted how close we had become over the nearly three years of the program.”
Prior to enrolling in the CBU MBA program, Elizabeth earned a BS in Biology from the Mississippi University for Women in 2000, where she served as Senior Class President and as editor of the yearbook. She then enrolled at the University of Mississippi and studied Journalism, where she served as news editor for The Daily Mississippian and was an active member of the Society of Professional Journalists. She relocated to Dallas in 2003, where she put both of her academic studies to work as a copy editor for Physicians’ Education Resource and then as Assistant Managing Editor for CURE Media Group, an educational and media company dedicated to helping cancer patients, survivors and caregivers understand their cancer journey. That position led to a promotion and relocation to New Jersey in 2009, where she became Digital Editor for the company, managing digital strategy, including email newsletters, websites, social media, and a blog network of clinicians, patients, and survivors.
Elizabeth relocated again in 2015, this time to Memphis to take a position as Director of Digital Media at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where she managed a team who focused on elevating the science and clinical care of the institution through social media, physician outreach, web strategy, and digital marketing.
During that time, Elizabeth enrolled in the MBA Program at CBU. “I’m so grateful to my family for supporting me through the MBA program at CBU,” she says. “There were several nights and weekends that were dedicated to my studies after a full day or long week at work. I hope my persistence and drive to continue learning is something my kids take away from my experience.” That persistence and drive also led to her being recognized with the Outstanding MBA Graduate award for the Class of 2019.
Elizabeth is still at St. Jude, where she now serves as Director of Executive Communications and spearheads editorial projects, speechwriting, internal communications, thought leadership, and social media for the Office of the CEO. During her career at St. Jude, she also helped launch a campaign to help one of the hospital’s researchers with a novel gene therapy study. The efforts to enroll young patients with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) — also known as “bubble boy disease” — in the trial were successful, and the gene therapy ultimately resulted in a cure. The marketing and communication strategy behind the campaign was recognized by the Public Relations Society of America with a Silver Anvil Award.
Elizabeth also volunteered with the American Cancer Society for several years, including establishing the 5K for Relay, a benefit run for the ACS of DeSoto County. The event brought in community sponsors and participants from around the Mid-South, raising more than $15,000. She has recently volunteered for a U.S. House candidate in Mississippi — the first Black woman to run for the House seat in MS-District 01— and has helped with digital marketing, speechwriting, and emails for her campaign. “It’s been a great learning experience and incredibly rewarding to be a part of history,” Elizabeth says.
Going to class the first night at CBU, I noticed the motto on the door: ‘Enter to Learn, Leave to Serve.’ It made such an impression on me during that first class and throughout my time at CBU. The focus on helping others, from mentoring students and early-career professionals to community service, was something I learned on my first day at CBU and carry to this day.