Judson University welcomes new vice president for enrollment and marketing
Dr. Nikki Fennern will join Judson University as vice president of enrollment and marketing, beginning Thursday, Oct. 17.
Fennern has been a leader in higher education with more than 20 years of experience as an executive officer, athletic director and coach. She will join Judson upon completion of her term as vice president for enrollment management at Iowa Wesleyan University in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa.
"I am very excited to join Judson University and look forward to leading and working alongside this team to meet and grow the university's enrollment goals," said Dr. Fennern.
At Iowa Wesleyan, Dr. Fennern leads the enrollment division of the university which includes admissions, financial aid and intercollegiate athletics. During her tenure, she restructured recruitment processes and developed a campuswide plan to grow undergraduate enrollment with strategies collaborating with academics, admissions, international recruitment and athletics. She serves as a member of the President's Cabinet and co-chairs the university's Persistence and Completion Council. The university achieved a spring 2019 persistence and retention effort that resulted in the highest spring persistence since 2014. In addition, Iowa Wesleyan saw overall enrollment growth over the previous year and for the fifth consecutive year.
Prior to working at Iowa Wesleyan, Dr. Fennern was the athletic director at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota in Winona, Minn., and led a 21-sport intercollegiate athletics program. She helped the university meet and exceed student-athlete recruitment goals, increased annual operational fundraising, and represented the university on local, regional and national levels. During her tenure, Saint Mary's teams significantly increased their competitive successes and appeared in several conference tournaments. The athletics department also increased the number of regional and national student-athlete awards, while coaches earned seven conference coach-of-the year honors. While at Saint Mary's University, Dr. Fennern taught within the business department as an adjunct professor in sport management and was the head fastpitch softball coach from 2000 to 2006.
"Dr. Fennern's knowledge and experience of enrollment and athletics will serve Judson's goal of providing high academic offerings to student who want to continue their athletic careers at a Christian institution," said Judson President Gene Crume. "I look forward to seeing how Dr. Fennern's commitment to excellence and her ability to call out the leadership strengths of students and colleagues alike will enrich our campus community."
In recognition of her achievements and leadership, Dr. Fennern received the Breaking Barriers Award from the Minnesota Coalition for Women in Athletic Leadership in 2018 and the Women Leaders in College Sports (formerly National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators) Division III Athletic Administrator of the Year Award in 2016. She also received two Employee Recognition Awards while at Saint Mary's University and was honored as an Easton Victory Club Member for accumulating more than 100 career collegiate softball victories -- achieved within four years of collegiate coaching.
Dr. Fennern earned her bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Health and Human Performance from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. She earned a Master's degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation with an emphasis on Athletic Administration from South Dakota State University, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Saint Mary's University.