Valerie Andrews is a freelance copy editor, copywriter and communication strategist in the greater New Orleans area. Her services focus on editing, proofreading, writing and development of strategic communication strategy.
A graduate of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La., where she earned a degree in journalism/public relations, Andrews received a master of journalism degree from LSU with an emphasis in public relations.
She is the great-granddaughter of the founder of her hometown, Gonzales, La., the Jambalaya Capital of the World.
Andrews has worked extensively in public relations and advertising for industries ranging from RVs and food service to printing and educational materials. She was the director of the award-winning Creative Services team for Camco Manufacturing, Inc., a North Carolina-based manufacturing company that serves an international client base.
She has held editorial positions with two magazines, including senior editor of the International Journal for Minority Medical Students and has edited, written for and consulted on a variety of other professional publications. She has been published in academic journals and national and regional magazines and has made scholarly presentations at numerous regional and national conferences, most recently in the area of service learning.
A member of the Crowning Connections team since its founding in 2003, Andrews specializes in pageant planning and promotions, as well as interview preparation for contestants.
Andrews is a member of the New Orleans chapter of the Public Relations Association of Louisiana, where she served as co-chair of student services. In 2015 she was named PRAL NOLA’s Educator of the Year.
She is a former member of the New Orleans chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators, having previously sat on the boards of the New Orleans and Piedmont Triad (N.C.) chapters and has been a member of IABC’s Atlanta chapter. She was a charter member of the Ad Club of South Mississippi, American Advertising Federation. She is a former member of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications and Women in PR.
Throughout her career, she has participated in and worked alongside the nonprofit community. She has served on the boards of the Gonzales Little Theatre, Salem Community Theatre and Ascension Community Theatre and worked with the Eunice Players Theatre. She spent five years as director of the Shawn M. Donnelley Center for Nonprofit Communications at Loyola, a student-run agency that works with nonprofits to solve communication challenges.
She was a founding member of After Choir Productions, a volunteer musical outreach group, and co-founded the Southern Mississippi Scholastic Journalism Association. Her volunteer work has included serving as youth director for the Gonzales United Methodist Church, as a district committee member for the Sweetwater District, Atlanta Area Council, Boy Scouts of America and as a crafts teacher at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Metairie, La.
Until 2016, Andrews was an assistant professor in the School of Mass Communication at Loyola University New Orleans, teaching public relations, advertising and event planning. She also held faculty positions at Louisiana State University, the University of Southern Mississippi and at Georgia College & State University, where she was a tenured assistant professor in Mass Communication. While at Loyola, she developed the annual internship fair, SMC Networking Night at Loyola, the SMC’s annual portfolio review for seniors and assisted in the creation of the SMC’s alumni hall of fame, the Den of Distinction.
What are your favorite activities when you are not working?
When I'm not working, I love to go to the beach. Since that only happens occasionally, I like spending my spare time reading, listening to music, watching movies and crafting. Mystery is my favorite book genre, and soundtracks are my favorite type of music. I like all kinds of movies, with an emphasis on drama and history.
What is your favorite thing about SoPA?
My favorite thing about SoPA is the people! Such an interesting and diverse group of students makes for interesting and diverse discussions.