Message Maker, Content Creator, Knowledge Relator
Cole Hons is a 50-year-old communications professional, born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. He earned a self-designed Liberal Arts degree from Penn State in 1991, and currently resides in State College, PA with his wife and two sons.
Cole kicked off his marketing communications career in 2001, helping Penn State’s innovative online World Campus rise to international prominence, as lead copywriter, media producer, and public relations coordinator. Along the way, he ventured into part-time journalism as a regular columnist and arts & culture reviewer at the Centre Daily Times.
Heeding an inner drive to co-create a happier, healthier world, Cole went on to help lay the the groundwork for Penn State’s Sustainability Institute, where he shaped the university’s first strategic plan for sustainability, radically increased social visibility among students, produced videos for online courses and helped raise half a million dollars for a new service-learning program, the National Energy Leadership Corps.
A professional growth opportunity at the South Hills School of Business and Technology gave Cole the chance to lead a total digital makeover at a school that really needed it. Over two years, he designed and implemented a multi-channel re-branding campaign that yielded a 30% jump in enrollments.
As the Director of Development at The Willow School, a remarkable independent school in Gladstone, NJ, Cole helped double the number of full scholarships offered to deserving students in need.
Currently, Cole is working at The Huck Institutes of the Life Sciences, as their first director of communications & marketing. Since joining this world-class group of research scientists in 2017, Cole has designed and implemented a new website, produced new video content, launched an eNewsletter and hosted The Symbiotic Podcast, devoted to exploring the trials, tribulations and potential of trans-disciplinary life sciences research.
Cole’s passion for teaching has led to a variety of endeavors over the years.
At New Leaf Initiative, he has offered his wild and wooly Creative Explosion Lab. While serving as director of marketing for South Hills School of Business & Technology, he taught Creative Copywriting. And as a part-time specials teacher at Centre Learning Community Charter School, he taught all kinds of cool classes, including Game Design, Peace 101, Methods of Meditation and Critical Thinking & Debate.
Cole has produced web copy, video, and other creative content for a wide variety of freelance clients, including Uncle Eli’s Artist Marketplace & Gift Emporium, Otto’s Pub & Brewery, Bonfatto’s, Voices of Central PA, and Greenmoore Village, among others. He also writes business plans and grants for hire, and edits book manuscripts.
Finally, Cole is an accomplished singer/songwriter and soundtrack producer. He’s written hundreds of songs in many styles, with the alternative rock band Dogtown Road in the 90s, and then with a string of other collaborators. Though no longer touring outside Central PA, Cole still gives occasional live performances at venues like Webster’s Bookstore Cafe, New Leaf Initiative, and in collaboration with inspiring artistic partners like Penn State’s Cultural Conversations.
Here’s a video of an impromptu live performance.