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Mark Helmke brings real-life experience
joining Trine faculty
ANGOLA, Ind. – After advising national leaders during the Cold War, Apartheid and other times of national and international civil unrest, Mark Helmke will join Trine University’s Ketner School of Business as a communication instructor.
With four decades of experience, Helmke will draw on his background as a strategic communication professional to engage students in the classroom. He has previously lectured on various topics at the National Defense University and the National Defense Intelligence College, as well as Georgetown, George Washington, Ball State and Purdue universities.
“He is a phenomenal individual and will add a new perspective to Trine,” said school of business dean Scott Fergusson. “He has been consistently recognized for achievements in the communication field – as a reporter, as a political strategist and as a citizen. Undoubtedly, he will make a tremendous impact on our students.”
In addition to national recognition for his reporting, Helmke received the Sagamore of the Wabash – the state’s highest honor – from former Gov. Robert Orr in 1988.
Helmke’s interest in politics began when he was a political science student at the College of Potomac (now Antioch College) in Washington, D.C. Following graduation, he went to work as a reporter for The Piedmont Virginian and later as a political reporter for the Fort Wayne News Sentinel. He covered multiple political campaigns and elections, and met U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar along the way.
While still working as a reporter he earned his master’s degree in political science and journalism at Goddard College and wrote a thesis about the history of Indiana politics.
In 1981, Helmke was named Lugar’s press secretary and was responsible for directing his communication strategies on The Philippines democratic revolution and the passage of the successful South African sanctions bill to end Apartheid.
In 1987, he became president of Robinson Lake Sawyer Miller, a strategic communications firm in Washington D.C., and New York, which grew from 10 to 450 employees.
Helmke remained in contact with Lugar and went to work on his presidential campaign in 1995 as his communications director. He started Helmke Group, a business and political strategic communications firm in Alexandria, Va., in 1996. His clients made worldwide impacts on free trade, energy and global investments. His company assisted Royal-Dutch Shell and its interests in the Russian-Ukrainian natural gas pipeline. He worked with the government of Colombia on free trade and drug eradication.
For the past nine years, Helmke has worked with a team of designated spokesmen, handling press calls on all issues for the U.S. Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee. He assisted in developing and implementing special projects and task forces for Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar, mostly focusing on international media, foreign business and political interests.
To share your news, contact Trine University communication specialist Lindsay Winslow Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.