Carin Morrell

Carin MorrellAs Public Information Officer (PIO), Carin Morrell manages communications for the University of Maryland, Baltimore Police Department (UMBPD) as well as the Office of Emergency Management (OEM). Let's just call it what it is — I'm writing my own Spotlight article, so I might as well write it in the first person.

PIOs are a jack of all trades: crisis communicators, graphic designers, videographers, photographers, social media content creators, media coordinators, web designers, speech writers, journalists, reputation managers, and the list goes on. I manage the @PoliceUMB Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram; the @OfficerLexi page on Instagram; and @UMBOEM on Twitter (and you should definitely follow us). I have my hands in almost all public-facing projects for both UMBPD and OEM.

Working as a PIO for a police department right now can be a challenge. Policing across the United States is broken. But as Interim Chief Thomas Leone says, “We can’t change the wrongs of hundreds of years of policing, but we can do it right moving forward.” I see that mentality throughout UMBPD as we take real strides to learn, grow, and improve. It’s not just words — I witness this in action every day. Our police department does a tremendous amount to support and connect with the communities we serve. I’m really proud to work for such a progressive police department. 

I also work with OEM, but they’re not as well-known as our police department. Someone recently described OEM as “the glue” — they’re holding everything together, but you can't really see it. When COVID-19 hit, OEM jumped into action. The small team manages many facets of the public health crisis’ impact on UMB, from coordinating resources to running the SMC Campus Center COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic. OEM is one of the newest teams at UMB and has just four full-time employees, one part-time employee, and myself (and my time is split between two departments). They certainly don’t get enough credit for the work they do, probably because they’re so busy doing the work!

I joined UMB in 2019. Previously, I worked at the Maryland Department of Health Office of Preparedness and Response (where I was in charge of public health crisis communications for the state of Maryland and left six months before COVID ... phew!), the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, and WBAL-TV.

I love working at UMB and strive to make the most of my time here. I am currently in the UMBrella Coaching Program and was recognized as a UMB Champion of Excellence along with my colleagues in OEM. I am especially proud that I helped to create the UMB Emergency Communications Annex, a part of the UMB Emergency Operations Plan - 2021, which was recently signed after nearly two years of work.

You’ll see me on campus snapping pictures of Lexi, hanging signs in the vaccination clinic, or (most likely) enjoying the food trucks near Plaza Park. Feel free to say hi — my name is pronounced phonetically (CAR-in). In my free time, I’m earning my second master’s degree from UMGC and training for a triathlon. One fun fact about me: My sister and brother-in-law both attended UMB (medical school and law school)!