Shani Crayton Returns to ASU

News Date
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Alumna Shani Crayton Returns to ASU As Marketing Executive 

By Kenneth Mullinax/ASU 

Alabama State University alumna Shani Crayton (class of 2008) has returned to her alma mater as an executive in the department of Strategic Communications and Marketing. 

The Emmy-nominated journalist serves as the director of Brand and Marketing at ASU, after gaining more than 15 years of experience in television broadcasting and marketing. 

On the job only a few weeks, the Fairfield, Ala., native has already hit the ground running, helping to promote several major national initiatives for the University. Crayton has been described as a marketing dynamo. 

"I bring a high level of energy to all that I do, and I am excited to apply my energy to ASU," said Crayton, from her new office in William Harper Councill Hall. "I have a wealth of professional where-with-all, and the love that I have for the University is deep in my heart and that is what makes an even more positive difference in my skillset."   

Crayton is a proud Legacy Hornet. The ranks of ASU graduates in her family include her siblings, a nephew and her father, Mikul Leonard (Class of 1974), who was a standout basketball player for the Hornets. 

The new director’s experience and passion for the University's vision and mission made her the ideal choice for the position she now holds, explains Crayton’s supervisor, Jessica Madison, the executive director of Strategic Communications and Marketing at ASU. 

"Shani Crayton is the epitome of execution, and I knew it was imperative to Strategic Communications and Marketing to add someone like her who could execute efficiently and effectively, while understanding the overall vision of ASU and our Focus 2023 Strategic Plan under the leadership of President (Quinton) Ross," Madison said. "So with that in mind, it was a no-brainer to bring in Shani as our new Brand and Marketing director. She understands the brand inherently from an internal perspective and she's going to be an excellent asset in helping us to execute our marketing campaigns externally, as well."   


Crayton holds a bachelor of science degree in Communications-Radio/TV (and a master's in Education) with more than15 years in broadcast television expertise at WSFA 12 News, the NBC Network Affiliate in Montgomery, Ala., which is one of the highest rated NBC affiliates in the nation. While at WSFA, she started as a part-time editor while finishing her degree at ASU and advanced through the ranks as senior editor, newscast director, operations supervisor, and senior technical media producer and news operations supervisor. 

A committed alumna, Crayton has taught television broadcast classes at ASU and served on the external advisory board for ASU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She also is a member of Leadership Montgomery Torchbearers Class XII. 

She is married to Kris (Class of 2009) and has an elementary-aged son.


Crayton boasts that she was a member of the Hornet Nation Family even before she was born. 

"ASU chose me long before I was even born. I was a Hornet from day one because of the long lineage of ASU Hornets that have been in my life," stated Crayton. "Over 20 years ago, I chose ASU so I could experience that Ole ‘Bama State Spirit first hand. Now, I have chosen ASU once again because it is home, and I hope to enhance that Bama State Spirit for all of our future Hornets." 

New media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, 334-229-4104.