Director of Operations & Communication
Joya Helmuth was appointed director of operations and communication in September 2017. Her areas of responsibility include communication; information technology; travel, health, and safety; and facilities management and operations on campus and abroad. In this role she serves as NDI's primary liaison with the Offices of Public Affairs and Communication, Facilities Design and Operations, Campus Safety, Information Technology, and Strategic Planning and Institutional Research.
Prior to this role, Helmuth was NDI’s communications director where she managed marketing as well as internal, external, and crisis communication for the main campus office and the Global Gateways and Centers.
From early 2014 until September 2016 Helmuth was the outreach and training associate director at the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (part of the Keough School of Global Affairs) where she led communications as well as the education and training division. The division’s projects included the USAID | Notre Dame Global Development Fellowships; the Mandela Washington Fellowship at Notre Dame, flagship program of the U.S. Department of State's Young African Leaders Initiative; and the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative, also a U.S. Department of State program. While at NDIGD, Helmuth also sourced and led the proposal that led to a two-year, $1.15 million USAID partnership with Balkh University, Afghanistan.
From 2010 to 2014, Helmuth worked as a trainer for Apple, Inc. in Cupertino, California and Mishawaka, Indiana. Prior to Apple, she was the owner of Spark Design Studio in South Bend, providing full-service graphic design, marketing, and branding services to local and regional clients. During a concurrent four-year tenure as the owner of retail store Spark Fine Stationery, she co-founded ShoLo Independent Business Alliance, Inc., a nonprofit advocacy organization for local business in St. Joseph County, Indiana.
Helmuth has actively supported the local community, including various board and committee positions for local National Public Radio station 88.1 WVPE, Indiana University South Bend's Center for Sustainable Future, and the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, in addition to serving as a consultant to area business owners. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Trinity Christian College and a master of science in communication from Purdue University.