Saint Martin’s names new director of community relations and event management

November 23, 2011

SarahPhotoLACEY, WASHINGTON —Saint Martin’s University has appointed Sarah Holdener (née Younkin) to the newly created post of director of community relations and event management.

A current Saint Martin’s employee, Holdener comes to the Office of Marketing and Communications from the Office of International Programs and Development. In her most recent role, she oversaw the coordination of the University’s summer cultural exchange programs, a series of events involving 10 programs and 180 international students. 

Holdener has also been a key planner of the Saint Martin's University Dragon Boat Festival, an annual event in late April that draws more than 6,000 spectators and 32 racing teams.

A graduate of Leadership Thurston County, Holdener has networked extensively in the community. She recently teamed with the executive director of the Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater Visitor and Convention Bureau to develop and implement a new business project in which visiting Chinese business students assessed 12 of Thurston County’s top tourist attractions and learned U.S. business operations.

“We are delighted to have Sarah accept the position and join our team,” says Jennifer Fellinger, Saint Martin’s vice president of marketing and communications. “Sarah brings great enthusiasm to this role and will work to ensure Saint Martin’s events and partnerships, both on and off campus, meet the mission, vision and direction of the University.”

Says Holdener, “I am very much looking forward to serving our community in this new capacity.  I aim to grow the Saint Martin’s family through events and partnerships that generate positive interactions and reflect the best of this university.”

Holdener earned her degree in foreign language and international affairs at the University of Puget Sound.

In her new role, Holdener will work with members of the Saint Martin’s community to plan, coordinate and manage University events, and collaborate within the broader external community to build strong relationships and partnerships for the University.

Holdener officially assumed her new role at Saint Martin’s on Nov. 15.
Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, coeducational university located on a 380-acre wooded campus in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 14 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 21 majors and six graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes 1,250 students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its main campus, and 650 more to its extension campuses located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Everett College, Centralia College and Tacoma Community College. Visit the Saint Martin’s University website at
For additional information:
Sarah Holdener
Director of community relations and event management
Office of Marketing and Communications
Saint Martin’s University