Prior to CSUSB he was the senior communications manager for the Black AIDS Institute, the only national HIV/AIDS think tank focused exclusively on Black people. Hygh spent 20 plus years as the chief communications officer for The United Methodist Church (UMC) in five different regional offices in the United States, and the international mission agency when it was based in New York City. He has also been an adjunct instructor at Folsom Lake College in Folsom, Calif.
He has served as the Director of Communications for the California-Nevada Conference of The United Methodist Church comprised of 360 local United Methodist Churches with 80,000 members in Northern California and Northern Nevada. In this capacity, Hygh had oversight for marketing, crisis communication, the website, video production, press and public relations efforts, and interpretation of the mission and ministry.
Hygh has served as the Director of Communications for the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church when it was based in New York City. Prior to Global Ministries, Hygh was a United Methodist communicator in Southern California, Hawaii, Guam, and Saipan, as well as New England, Mississippi, and the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area. For four years, he also anchored and reported for the Crown City News, an independently produced cable newscast in Pasadena, California, that serves the San Gabriel Valley.
While living in Northern California, he was also an adjunct assistant professor in communications studies at Folsom Lake College.
Hygh, also known to friends and family as “Spud,” is a lifelong United Methodist and a fifth generation Methodist. His great-great grandfather who was a freed slave was a Methodist.
In 2008, Hygh earned a Doctor of Education from Pepperdine University in Organizational Leadership. His dissertation is entitled A Qualitative Leadership Study of the Four Female African-American Bishops of the United Methodist Church. His undergraduate and masters’ degrees are from Stephen F. Austin (SFA) State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, in Radio/Television and Mass Communications. The Alumni Association of Stephen F. Austin State University named him a “2006 Outstanding Young Alumnus.” While in New England, Hygh studied at Suffolk University in Boston, Massachusetts.
Hygh is a 1988 graduate of St. Joseph Catholic School and a 1994 graduate of Marshall High School in Marshall, Texas, where he began his communications career as a disc jockey for KBWC radio station at Wiley College.
Realizing a need to be the most diverse and effective communicator possible, Hygh has completed several highly successful internships. He has had press/media oriented internships with The White House (President William “Bill” Jefferson Clinton, 42nd President), U.S. House of Representatives (Rep. Max Sandlin, 1st Congressional District-Texas), and the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.
Hygh is a lifetime member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Black Methodists for Church Renewal where he has served on the national board, Religion Communicators Council where he has served on the national governing board, the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), National Association of Black Journalists Los Angeles (NABJLA) chapter, a life member of the Stephen F. Austin State University Alumni Association, and the Los Angeles Press Club.
In United Methodism, Hygh has served on the coordinating committee for the Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century Initiative where he chaired the communications committee for eight years. In the past, he has served on the General Commission on Communications for the United Methodist Church, the Board of Trustees for Gammon Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia, and as the treasurer for the Los Angeles chapter of the Religion Communicators Council.
He is a member “White Suiter” of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, the non-profit entity that produces the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl each year as well as a 2008 graduate of Leadership Pasadena, and a 2009 graduate of Leadership Southern California.
Hygh was the United Methodist Church’s first Judith L. Weidman Racial Ethnic Minority Fellow in Communications. He received this fellowship in 1998 and worked in the New England Conference based in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Hygh again made history in 2005 when he was selected to serve as the mentor of the eighth fellowship recipient. He was the first ethnic minority person to serve as a mentor and it was the first time the fellowship has been hosted in the denomination’s Western Jurisdiction.
He is a sought after public speaker, especially to youth and young adults, who brings a great deal of energy and enthusiasm to each speaking engagement. He has keynoted and facilitated training, spoken in local churches, and to secular entities, across the country.
In his spare time, Hygh enjoys public and motivational speaking and reading biographies and autobiographies. Hygh has acted in community plays and on commercials for regional television. He is an exercise enthusiast and enjoys Zumba, hip-hop dance, and jogging. Hygh resides in Pasadena, California and is a member of Harmony Toluca Lake United Methodist Church.
Hygh is an exercise enthusiast and loves to travel. He has traveled to six of the seven continents, approximately 29 countries, and 45 of the 50 states in the United States. Some of the countries he has visited include Thailand, Sierra Leone, the United Kingdom, Mexico, Canada, Argentina, Paraguay, Germany, France, Australia, Italy, Greece, Croatia, Costa Rica, Singapore, and Turkey.