Grads share career news, updates

 

Amber McCafferty, a 2002 Elon grad, is working with Trone Public Relations Inc. in Greensboro, N.C., as an account coordinator. She was hired to fill the position about two weeks before graduation. "I have no doubt my previous experience built through internships got me the job," she said. "My work portfolio included coursework, but it was primarily work done in my internships." During her undergraduate years at Elon, she capitalized on experiences gained through internships at two agencies: Richard French & Associates in Raleigh and Dome Communications in Chicago. "Richard French is a sister company of Trone, and that probably helped me land this spot," she said. Trone is a full-service agency that offers media relations, event marketing, executive visibility, issues and crisis management and media training. McCafferty is working on Trone's Syngenta, Cricket Wireless and Quick Step account teams. Her e-mail address is amccafferty@trone.com.

Shelby Brown, class of 2002, lives in Columbia, S.C., where she works for WIS, the NBC affiliate (broadcast television market #83). She works in the programming and promotions department, and has assigned tasks that involve her in every aspect of the operation, including maintaining/distributing the station's program schedule, acting as a children's programming liaison to the FCC, producing/editing promotional spots for air, arranging community projects, filing the Neilsen log and most recently producing segments for the sports department.

"I got the job the old-fashioned way, answering an ad and sending my resume," she said. "My internship the summer preceding my senior year was an indispensable resource. Aside from hands-on writing/producing experience, it enabled me to get great references. What I think was a sole factor in my motivation and preparedness for life after graduation, was Senior Seminar with Connie Book. She showed me how to think and reason in this industry. She provided me with research skills and knowledge that enabled me to secure a job before graduation."

Brown said she wanted to share the message that it is not that important to have a big title or salary on your first job after graduation. "All you need is a foot in the door," she said. "If you demonstrate a strong willingness to learn and tenacity, superiors will give you more responsibility and high-profile projects that will get you noticed." She said she plans to take her career direction into news or programming. Her e-mail address is shelbyvbrown@att.net.

Jaya Martin, a 2002 grad, has been working full-time for Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Burlington, N.C., since mid-July. She is the coordinator for the Faith Development program, which serves about Grad300 children in kindergarten through eighth grades. She also travels throughout the diocese of Raleigh for workshops and retreats. More than half of the families involved in the church are Spanish-speaking. "I'm like an assistant principal," she said, "and it's been fun so far." Martin expects to spend about a year in this job before she goes to graduate school. Her e-mail address is ParaJaya@aol.com.

Kelly Allen, class of 2000, taught broadcast journalism at the Robeson County Career Center in Lumberton, N.C., before beginning graduate school at Duquesne in January 2001. While there, she worked with local non-profit organizations and WTAE-TV. "It was wonderful to meet Jim Hefner (WTAE executive and a member of Elon's School of Communications Advisory Board) while I was up there," she said. She completed her master's degree in corporate communication in May and is now teaching in the Humanities and Fine Arts Department of Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, N.C. She also teaches public speaking courses as an adjunct at the University of North Carolina - Wilmington. Her e-mail address is kallen@capefear.cc.nc.us.

Alecia Pynn, a 2000 graduate, is now employed in the sports information office at the University of Florida. She works with the football and basketball programs. "I hear lots of compliments about Elon grads," she said. "Thanks to Elon for a great experience." Pynn's e-mail address is AleciaP@gators.uaa.ufl.edu.

Leigh Wheeler, a 2001 grad, is the development coordinator for the Travel Channel at Discovery networks. She tracks incoming and ongoing productions and proposals. "It's a lot of paperwork and organizing," she said, "but I'm happy to have my foot in the door at a quality organization, and it is a wonderful opportunity." Her e-mail address is leighwheeler@hotmail.com.

Jessica Vitak, a 2002 grad, is working in the Washington, D.C., bureau of PR Newswire, an organization with 30 bureaus located throughout the United States. She's one of eight people on the editorial staff in D.C., where she edits, codes and distributes news releases. The office is located about three blocks away from the National Mall, near the Washington Monument. "I love my job because I am learning a lot about the business and financial worlds," she said. "I enjoy being able to 1) read releases before the media or general public, and 2) work on a release in the morning and see it running across CNN's ticker by afternoon or see a VNR about the topic. For the first time since I entered college, maybe ever, I feel on top of the news. I am working in one of the busiest cities in the world, where news is happening all around me, and I am an important part of it. It's an extremely rewarding feeling." Her e-mail address is jessica_vitak@yahoo.com.

Erik Furlan is a clerk/reporter in the Gaston, N.C., bureau of The Charlotte Observer. His responsibilities include office administration, compilation of an area entertainment calendar, writing features and covering area religion and business news. The 2002 Elon grad is living in the Charlotte area. "My ultimate goal is still in NASCAR media," he said. "Coming in as a broadcast major, I never imagined that my first job would be in the print field. The School of Communication's concentration cross-over allowed me to pick up the journalism concentration as well, opening up so many more doors. So far, it's been an eye-opening experience, classic 'first job' in communications." Erik's e-mail address is efurlan@carolina.rr.com.

Suzanne George, a 2002 grad, is an assistant account executive with M Booth and Associates, a New York City PR firm. She works with the company's Travel and Lifestyle team." I love my job," she says. "We have clients such as Royal Olympic Cruises, Ski Utah (all of the ski resorts in the state), resorts in Las Vegas, Trip.com and Cheaptickets.com, Beaulieu Vineyard in the Napa Valley and several others. It's great to work with such wonderful clients such as these. To think last year at this time I thought I was busy! It's been a bit of an adjustment getting into the New York way of life, but a good one. Billy Duffy and I are now engaged and planning to get married June 14 in Raleigh. Life is truly coming together for me." Her e-mail address is: Suzanneg@mbooth.com.

Allison Deiboldt, a 2002 grad, is a research analyst for the TV research firm Petry Media Corporation, a sister company to Blair Media. She is working in the main offices on 5th Avenue and 54th Street in mid-town Manhattan. She works with a number of broadcast clients from all over the United States, doing statistical analysis and writing proposals and presentations in regard to their best marketing strategies. She said she's thankful to all of her Elon professors for their influence and support. Her e-mail address is adeiboldt@yahoo.com.

Kristen Nastasia, a 2000 grad, has moved to her second position in TV News. She worked for about 18 months as a producer/reporter for WECT-TV, the NBC affiliate in Wilmington, N.C., before moving to WZVN-TV, the ABC affiliate in Ft. Myers, Fla. While she was at WECT she won two AP Awards (Rookie of the Year 2000, First Place Spot News 2000) and three RTNDA-Carolinas first places (political, consumer and news series reporting). She has been working at the Ft. Myers station for about a year now. She covers Florida's biggest county, Collier, and she lives in Naples. "My career is going so well," she said. "and I credit much of my post-Elon success with my hands-on training during college." While at Elon, she worked at ESTV and completed summer internships with WBTV in Charlotte and WWAY-TV in Wilmington. Her e-mail address is kristenn@abc-7.com.

Allyson Brunetti, a 2002 grad, is the production coordinator for "Change of Heart," a Warner Brothers television series that is shot in New York. The program is a dating show/reality series. One of Brunetti's duties is to coordinate the intern program, and she says she would like to hire Elon students for the positions. Her e-mail address is Allyson.Brunetti@warnerbros.com.

Audrey Seagraves, a 2002 grad, is working in a one-year, paid fellowship with The Population Institute, an educational non-profit organization. Its national office is located on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. "I'm still trying to decide if PR work is for me; I have a year to figure some things out," she says. "I am going to Johannesburg at the end of August for the 2-week World Summit on Sustainable Development. I'm really excited about going, and hope I can network while I'm there. I am having a great time so far. I like the people I work with and love D.C." Her e-mail address is audrey_seagraves@yahoo.com.

Janell Otis, a 2002 grad, is an area sales manager for College Directory Publishing Inc., a company that produces ads for college phone directories. She interned for the company last summer, selling ads for the Elon directory. "I am having a great summer traveling around the U.S.," she says. "I travel around the Southeast working with students participating in the summer internship program. I have been to many places in Vermont, Maryland, North Carolina, West Virginia, Georgia, Florida and the Washington, D.C., area." She plans to move to Philadelphia in October or November and continue working for the parent company of College Directory Publishing, AroundCampus Inc. Her e-mail address is JOCOCHE@aol.com.

Lauren Cooper, a 2002 grad, is a media relations assistant for Wake Forest University Athletics, handling publicity and statistics for Wake Forest's NCAA Division I intercollegiate sports. She serves as the primary media contact for women's soccer, men's and women's cross country and men's and women's track and field. She also assists with football and men's and women's basketball. Her duties include producing, designing and editing media guides and game programs, as well as Web site maintenance and statistical updating. "I love what I am doing," she says. "I get to be involved in college athletics at the best level of competition, the ACC. Working at Wake Forest gives me the opportunity to network with colleagues all over the nation and will allow many chances for me to become established quickly in the sports industry." Her e-mail address is cooperml@wfu.edu.

Daryl Lundsford, a 2002 grad, is working as a video producer/editor on sports-related programming at Tulane University in New Orleans. His e-mail address is dlunsfor@tulane.edu.

Courtney Russell, a 2002 grad, is working for Magno Sound and Video, a post-production company in New York City. Her assignment is in the international department of the company, where she works with dubs and conversions. Her e-mail address is courtney@magnointernational.com.

Mandie Danielski, a 2002 grad, a communications minor, is in a two-year graduate school program at Michigan Tech. The institution waived her tuition and offered her a teaching-assistant position. "I have the opportunity to teach freshmen in a course like college writing," she says. "I love the course offerings in this program; the community of people there is supportive and really involved with their work and studies, and I love learning." Danielski says her plan is to earn her Ph.D. in rhetoric/composition in order to teach college students. Her e-mail address is mdaniels@mtu.edu.

Holly Edwards, a 2002 grad, accepted a job with Chicago-based Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, corporate parent of a number of popular eateries. She is a sales manager for PJ Clarkes restaurants, conducting sales and marketing calls and planning events. "Everyone knows about LEYE and they are impressed I was able to get a job with them right out of school," she says. "It's great to be back in the city, I can't stop smiling. I'm very good friends with two Elon graduates from 2000 - they live a block away from me: Kristen and Josh Felix. I couldn't have done it without the guidance and knowledge of the faculty at Elon - an education that I know that will carry me far." Her e-mail address is hollye02@hotmail.com.

(Tell us about yourself and your career, so we can share the news of your success with friends and mentors. Send information to andersj@elon.edu.)

Share your news and items of interest. To contact us, e-mail: communications@elon.edu
School of Communications 
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E-mail: communications@elon.edu
Last Modified:  1/7/03
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