Catching up with news
from recent graduates

 

2004 graduate Erin Cunningham has moved from her news beat at the Frederick (Md.) News-Post to a similar reporting position at the nearby Hagerstown (Md.) Herald-Mail. Her e-mail address is erin_cunningham20@yahoo.com.

2002 graduate Jessica Rivelli is making another move in broadcast, switching from the Tampa-St. Pete ABC affiliate, WFTS-TV, where she was the weekend producer, to the CBS affiliate, WTSP-TV (www.wtsp.com). "I'm the morning planning producer at WTSP," she explained. She will plan the content for "This Morning Around the Bay," working with a reporting crew, writing and teasing multiple segments, preparing rundowns and setting up stories, and she'll also write the copy for the daily webcasts on www.tampabays10.com.

2005 graduate Dan Hanson is working at the Johns Hopkins School of International Studies (SAIS) off of Dupont Circle in Washington D.C. "I will be working in their public affairs division doing event management, media relations, and media outreach," he said. He will also work toward earning a master's degree at Johns Hopkins. His personal e-mail address is hansondan@hotmail.com.

2005 graduate Michelle LeDonne just completed an internship working in the online marketing department of Starwood Hotels in Manhattan. Her e-mail address is michelle.ledonne@gmail.com.

Sean LeDonne, a 2004 graduate, just completed an internship as a speech writer assistant at the United Nations offices in Vienna. His e-mail address is seanledonne@hotmail.com.

2005 graduate Adam Smith is an assistant account executive with DDB Issues and Advocacy in Washington, D.C., an arm of DDB Worldwide, the nation's second-largest advertising agency. "They are an amazing organization, and it really gives me a way to combine my passions for activism and communications," he said. "It's really rewarding work." DDB mixes public policy, PR and lobbying to plan and implement public relations campaigns, program development and coalition building for progressive non-profit organizations and corporations. His e-mail address is Adam.Smith@ddbissues.com.

2005 graduate Kim Hayes is working as a production assistant at Big Pictures Studios in Las Vegas. In the fall, she'll be working on a feature film about small-town America's methamphetamine problem. "Jeff Lester, who founded Big Picture Studios with his wife, Susan Anton, will direct the film," Hayes explained. "He also directed the short 'The Last Real Cowboys' starring Billy Bob Thornton, which won some awards." One of Hayes' tasks will be to research the financial success of comparable films such as "Man on Fire" and "Erin Brockovich" to help prepare a business plan for investors in the film. Hayes's e-mail address is kimbos424@hotmail.com.

2005 graduate Brittiny Dunlap is a reporter for Suburban News Publications in the Columbus, Ohio, area. She covers the city of Worthington and the New Albany schools. The web address is http://www.snponline.com. "It is a great stepping stone for me, and a well-respected organization," she said. "I am thoroughly looking forward to starting my career there." The SBP publications have a combined circulation of 200,000. Brittany's e-mail address is brittiny.dunlap@gmail.com.

2005 graduate Annette Randall is working at Performance PR Plus. The Charlotte-based firm handles media relations, at-track hospitality, event management, brand management and other PR-related work for top motorsports performers and their sponsors. It's known for its work with the stars of NASCAR. Randall will be working with driver Brent Sherman; he recently signed to drive in the NASCAR Busch Series with ppc Racing. "He'll be in the No. 15 Serta Mattress-Hickory Farms-Consort for Men Ford Taurus for 10 races this season, and for the full season next year," she explained. "I'll be traveling quite a bit." This summer, Randall is traveling with Sherman's team to races at Chicagoland Speedway, Watkins Glen, Michigan International Speedway, California Speedway, Dover International Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Lowe's Motor Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway, Phoenix International Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. Randall is making her home in Huntersville, N.C., near Charlotte. Her e-mail address is arandall05@yahoo.com.

Travis Gordon, a 2004 graduate, is the assistant lot manager at EUE/ ScreenGems Studios in Wilmington, N.C. "I am the middle man between the productions that shoot here and the studio itself," Gordon explained. "At this time, we have two television shows - NBC's "Fathom" and the WB's "One Tree Hill" - shooting on our lot, with more projects to come." It pays to get your foot in the door and then work hard - Gordon started at the studios last summer as a tour guide and worked his way up to his current position. His e-mail address is tgordon@screengemsstudios.com.

2003 Journalism alum Jennifer Guarino completed her master's degree in journalism at the University of Memphis, where she was copy editor for the Newspaper Research Journal as part of her graduate assistantship, and she is now a communications specialist for Lifeblood, Memphis' independent blood bank. "It's an exciting time to be joining the organization," she said. Her e-mail address is jguarino@gmail.com.

2003 graduate Mike Trainor is a news assistant at New York One News, a 24-hour news station that covers the five boroughs of New York City. "As a news assistant I work mainly in the field, lugging a camera to press conferences, breaking news events and the occasional Yankee game," he said. "Half the time I work with a reporter the other half I am sent out by myself to these events. It's a lot of long hours and hard work, but being part of the New York news beat is definitely an amazing experience." Trainor has also begun a career as a stand-up comedian, regularly playing major clubs around New York. "Among other things this has led to me landing a part-time job as assistant producer to a show on Sirius satellite radio's comedy channel called 'Four Quotas,'" he said. "I handle booking guests, writing some of the content and appearing regularly on the air." To read about the Sirius comedy show, see www.4quotas.com - the photo of Trainor at right is on the site. To read more about comedy clubs in New York, see www.comedysoapbox.com.

Recent graduate Rebecca Grice is working in an internship at InStyle magazine, where she is assiged to handling research and credits. Her e-mail address is rebecca_grice@instylemag.com.

2002 Corporate Communications graduate Allyson Brunetti is working as the production manager on the financial-makeover series "Singletary Says," a new show set to launch this summer on TV One, a DirecTV Cable Network. The program will have a "reality" format, and it stars Michelle Singletary, a nationally syndicated financial columnist for the Washington Post. It will be shot on location in and around the Washington, D.C., metro area. Singletary will visit with one family a week, exploring their goals and helping them outline a good financial plan. The show will launch this summer on DirecTV and Comcast. "I'm overseeing all facets of production including operations, management and producing the creative elements for each episode," she said. "Previously, I have worked on mutiple shows for TLC, NBC, WE and Warner Brothers." Brunetti will continue to live in New York City and work for the production company, Varsity Entertainment, commuting to D.C. for shooting. Her email address is brunetti@varsityent.com.

Rady Large, a 2004 graduate, is free-lancing a series of travel stories for the Smoky Mountain News (http://www.smokymountainnews.com/) as he travels from Sylva, N.C., to Santa Cruz, Calif., on his 1984 Honda CX500 motorcycle with side car. His e-mail address is radylarge@yahoo.com.

2004 graduate Katrina Arnold is working as a relocation associate with Prudential in Washington, D.C. She initiates the process for transferees who work for government agencies such as the FBI, Social Security Administration, Department of Defense and U.S. Secret Service. "My next adventure is hopefully graduate school at American University, right here in D.C.," she said. Her e-mail address is katrinaelaine.arnold@prudential.com.

Andi Petrini left her job as community editor for the Concord/Kannapolis, N.C., Independent Tribune to move up to the Newport News, Va., paper - a 100,000-circulation daily - where she designs pages and copy edits on the sports desk. The Daily Press is a Tribune Media paper. "I'm really excited about the opportunity," she said. "And I'll be closer to my family for the first time in six years." Her e-mail address is apetrini55@hotmail.com.

Danielle Matthews is now working at the University of Maryland University College and pursuing a master's degree in Science Management with emphasis in Health Care Administration. Her e-mail address is danielleshanna@hotmail.com.

2004 graduate Sally Lynch, formerly with InStyle, is the Credits Editor Shopping Services Editor at Shop Etc. This new magazine was launched by Hearst in the summer of 2003 to compete with Lucky magazine. Lynch said she enjoys working in Manhattan. Shop Etc. specializes in details about fashion, beauty and home. Her e-mail address is slynch@hearst.com.

2003 graduate Lauren Vilis Nelson recently left a position as Florida Colleges Program Manager with Best Buddies International (a non-profit that creates friendships between people with and without intellectual disabilities), and she is now working as a community representative for the Orlando Metro unit of the American Cancer Society. "In addition to cancer education, I am responsible for the development of Relay For Life events in each respective community," Nelson said. "Relay For Life is an amazing event that is about local communities taking up the fight against cancer, while celebrating and honoring those who have survived or lost their battles with cancer." Last year the American Cancer Society raised more than $300 million for cancer research through relay events, and this year there are more than 4,200 relay events across the U.S. "There's a relay in your area I'm sure," Nelson said, "get involved!" Nelson's e-mail address is lauren.nelson@cancer.org.

2004 graduate Brad Pinkerton is founding president of his own company, College Signing Day. His CollegeSigningDay.com site is a web-based athletic recruiting service designed to help high school athletes gain exposure to college coaches across the nation. Athletes pay a nominal fee to create their own athletic profile that is made available for free to a registered list of thousands of college coaches. "CollegeSigningDay.com is a great tool for high school athletes who are waiting for their chance to be seen by the right college," Pinkerton said. His e-mail address is pinke23@hotmail.com.

Immediately following her graduation in 2004, Marian Bruno backpacked across Europe then drove from her home in New Orleans to Los Angeles, where she spent a month job hunting before landing an assistant role at Evolution, the management/production company that released the film "Saw." "I have learned so much, working with a talent manager and working in the same office as literary managers and producers," she said. "I am currently putting in my time to get to where I really want to go - film production. I am also in the process of writing a book." Her e-mail address is MBruno@evolution-ent.com.

2002 grad Cindy Beidel is a communications coordinator at National Geographic in Washington, D.C. She has been with National Geographic for more than two years and is responsible for media relations regarding exhibits and live events at headquarters; special projects (film festivals); traveling exhibits; National Geographic Maps; and National Geographic Expeditions. She is also the intern coordinator for the communications department. Her e-mail address is cbeidel@ngs.org.

2002 alum Erica Stanley is the field director at Lake Snell Perry and Associates in Washington, D.C. (www.lspa.com). "Celinda Lake is one of the top pollsters in the field," Stanley explained. "We work with Democratic candidates and progressive-issue campaigns, doing public-opinion research nationwide. As field director, I am in charge of ALL the logistics for every survey and focus group we conduct, which includes everything from finding facilities to helping with survey sampling. I got the job through a contact, who is also an Elon alum, Tanya Brown. She had worked here a few years ago. She is now at the Democratic National Committee. It is a very exciting job, but also very intense, multi-tasking at its best with very tight deadlines, but it is campaign season after all, and that's what I love!" Her e-mail address is estanley@lspa.com.

1997 graduate Scott Warner, a director with Qorvis Communications in McLean, Va., is listed on the 2004 "15 To Watch" list, published by PR News, a weekly newsletter for the public relations and media relations industry. The list recognizes public relations professionals who take risks and use innovative approaches to get publicity for their clients. Warner's work has helped Qorvis become one of the largest independent PR firms in the Washington, D.C., area. He has worked in crisis communications for former NBA player Jayson Williams and the family of congressional intern Chandra Levy, as well as publicizing product launches and corporate mergers.

2004 graduate Tim Rosner is an administrative assistant for the Archeological division of Wetland Studies and Solutions, also known as Thunderbird Archeology. "The business is very well run and growing quickly," Rosner said. "I've been so consumed with finding a job and place to live that my art has fallen by the wayside; but once I move into my new apartment I'm planning on getting involved in one of the local groups of artists and picking up my digital and photographic work on a more serious level again." Wetland Studies and Solutions performs development consulting related to wetlands, the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act and local government water-resource initiatives. Rosner's e-mail is trosner@wetlandstudies.com.

2002 graduate Suzanne George Duffy is a senior account executive at M Booth & Associates in Manhattan. "I am the lead of several accounts," she said. "They include American Express Vacations, Detroit Marriott at Renaissance Center and Rocky Mountain Railtours - as well as continuing work on MGM Mirage, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, and Yahoo! Travel among others." Her e-mail address is suzanned@mbooth.com.

2003 graduate Maile Gerken is working as an account executive for WCHS, the ABC-TV affiliate in Charleston, W.V. "WCHS is a Sinclair Broadcast Group station, and we're sister stations with WVAH-Fox," she said. "I am the number-two seller out of 18 in new-business sales. I love my job." Gerken's e-mail address is mgerken@sbgnet.com

Brief bits

Gabriel Fowlkes,
a 2003 graduate, is an assistant for a Hollywood literary manager/producer. Fowlkes' e-mail address is gsfowlkes@yahoo.com

Debra Bard - deb_bard@hotmail.com- is an associate producer at WGAL (an NBC station) in Lancaster, Pa.

Maggie Sullivan - maggiesullivan2@hotmail.com - is an account executive with William S. Bergman Associates, Washington, D.C.

Sean Carroll - scarroll79@hotmail.com - is working at a PR firm called New Media Strategies.

Pamela Gallerani - nymouseketeer17@yahoo.com - is working with Disney resorts in Florida.

A recap of recent alumni updates:

Samiha Khanna, a 2003 journalism graduate, covers the Raleigh News & Observer's Durham police beat. Her e-mail address is skhanna@newsobserver.com.

2003 graduate Laura Flynn is working in the marketing department of the Streets at Southpoint in Durham, N.C. The shopping center is one of the largest in the region. It was one of those she had studied for her Elon Senior Seminar research project: "Trends in American Malls to Attract Generation Y Using Emotional Branding." "Im handling more corporate publishing and advertising than many of my peers," she said. Her e-mail address is laurae2003@yahoo.com.

Jen Shelton, a 2003 graduate, is community sports coordinator for the Daily Record in Hickory, N.C. She handles local recreational and school sports coverage for the newspaper, which is part of the Media General chain. Her e-mail address is jenshelton22@yahoo.com.

Gillian Eagan, a 2003 graduate, is working as a page at NBC-TV in Rockefeller Center in New York City. The NBC page program has produced some of NBC's top professionals, including Elon graduate Loren Burlando, who now works behind the scenes as an assistant producer at "Dateline NBC." Eagan's e-mail address is GRED88@aol.com.

Kellie Brielmaier, a 2003 graduate, is assistant to the executive vice president of the Franklin Institute, a Philadelphia science museum dedicated to outreach and education. In addition to her work with fund-raising and internal public relations, she organizes the annual Franklin Institute Awards. Past winners include Alexander Graham Bell, Pierre and Marie Curie, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. Brielmaier's e-mail address is kbrielmaier@fi.edu.

Shelby Brown is a reporter/producer at WITN, the NBC affiliate in the Greenville-Washington-New Bern, N.C., market. "I went to interview for a news producing position, and they ended up offering me an on-air contract on the spot," Brown said. "Needless to say, I'm thrilled!" Her e-mail address is: shelbyvbrown@att.net.

Emily Matesic, a 1999 graduate, works at WTAJ-TV, the CBS affiliate in Altoona, Pa. She'd spent the previous two and a half years as a weekend anchor/weekday reporter at WENY, the ABC affiliate in Elmira, N.Y. Matesic won a first-place award in a New York Associated Press broadcast competition for a 90-minute special she produced to commemorate the anniversary of the September 11th attacks. Her e-mail address is emilymatesic@journalism.com.

Amy Medders Turner, a 1999 graduate, is living in Centreville, Va., where she works as a direct-mail copy writer for Hecht's, a division of the May Company - owner of many U.S. department stores. She earned her master's degree in mass communication and journalism from the University of Georgia, then began with Hecht's. Her e-mail address is amturner77@cox.net.

Brendon Hamlin, a 1992 graduate, is the senior writer/producer in the on-air promotions department for the SPEED channel. The cable/satellite television channel is one of the Fox networks, and its main offices are located in Charlotte. His e-mail address is bhamlin@speedtv.com.

Jessica Messier, a 2003 graduate, works in MTV's Music and Talent Development division in New York. Her e-mail address is Jessica.Messier@mtvstaff.com.

Danielle Matthews, a 2003 graduate, works at Advice Unlimited, a public relations firm in Olney, Md. Her e-mail address is: danielle@adviceunlimited.net.

Brian Hetherington is with Retail Sports Marketing Inc. in Charlotte, working with accounts for Wal-Mart, NAPA, Camping World, Energizer, Remington, Klaussner and NASCAR. Hetherington's e-mail address is brianh@retailsportsmarketing.com.

Lauren Cooper
, a 2002 grad, is assistant director of public relations for the Big South athletic conference.

Michelle Cater Rash
, a 1999 graduate, is Focus reporter for the Business Journal Serving the Greater Triad. Prior to pursuing this position, she had been at the Greensboro News & Record for about four years. Her e-mail address is mrash@bizjournals.com.


Kate Botty
, a 2002 journalism graduate, has completed a master's degree in elementary education at the University of Bridgeport. Her e-mail address is katebotty@yahoo.com.

Allison Deiboldt, a 2002 graduate, is working in New York as a research analyst for ABC Kids, a division of Disney. Her portfolio includes programming on ABC, the Family Channel, Disney Channel and Toon Disney. Her e-mail address is Allison.Deiboldt@disney.com

1998 graduate Allison Storelli, is an associate producer for ABC-TV's popular morning talk show "The View." The program features Barbara Walters, Meredith Viera, Joy Behar and Star Jones.
Her e-mail address is: Allison.Storelli@abc.com.

2003 graduate Kellen Taylor turned a 2002 summer internship at MSNBC into a full-time job. She is a production assistant at the cable news network on its weekend morning show. Taylor's e-mail address is Kellen.Taylor@MSNBC.com.

Katherine Baggott, a 2003 graduate, is employed in Washington, D.C., at Corporate Executive Board, a company doing research across many industries, providing best-practices research, executive education and decision-support tools. Baggott's address is kbaggott@excite.com.

 

 

Share your news and items of interest. To contact us, e-mail: communications@elon.edu
School of Communications 
2850 Campus Box 
Elon, NC 27244-2010   (336) 278-5724 
E-mail: communications@elon.edu
Last Modified:  8/15/05
Copyright Elon University