Catching up with
recent graduates


Andi Petrini is leaving her job as community editor for the Concord/Kannapolis, N.C., Independent Tribune. She is moving to the Newport News, Va., paper - a 100,000-circulation daily - where she will design pages and do copy editing 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

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

2004 graduate Sally Lynch, formerly with InStyle, has accepted a position as 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

2002 graduate Allyson Brunetti is working as the unit production manager of the TLC reality makeover series "Town Haul," being filmed in Lauren, SC. The show will debut on cable television's The Learning Channel in March. "I'm currently overseeing the production staff and four camera crews working on the six-episode series," Brunetti explained. Her e-mail address is

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

2004 graduate Brad Pinkerton is founding president of his own company, College Signing Day. His 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. " is a great tool for high school athletes who are waiting for their chance to be seen by the right college," Pinkerton said. "Each year there are thousands of talented high school athletes who go unnoticed and never get the chance they deserve to play at the collegiate level. We take the slight chance that an athlete may be seen on the field and magnify that by making his or her profile readily available online. Most services try to bring the athlete to the coach by sending unsolicited mail and videos. This stuff usually ends up in the trash. What we do at is bring the coaches to the athletes. Let's say Elon baseball coach Mike Kennedy needs to find a pitcher for next year. Once he signs up on our site, he can search through our athlete database by sport, position, geographic region, state and graduation year. He might search the South for pitchers who graduate in 2005. That would return all the results we have matching that criteria." Pinkerton's e-mail address is

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

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

2002 alum Erica Stanley recently became the field director at Lake Snell Perry and Associates in Washington, D.C. ( She is the field director at this national public-opinion-research firm. "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, and I had kept in touch with her and constantly asked for help with finding a new job. Something came open here, they called her for suggestions of people and she recommended me. They called me, I didn't even know there was an opening! 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

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 been 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. He recently coordinated a media relations campaign for SafeNet, a Baltimore-based computer secruity company. He traveled with the company's executives to visit reporters in Boston, Las Vegas, New York and San Francisco. His work resulted in coverage of SafeNet's recent acquisition of two larger competitors in The Wall Street Journal and on CNBC.

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. WSSI has a 50-person team of engineers, scientists, surveyors, technicians, GIS and GPS specialists and administrative staff based in Chantilly, Va. Rosner's e-mail is

Jessica Rivelli is weekend producer at the Scripps station in Tampa, WFTS-TV, an ABC affiliate. Rivelli is a Tampa native who once worked as an intern at WFTS. She had also interned at WFMY-TV in Greensboro as an Elon student, and landed her first full-time job at that Gannett station, where she worked for less than a year before moving to WPTV, the Scripps station in West Palm Beach, Fla. WFTS is her second Scripps station. Her new e-mail address is

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

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

2004 graduate Jimmy Thomson is director of marketing and public relations at Stafford Motor Speedway in Stafford Springs, Conn. In addition to marketing the track's events and planning programming he is the lead broadcaster for event nights. "I dealt with the NASCAR Busch North Series in the early part of June," he said, "and I got to know some of the drivers really well." Thomson's e-mail address is

Brief bits

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

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

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

Sean Carroll - - is working at a PR firm called New Media Strategies.

Pamela Gallerani - - 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

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

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

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

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

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:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kate Botty
, a 2002 journalism graduate, is earning a master's degree in elementary education at the University of Bridgeport. Her e-mail address is

"Music Culture of the Appalachian," a film made by 2003 graduate Steve Brady in a School of Communications course was shown at independent film festivals in Los Angeles and New York. Brady works as a video editor for WFMY News 2, the CBS affiliate in Greensboro. His e-mail address is

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

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:

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

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



Share your news and items of interest. To contact us, e-mail:
School of Communications 
2850 Campus Box 
Elon, NC 27244-2010   (336) 278-5724 
Last Modified:  2/11/05
Copyright Elon University