Fourteen board members and guests visited campus April 8 to share their professional insight and receive an up-close look at the school’s facilities expansion.
Fourteen members and guests of the School of Communications Advisory Board visited campus April 8, sharing their expertise, discussing trends in their industries, and speaking in nearly a dozen classes. In the afternoon, the board received a first-hand look at the school’s facilities expansion, touring Dwight C. Schar Hall and Snow Family Grand Atrium – in hard hats and safety vests, of course.
Photos of the board’s visit are available on the school’s Flickr page.
In the board’s morning session, Communications Dean Paul Parsons led a discussion regarding the school’s recent achievements and current challenges, addressing enrollment data, Communications Fellows scholarships, and faculty selection and retention.
Afterward, the board members and guests dispersed to lead conversations in 11 classes, including courses in the Department of Sport and Event Management and the Interactive Media master’s program. The board members discussed a variety of topics during their 70-minute talks, focusing on the evolution of their organizations and professions over the past five years.
During the luncheon program, Elon University Provost Steven House provided an academic update on the university’s strategic plan, recapping points of interest specific to the School of Communications. The provost then gave the floor over to three communications majors to share their recent learning experiences and extra-curricular opportunities.
Ciara’ Dixon ’16 kicked off the presentations by discussing her participation in the American Advertising Federation’s Most Promising Multicultural Students program, and Meredith Stutz’ 16 followed with a recap of her weeklong reporting experience in Ireland thanks to her Pulitzer Center Student Fellowship. Jonathan Deaton ’16 concluded the student talks with a summary of his TED2016 lecture and his film, “Joining the Conversation,” which examines the relationship between millennials and their knowledge of nuclear weapons.
In its afternoon sessions, the board spoke with Jim Piatt, vice president for university advancement, who shared the thinking behind the university’s next campaign and its focus on student scholarships. Members were then briefed on the floor plans and branding of the school’s facilities expansion before heading out to see the construction in person.
Board members who participated in the spring meeting were:
Brad Brinegar, chairman and chief operating officer of McKinney, an advertising agency based in Durham
Ann Camden, senior vice president of G&S Business Communications, an independent public relations agency based in New York City with offices in Raleigh
Angela Connor, executive vice president of media and audience engagement for Capstrat, one of Raleigh’s largest communications firms
Tim Franklin, president of The Poynter Institute, a journalism education and training center in St. Petersburg, Florida
Claudia Jepsen, vice president of marketing at This Old House Ventures, based in New York City
Eric Kraus, executive vice president of communications and public affairs at Clean Harbors, Inc., a provider of environmental, energy and industrial services
Jack MacKenzie, president and CEO of Mn8 Creative, a Los Angeles-based media consultancy
Sunshine Overkamp, chairman of Overkamp Overkamp-Smith, a consulting firm in Atlanta that specializes in strategic planning and crisis communications
Gayle Sierens, former news anchor at NBC affiliate WFLA-TV in Tampa, Florida
Craig Waller, president at Pace, a global content marketing agency based in Greensboro
Ken White, news director at WOWK-TV, a CBS affiliate in Charleston–Huntington, West Virginia
Norby Williamson, executive vice president for production, program scheduling and development at ESPN headquarters in Connecticut
Invited guests included:
Jeff Blumb, a partner at Nation Consulting, a Wisconsin-based public strategies firm
Jennifer Dunne, director of communications for BDT & Company, a Chicago-based firm offering investment banking services