Communications Advisory Board makes fall visit, tours new facilities

Board members and guests visited campus on Sept. 30 to share their professional insight with faculty and students and receive an update on the school’s ongoing expansion project.

President Leo M. Lambert (left) chats with Michael Radutzky, “60 Minutes” senior producer and chair of the Communications Advisory Board, prior to the Sept. 30 luncheon in the new Jane and Brian Williams Studio.
During the final School of Communications Advisory Board luncheon before the opening of Dwight C. Schar Hall and Steers Pavilion, board chair Michael Radutzky took a moment to reflect before the gathered audience in the new Jane and Brian Williams Studio.

“Every time I come I am more excited and more impressed with the quality of the school and the initiatives being put forth by the faculty to make this a better and better place,” said the “60 Minutes” senior producer. “I know that Elon is fast becoming one of the top communications schools in the country.”

“And I’ve done my own personal poll and it’s right up there in the top five,” he added, drawing applause from attendees.

In total, 11 members and guests of the Communications Advisory Board visited campus on Sept. 30, sharing their expertise with faculty and students, discussing trends in their industries, and leading conversations in nearly a dozen classes. In the afternoon, the board also received an up-close look at the school’s expansion project, touring the facilities in Schar Hall, which open in mid-October. The tour led to this Twitter selfie of alumnus Scott McCrary ’00 with board member Joie Chen.

For more photos of the board’s visit, check out the school’s Flickr page.

With much discussion about the ongoing expansion project, as well as the school’s plan to embark on a five-year strategic plan, this semester’s advisory board meeting took on a futuristic slant.

Following the board’s morning session, where Communications Dean Paul Parsons led a discussion regarding the school’s ongoing programs and priorities, board members and guests dispersed to lead conversations in 11 classes.

Karen Albritton, CEO of Capstrat, talks with students in Assistant Professor Jooyun Hwan’s ‘Strategic Research Methods’ class.
​Board members discussed a variety of topics with students regarding the communications and news industries, providing a glimpse into their respective careers. Among the highlights were Julie Carey of NBC News4 in Washington, D.C, discussing her responsibilities covering breaking news; Craig Waller, president at Pace Communications, emphasizing the importance of messaging and content; and Karen Albritton, CEO of Capstrat, sharing trends in the PR industry and her own experiences in the field.

During the luncheon program, and following a welcome from Dean Parsons, several communications majors took the stage to highlight some recent school initiatives and achievements.

Student journalists Ashley Bohle ’17 and Tommy Hamzik ’17 kicked off the session with an overview of the new converged student news organization, Elon News Network. Then Iris Sullivan ’17 highlighted her experience assisting Eric Hernandez ’16 film his entry for the 2016 Coca-Cola and Regal Film Program in Los Angeles. Lastly, alumna Jennie Hook ’16, a morning news producer at WXII 12, discussed Elon’s first-place finish at the 37th College Television Awards. Hook concluded her talk by formally presenting the school’s collegiate Emmy statue to Dean Parsons.

The luncheon concluded with an address from President Leo M. Lambert, who provided updates on the university’s brick-and-mortar projects as well as the institution’s intensified focus on creating additional scholarship and educational opportunities for students and families in need.

Lee Rainie, director of internet, science and technology research at Pew Research Center and an advisory board member, was also on campus on Sept. 30. He facilitated a Q&A discussion with internet pioneer Vint Cerf, who talked with students, faculty and staff about the impact of technology on modern life.

Board members who participated in the fall meeting were:

Karen Albritton, president and CEO of Capstrat, an integrated communications agency based in Raleigh

Jeff Blumb, a partner at Nation Consulting, a Wisconsin-based public strategies firm

Moments after Jennie Hook ’16 presented Communications Dean Paul Parsons with the school’s recent collegiate Emmy, he playfully hoists the statue into the air.
Julie Carey, northern Virginia bureau chief, NBC News4 in Washington, D.C.

Joie Chen, principal of Way Forward Media, an independent consulting company in Washington, D.C.

Jack MacKenzie, executive vice president of Penn Schoen Berland, a global research-based consultancy

Sunshine Overkamp, chairman of Overkamp Overkamp-Smith, a consulting firm in Atlanta

Michael Radutzky, senior producer for “60 Minutes” and executive producer of creative development at CBS News

Lee Rainie, director of internet, science and technology research for the Pew Research Center

Craig Waller, president at Pace Communications, a global content marketing agency based in Greensboro

Invited guests included:

Thomas J. Collamore, senior vice president of communications and strategy and counselor to the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Scott McCrary ’00, an Emmy Award-winning freelance producer based in Washington, D.C.

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