School of Communications Advisory Board reconvenes virtually

Seventeen members and guests of the School of Communications Advisory Board met online on Sept. 15 to discuss their professional industries, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how the school can better educate and prepare students.

The School of Communications’ semestrial meeting with its National Advisory Board convened online on Sept. 15, bringing together 17 board members and guests to discuss the changing landscape of their respective industries and examine the school’s strategic priorities and diversity initiatives.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the School of Communications has hosted its last two National Advisory Board meetings online. This week, 17 board members and guests joined the school’s leadership team for a two-hour meeting.

The two-hour Zoom meeting kicked off with Communications Dean Rochelle Ford and Board Chair Roger Bolton, president of the Arthur W. Page Society, providing a brief welcome, followed by a conversation about the school’s recent endeavors, focusing on the launch of the North Carolina Local News Workshop and the university’s diversity and inclusion initiatives. During the meeting’s second hour, Amber Moser, director of internships, and Stephanie Bourland, associate director of corporate and employer relations, detailed the school’s internship office and the Student Professional Development Center’s revised approach since the pandemic.

In addition to board members, the school welcomed Rachel Ramist, an award-winning filmmaker, professor and “crunk” feminist as a guest. She is most widely known for “Nobody Knows My Name,” the first documentary about women in hip-hop distributed by Women Makes Movies. Following the meeting, Ramist was scheduled to serve as a panelist for a Women of the Elon Entertainment Empire (WEEE) event to discuss ways that white women can help women of color avoid or overcome workplace biases.

Prior to the meeting, Bolton also virtually visited with Associate Professor John Doorley’s Public Relations and Civic Responsibility class. Normally board members speak to students during the school’s advisory board meetings. Since the last meetings have gone online, board members have, too, video-chatting with classes this semester.

Board participants

  • Roger Bolton, president, Arthur W. Page Society
  • Sheryl Battles, vice president of global diversity, inclusion and engagement, Pitney Bowes
  • Jeff Blumb, founder, Blumb Communications & Consulting LLC
  • Carol Cunningham, vice president of consumer insights and business strategy, Black Entertainment Television Networks
  • Steve Daniels, weeknight anchor, WTVD-TV
  • Monica Fee ’04, property sales agent, CAA Sports
  • Michael Friedenberg, president of news and media operations, Reuters
  • Luke Lambert, president and CEO, G&S Business Communications
  • Jack MacKenzie, founder, CollegeAPP
  • Sunshine Overkamp, chairman, Overkamp Overkamp-Smith
  • Kim Parsons, chief operating officer, Taymar Sales U.
  • Colleen Penhall ’98, chief communications officer, UNC Charlotte
  • Barri Rafferty, head of corporate communications, Wells Fargo
  • Lee Rainie, director of internet, science and technology research, Pew Research Center
  • Troy Senkiewicz ’98, founder and CEO, DigiMax Consulting
  • Melanie Sill, executive director, North Carolina Local News Workshop

Other attendees

  • Genevieve Barnes
  • Stephanie Bourland
  • Alyssa Donohue
  • Kenn Gaither
  • John Gardner
  • Don Grady
  • Happy Kerns
  • Tommy Kopetskie
  • Amber Moser
  • Tony Weaver