School of Communications Advisory Board reconvenes for spring meeting

Eighteen members of the School of Communications Advisory Board met virtually on April 28 to discuss their professional industries, the impact of the COVID-19 vaccine and what future months will look like for businesses and organizations, and potential changes to the school’s curricula.

The School of Communications’ once-a-semester meeting with its National Advisory Board was held online on April 28, bringing together 18 board members to discuss the changing landscape of their industries and explore the school’s curricula, diversity initiatives and off-campus learning experiences.

A screenshot of the April 28 National Advisory Board meeting held via Zoom.

The 90-minute 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, highlighting the school’s Turning 21 Celebration and the establishment of the Scripps Howard Emerging Journalists Program at Elon.

This led into a thoughtful discussion on the school’s shared core curriculum for five of its six undergraduate majors. This topic monopolized much of the conversation, with the professionals weighing in on the skills, experiences and backgrounds students should have or participate in during their undergraduate studies. Julie Lellis, professor of strategic communications and director of communications core and minor, was on hand to offer insights and background.

The conversation moved to study abroad options and domestic study away experiences, and how to best ensure Elon students are getting a real global experience. Several board members echoed sentiments about how valuable experiences in the Elon in LA program and learning opportunities in Washington, D.C., are for recent graduates.

The meeting concluded a discussion about the school’s newly proposed class, “Inclusive Leadership in Communications,” and how diversity, equity and inclusion can best be intertwined in the school’s curriculum.

Attending board members

  • Roger Bolton (chair), president of the Arthur W. Page Society
  • Sheryl Battles, vice president of global diversity, inclusion and engagement at Pitney Bowes
  • Jeff Blumb, founder of Blumb Communications & Consulting LLC
  • Michael Clemente, former CEO of NewsMax TV
  • Steve Daniels, anchor at WTVD-TV
  • Monica Fee ’04, property sales agent at CAA Sports
  • Michael Friedenberg, president of news and media operations for Reuters
  • Renee Kopkowski, vice president for institute communications at the Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Luke Lambert, president and CEO of G&S Business Communications
  • Jack MacKenzie, founder of CollegeAPP
  • Sunshine Overkamp, APR, chairman of Overkamp Overkamp-Smith
  • Kim Parsons, chief operating officer for Taymar Sales U.
  • Colleen Penhall ’98, associate vice chancellor for university communications and chief communications officer at UNC Charlotte
  • Barri Rafferty, head of corporate communications for Wells Fargo
  • Lee Rainie, director of internet, science and technology research for the Pew Research Center
  • Troy Senkiewicz ’98, founder and CEO of DigiMax Consulting
  • Melanie Sill, executive director of the North Carolina Local News Workshop
  • Norby Williamson, executive vice president for production at ESPN

Other attendees

  • Rochelle Ford
  • Genevieve Barnes
  • Stephanie Bourland
  • Naeemah Clark
  • Kenn Gaither
  • John Gardner
  • Happy Kerns
  • Tommy Kopetskie
  • Julie Lellis
  • Amber Moser
  • Tony Weaver