- Details for SOJ Commencement THIS Saturday!
May 14, 2013
- Journalism study abroad opportunity in Oman and Dubai
May 8, 2013
- SOJ computer lab hours for finals week (5/6-5/11)
May 3, 2013
- Put some life in your Dead Week! Attend the News Trivia Bowl--May 1
April 29, 2013
- Charleston Make-A-Wish seeks Fundraising Coordinator
May 15, 2013
- Charleston Daily mail seeks copy editor/designer
May 14, 2013
- SOJ seeks temporary administrative assistant
May 14, 2013
- SustainU seeks fashion sales associate
May 8, 2013
- Work with local legendary sportswriter this summer!
May 10, 2013
- Pikewood Creative seeks summer intern
May 8, 2013
- WVU Dining Services seeking PR intern
May 8, 2013
- Come Recommended seeks summer blogging intern
May 7, 2013
Scholarships & Competitions
- Direct2TV.com offering $1,000 blogging scholarship
May 10, 2013
- WV Press Association Foundation internships and scholarships
April 24, 2013
- WVU Summer Photo Contest
April 1, 2013
- Win a study tour of Japan!
February 26, 2013
School of Journalism Visiting Committee
The Visiting Committee is a group of high-level professionals, alumni and friends who serve in an advisory capacity to the School of Journalism. Committee members share their expertise, insights and connections with administration, faculty and students to help the School achieve academic excellence and national prominence. Committee members are appointed by the WVU Provost in consultation with the School of Journalism Dean and typically serve three-year appointments.
SHAWN ANDERSONWVU, BSJ, 1981
Anchor, WTOP, Washington, D.C.
Shawn Anderson co-anchors the afternoon drive-time show for top-rated all-news radio station WTOP in Washington, D.C. WTOP is America’s No. 1 revenue-earning radio station, and is on the cutting-edge of digital news gathering.
Since 1998, Anderson’s show has been one of the highest Arbitron-rated afternoon radio programs in the country. Anderson has contributed to hundreds of national and regional awards earned by WTOP, including RTDNA’s National Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence in 2009 and 2011. WTOP also earned NAB Marconi Awards in the News/Talk and Major Market Station of the Year categories in 2012 and the Legendary Station category in 2011.
Anderson co-anchored WTOP’s coverage of the 9/11 terror attacks and the 2002 Beltway sniper murders, among other major national news stories.
Prior to joining WTOP, Anderson twice covered the Olympic Winter Games as a news and sports anchor for the Associated Press Radio Network. As sports director for the Tennessee Radio Network, he was a member of Vanderbilt University’s football and basketball broadcast crew.
Anderson is a native of Mt. Pleasant, Pa., and a WVU graduate. As a student, he worked as a disc jockey and sportscaster at WCLG-FM in Morgantown and as a sports writer for the Preston County Journal in Kingwood. After graduation, he sandwiched a stint in politics between on-air stops in suburban Pittsburgh, Annapolis, Md., and the West Virginia Radio Network.
Anderson lives in College Park, Md., with his wife, Sharon O’Malley, an author, freelance journalist and adjunct professor of journalism at the University of Maryland.
LINDA ARNOLDWVU, BSJ, 1976; MBA 1984
Chairman/Chief Executive Officer and Founder, The Arnold Agency
Linda Arnold is chairman/chief executive officer and founder of The Arnold Agency, an integrated marketing communications firm headquartered in Charleston, WV, with offices in Washington, DC and Helena, Montana. The agency is approaching its 20th anniversary and has clients throughout the eastern region and in Washington, D.C. Business specialty areas include health care, financial marketing, telecommunications, energy/environmental marketing and food service. In addition, the agency has done a great deal of work in the nonprofit arena as well as grassroots communications, issues development and coalition building, garnering regional and national awards for excellence, including more than 100 Addy Awards.
Arnold is the former director of communications and press secretary to U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller during his tenure as governor. Prior to this post, she held positions in the Washington, D.C., area with various public interest groups and advertising agencies and has 25 years of experience working with the media on a regional/national basis.
Arnold holds a WVU journalism bachelor’s degree and a master’s in business administration. She was inducted into the P.I. Reed Society at WVU and is the recipient of an “Entrepreneur of the Year” award from Ernst & Young. Arnold serves on the board of Huntington Banks and is vice chairman of The Nature Conservancy of West Virginia.
Arnold is also a certified wellness instructor and writes a regular column for the Charleston Gazette-Mail on “Living Life Fully.” She and her husband, John, reside in Charleston with their Hurricane Katrina rescued dog, Chloe.
ROBERT BYERSWVU, BSJ, 1991
Executive Editor, The Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette
Robert J. Byers is a native of Amity, Pa., and a 1991 graduate of West Virginia University’s Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism. Byers began as a reporter with the Charleston Gazette in Charleston, W.Va., two days after his graduation. In the 20 years to follow, he advanced from reporter to assistant city editor, Sunday editor, city editor and, most recently, executive editor, a position he has held since August 2011. As executive editor he oversees all news gathering functions for West Virginia’s largest newspaper.
PETER CHERUKURIColgate University, BA, 1997
General Manager, Politics – The Huffington Post
Peter Cherukuri is the General Manager, Politics, for The Huffington Post. Previously, he served as VP and General Manager for the publication’s Washington, D.C. bureau, overseeing operations and revenue as the innovative news outlet expands in the Washington market.
Prior to HuffPost, Peter was the publisher of Roll Call, overseeing the business and editorial operations for the Capitol Hill newspaper and helping the company diversify via acquisitions into a multiplatform information and advocacy services company.
Additionally, he led marketing and business development efforts for TMG Custom Content, a DC-based agency that develops targeted print and online content for corporations and nonprofits.
He received his start in the political publishing market working at National Journal Group and Congressional Quarterly in product development and branding capacities.
Originally from Mingo County, West Virginia, he received his BA from Colgate University and currently serves on the board for the National Press Foundation.
NANYA FRIENDVirginia Tech, bachelor’s degree in English, 1975
Editor and Publisher, The Charleston Daily Mail
Nanya Friend is editor and publisher of the Charleston Daily Mail, where she started her newspaper career in 1977. She spent the first seven years as a reporter on the education, city hall and statehouse beats. She moved to the city desk in 1984.
Over the next 12 years, she moved back and forth between the city desk and copy desk as she juggled the demands of work and family. During that time she served three stints as city editor and two as news editor. The jumping around proved handy as she learned to do just about everything required to get the Daily Mail out the door each day.
In 1997, she was named managing editor and a couple of years later, she was named editor. The title of publisher was added in 2004.
Friend is a native of Charleston and holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Virginia Tech. She and her husband, Rod, have two children, Kara, a 2006 graduate of WVU, and Keith, a senior at Washington and Lee University.
MICHAEL FULTONWVU, BSJ, 1979
President, Washington, D.C., office, The Arnold Agency
Michael Fulton, president of The Arnold Agency’s Washington office, has more than 30 years of public affairs experience. Before joining The Arnold Agency, Fulton spent more than 22 years at GolinHarris, utilizing Congressional and federal agency meetings, grassroots campaigns, creative events, videos, survey research and media relations to enhance his lobbying activities and achieve tremendous government relations results for his clients.
Prior to joining GolinHarris, Fulton worked for two Members of the U.S. House of Representatives (Chairman Alan B. Mollohan and the late Rep. Robert H. Mollohan, both of WV) as associate counsel to the House Appropriations Committee, legislative assistant, press secretary, and special projects assistant. During his Congressional career, he worked to solve community, institutional and economic challenges.
One of Fulton’s specialties is working with institutions of higher education, and he has assisted hundreds of schools across the country either individually or as part of consortiums working on common interests. Some of the larger research institutions he has worked with include: Texas A&M University, UCLA, Georgia Tech, MIT, Carnegie Mellon University, University of New Hampshire, Michigan Technological University, West Virginia University, Kent State University, and Southeast Missouri State University.
Healthcare is another area where Fulton has excelled. Since 1988, he has worked on a myriad of projects at West Virginia University Health Sciences Center and Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, WV. Other health clients of his include Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, LA; PACE Louisiana, Inc., Memorial Hospital in Carthage, IL, St. Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington, WV, and the National Hepatitis B Foundation.
In the technology arena, Fulton has helped the Semiconductor Industry Association, Texas Engineering and Technical Consortium, and Texas Instruments secure funding for basic research, skilled workforce training and math pilot programs in middle schools.
Some of the energy and environmental clients Fulton has worked with include ChevronTexaco, Dow Chemical Company, Flexsys America L.P. on EPA removal credits, Micell Technologies on environmentally-friendly solvents, National Renewable Resources on a hydroelectric power project, the Appalachian Energy Group (an alliance of seven state oil and gas associations), West Virginia University’s National Research Center for Coal and Energy, Kent State University on a fuel cell partnership with Battelle Laboratories, and the National Alternative Fuels Training Consortium (made up of 38 training centers around the country).
Fulton is a graduate of West Virginia University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is active in the American League of Lobbyists and serves on its board. He served six years on the national board of directors of the WVU Alumni Association and is on the Visiting Committee of the WVU Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism.
SAMME GEEWVU, BSJ, 1975
Attorney, Jackson Kelly Attorneys at Law, PLLC
Samme L. Gee is the head of the Firm’s Public and Private Finance Practice Group. Gee’s practice is focused on tax exempt and taxable municipal bonds and related governmental financings as well as corporate trust, legislative services and governmental agency representation. In that capacity, she routinely serves as bond counsel, underwriter’s counsel, trustee’s counsel or issuer’s or borrower’s counsel. Gee has extensive experience in the financing and development of infrastructure projects with an emphasis on water, wastewater, highways and public facilities and economic development projects. She is a member of the National Association of Bond Lawyers (NABL) and is listed in Woodward/White’s The Best Lawyers in America®.
Gee graduated from the West Virginia University College of Law in 1983, where she was a member of the West Virginia Law Review. She also holds a master’s degree in public administration.
TOM HARRISON, LH.D.WVU, MS in biology, 1972
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Diversified Agency Services, Omnicom Group
Thomas Harrison is chairman and chief executive officer of Diversified Agency Services (DAS), the world’s largest group of marketing services companies. A division of the Omnicom Group, DAS provides a broad range of marketing communications services including public relations, crisis management, branding, sales promotion, customer relationship management and specialty communications such as health care advertising for some of the largest global brands. With over 5,000 worldwide clients, the DAS division has annual revenues of almost $5 billion and is the largest unit within Omnicom, itself the world’s largest advertising holding company.
Under Harrison’s watch, the DAS division has more than quadrupled in size and now accounts for almost 60 percent of the total revenues of Omnicom. He has acquired and heads a list of companies that are the most influential in their areas particularly in public relations, relationship marketing, branding and healthcare communications. He has developed not only the largest and most relevant group of specialized agencies, but the most diverse as well.
Harrison’s multi-faceted career brought him to Omnicom in 1992 when the firm he co-founded, Harrison & Star Business Group, the most successful and rapidly growing agency in the healthcare industry at the time, was acquired. Harrison served as chairman of the Harrison & Star Group and chairman of Diversified Healthcare Communications, a group of eight healthcare agencies within Omnicom, until his appointment as president of DAS in 1997. He was named chairman and chief executive of DAS in 1998.
With an advanced degree in cell biology and physiology, Harrison began his business career at Pfizer Laboratories as a sales representative and left Pfizer as marketing director. He then joined a mid-sized healthcare advertising agency for six years before starting his own company, The Harrison & Star Business Group. While at the helm, he started a healthcare advertising agency, a medical education company, a direct-to-consumer healthcare company and a medical PR group as well as acquiring a managed care consultancy.
Harrison serves on a number of prestigious boards. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Montefiore Hospital and is Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine. He serves as a board member of the New York Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation. Harrison is board member for ePocrates, a healthcare information company, The Morgans Hotel Group, The Lymphoma Research Foundation and several marketing services companies. He was president of a local Westchester County School Board and chairman and founder of the not-for-profit education foundation in that Westchester School District. He has served as co-chairman of the New York Chapter of the U.S. Olympic Committee and raised substantial funding to support U.S. Olympic Athletes. He has been honored by Long Island College Hospital, The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, The Lymphoma Research Foundation, New York City’s Health and Hospital Corporation and Mt. St. Vincent’s College. He is a frequent speaker at business forums and at universities across the U.S. on the subject of entrepreneurialism, business strategies and the “Secrets to Success.” He has spoken at West Virginia University where he did his graduate research, was recognized with the 2006 Distinguished Alumni Award and received an honorary doctorate in 2007, the highest honor an American university grants to an individual. He was keynote speaker at The McGraw Hill Medical Publishers Annual Awards program, and at a recent Management Conference of Healthcare Communications specialists, at the 2007 Direct Marketing Association Non-Profit Federation Summit and has talked to agency CEO’s at an advertising industry forum about the future of advertising agencies, marketing services and ideation.
Harrison is the author of the recently published book INSTINCT Tapping Your Entrepreneurial DNA to Achieve Your Business Goals published by Warner Business Books. Harrison has appeared on CNBC, CNNI, Bloomberg and Forbes.com discussing his book. He can be found on the Enterprise Leadership podcast as well as Forbes, Bloomberg and other podcasts. Harrison also lectures at business schools and schools of entrepreneurialism on topics discussed in INSTINCT.
DEBORAH HAYESCommunications and Business Development Consultant
Deborah L. Hayes has spent her career managing the brand and reputation of some of the most important voices in American politics, global corporations, entertainment and philanthropy including: Democratic Majority Leader Richard A. Gephardt, MTV Networks and Oprah Winfrey. Deborah also co-founded Westhill Partners, a New York City-based consulting firm specializing in communications, marketing, and branding.
Hayes joined The Pew Charitable Trusts as Managing Director of Communications in 2002 and was responsible for all aspects of the institution’s external communications strategies, public affairs, and media relations. She advised the CEO on key issues impacting Pew and the philanthropic sector. In January 2012, Hayes began working as an independent business development consultant.
Upholding her commitment to public service, Hayes is on the Board of Directors of the Monell Chemical Senses Center—the world’s only independent, non-profit scientific institute dedicated to basic research on taste and smell. She recently served as a judge for the 2011 White House Fellows program.
NOAH KADYWVU, BSJ, 1988
Journalism adviser, Middletown High School
Noah Kady is the journalism adviser for Round Table Media, the multimedia student news operation at Middletown High School in Middletown, Md. Kady has been teaching English and journalism at MHS for 15 years. His students have won numerous awards and many have gone on to successful careers in the field. In recent years, Kady has transitioned his journalism program into a multimedia experience, producing material for print, online and broadcast media.
Prior to teaching, Kady was the owner and publisher of newspapers in Boonsboro, Md., and Smithsburg, Md. He has also worked as an editor for The Herald-Mail in Hagerstown, Md., The Morning Journal in Martinsburg, W.Va., and Bangkok This Week in Bangkok, Thailand.
Kady graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from West Virginia University in 1988. While at WVU, he was editor-in-chief of The Daily Athenaeum and president of the WVU chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2012, he received his master’s degree in journalism education from the University of Missouri and was a recipient of S’Park Media Mentor Award from Ithaca College.
BETSY KLEBEWVU, BSJ, 1979
Vice President of Corporate Communications, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
Elizabeth (Betsy) L. Klebe was appointed vice president of Corporate Communications in June 2005. She has global responsibility for media, financial, crisis, employee and marketing communications; reputation management; public relations; brand management; visual communications and communications technology.
Ms. Klebe joined Air Products in 1980 in the Human Resources department, where she held positions of increasing responsibility in compensation, diversity and human resources operations. In 1992 she was named director of Quality within the company’s Process Systems Group, and in 1994 her role expanded to include the Gases and Equipment Group’s quality efforts. She became director of Corporate Communications in 1999 before assuming her current position.
Ms. Klebe was born in New Castle, Pa. She received a B.S. degree in journalism from West Virginia University in 1979. Ms. Klebe is a member of the Conference Board’s Council on Corporate Communications Strategy and serves as its Chairwoman. She is also a member of the Arthur W. Page Society and secretary of the board of directors of the State Theatre of Easton, Pa.
JENNIFER MANTONWVU, BSJ, 1991
Chief Marketing Officer, Loeb & Loeb
Jennifer (Rupinsky) Manton serves as the chief marketing officer for Loeb & Loeb, a national law firm with nearly 300 attorneys representing clients ranging from multinational Fortune 100 companies to high-tech start-ups and high net worth individuals and families. Loeb & Loeb currently has seven offices located in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Nashville, Washington, D.C., Beijing and Hong Kong.
Manton leads the firm’s marketing and business development initiatives. She works closely with the firm’s multidisciplinary industry and practice groups on developing and implementing marketing and business development plans and oversees efforts to expand and improve relationships with existing clients and to engage new clients.
In addition, Manton manages all aspects of the firm’s branding and marketing strategy, including media relations, advertising and online marketing efforts, as well as internal and external communications.
In 2009, Manton served as president of the Legal Marketing Association (LMA), a not-for-profit organization that provides continuing education and professional development opportunities for legal marketing professionals and attorneys. As president, Manton oversaw LMA’s efforts to serve as a collective voice for the organization’s more than 3,000 members.
Prior to being named president, Manton served as co-chair of LMA’s 2007 Annual Conference and Exposition, president of the organization’s New York Chapter and founder and president of the Pittsburgh Chapter.
Manton’s service to the legal marketing industry also includes several publications and forum addresses. In 2009, the Los Angeles Daily Journal published her article, “Understanding Firm Culture Is Essential to an Integrated Marketing Plan.” In 2008, Manton’s chapter, “Understanding Your Firm and Its Clients: The Key to Marketing Success,” was published in Aspatore’s “Best Practices for Marketing Lawyers.” Manton has also served as a speaker at professional forums hosted by American Lawyer Media and the Society for Marketing Professional Services, among others. In 2011, she was inducted into the College of Law Practice Management, an honorary society that recognizes distinguished law practice management professionals.
Manton joined Loeb & Loeb in 2005 and has nearly 20 years of experience in professional services marketing. She has developed and implemented marketing, business development and client service initiatives at regional and national law firms ranging in size from 50 to 450 attorneys.
Prior to focusing in the legal industry, Manton worked in two CPA firms in a marketing capacity.
Manton is a 1991 graduate of the WVU Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism, where she studied public relations. She is a Pittsburgh native and currently resides in New York City.
JUDY MARGOLINWVU, BSJ, 1978
Executive Director, Bowles Rice McDavid Graff & Love LLP
Judy Margolin, a graduate of West Virginia University with a bachelor of science in Journalism, joined Bowles Rice in January 1997 as communications and government relations director. She became the firm’s executive director in May 2006.
Before joining the firm, Margolin was senior executive assistant to Gov. Gaston Caperton, where she coordinated federal-state relations, including working with the National Governors’ Association and the Democratic Governors’ Association, the White House and Congress, as well as coordinating gubernatorial appointments to boards and commissions. She served as a member of the Transition Team for Governor Bob Wise in 2001. She has served as executive director of the West Virginia State Democratic Committee, is a veteran of several state-wide political campaigns and has conducted workshops on organizing campaigns and fund raising. She continues to be active in campaign organizations.
Margolin also served as administrative assistant to Gov. Jay Rockefeller, as a state campaign coordinator for Sen. Robert C. Byrd and as staff assistant to State Tax Commissioner David Hardesty. Because of her background, Margolin regularly works closely with officials throughout West Virginia and the federal government.
A native of Charleston, Margolin is a member of the Visiting Committee for Student Affairs and an associate member of the School of Journalism Advisory Committee at West Virginia University. She has been active in various community and public school organizations. Margolin and her husband served as president of the Kanawha County Chapter of the WVU Parents Club and are the proud parents of three daughters.
JANE MCNEERWVU, BSJ, 1975
Jane M. McNeer is currently working as a fundraising consultant. Late in 2010, McNeer stepped down as Vice President of the Medical Foundation of North Carolina, Inc. and former Assistant Dean for Advancement of the University of North Carolina’s School of Medicine. McNeer has more than 25 years experience in higher education public relations and fundraising, including service at Duke University Medical Center, Roanoke College and Virginia Tech.
McNeer earned her bachelor’s degree from the WVU P.I. Reed School of Journalism in 1975 and is the third generation in her family to matriculate to WVU.
DOUG MITCHELLOklahoma State University, BA, Radio, Television and Film
Project Manager – National Federation of Community Broadcasters
Career Coach, Webb Media Group
Doug Mitchell spent nearly 22 years at NPR as a producer and director. In 2000, he founded NPR’s innovative student training program “next generation radio” – a program that gave hundreds of competitively selected college students a chance of conceive, develop, report, edit, write and produce their own story. Each student would have a professional journalist as their mentor and participate in a one-week bootcamp held at various conferences around the country. Several dozen graduates of this program are currently working in public and commercial media.
Mitchell currently serves as a project manager for the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, the co-director of a Ford Foundation-funded program advancing business entrepreneurship among journalists of color. He also is a career coach and blogger for knowledgewebb.net and serves as an adjunct instructor at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
Mitchell is a 1978 alum of the Dow Jones Newspaper Fund program; a 1997 Knight International Press Fellow to Chile and a William S. Fulbright Scholarship recipient, also to Chile.
CHRISTINA MYERWVU, BSJ, 1999
Associate News Editor, Dow Jones Newswires
Christina Myer is an Associate News Editor on the Americas Copy Desk for Dow Jones Newswires, in New York, N.Y. She has worked for Dow Jones and Co.’s real-time financial newswire since 2005. She is a 1999 graduate of WVU, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism (news-editorial).
Myer began her career in journalism at 17, as an obituary writer and typist for The Intelligencer, in Wheeling, W.Va. She spent her college years working at The Daily Athenaeum, finishing up as managing editor in 1994-95. Myer has been a reporter, copy editor, paginator and a news editor at The Tribune Chronicle, in Warren, Ohio, The Intelligencer and The Wheeling News-Register. Before moving to the New York area, she was editor of The Times Leader, in Martins Ferry, Ohio, for two years.
In addition to her work on the Newswires copy desk, Christina also edits stories for The Wall Street Journal and WSJ.com.
JASON NEALWVU, BSJ, 1999
Technical Operations Manager, NBC News
Jason Neal is currently working at the Washington Bureau of NBC News, home to “The TODAY Show,” “NBC Nightly News” and “Meet The Press.” Neal is a technical manager planning and overseeing remotes and studio shows for NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC. The WVU family is well represented at NBC, as Neal works alongside eight fellow Mountaineers.
Previously Neal worked in sports television production at ESPN and at the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games. At ESPN, he worked as a network operations coordinator for all of the domestic and international ESPN networks and had a helping hand in landing a job with the sports television giant by a WVU alumnus.
A native of Glengary, W.Va., Neal is a 1999 graduate of the Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism with a degree in broadcast news and lives in the Columbia Heights community of Washington, D.C with his wife, Michelle.
WILLIAM O. NUTTINGHarvard, AB 1983; UCLA, JD 1986
Vice President, Ogden Newspapers Inc.
Bill Nutting is Vice-President of Ogden Newspapers, Inc., a newspaper, magazine, and directory company headquartered in Wheeling and founded by his great-grandfather H. C. Ogden, WVU Class of 1887.
Ogden Newspapers publishes six daily newspapers (Wheeling Intelligencer, Wheeling News-Register, Parkersburg News & Sentinel, Martinsburg Journal, Elkins Inter-Mountain, and Weirton Daily Times) in West Virginia along with 34 other daily newspapers and businesses in 15 states.
Nutting currently serves as President of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association and on the board of the Associated Press.
At WVU, Nutting has served on the Board of Governors since 2008.
As Co-Trustee of the Nutting Foundation, he has supported WVU initiatives from a Visiting Professorship to a Journalism Seminar Series to the Nutting Hall addition at Blaney House. His proudest accomplishment in recent years is working with the recently deceased Ogden Newspapers Visiting Professor George Esper.
STEPHANIE MATHEWS O’KEEFEHarvard Univ, Radcliffe College, AB in Economics ;
Harvard Univ / John F. Kennedy School of Government, Master of Public Administration
Executive Vice President for Communications, American Bankers Association
Stephanie Mathews O’Keefe is the Executive Vice President for Communications at the American Bankers Association. She came to the ABA from the Podesta Group, where she managed the firm’s business development efforts. Stephanie served in the Obama Administration as the senior vice president for communications at the Export-Import Bank of the United States.
Earlier in her career, she was senior vice president for external affairs for the Local Initiatives Corporation, a national nonprofit community development support organization, and as an investment banker in public finance at Credit Suisse First Boston. At the Brookings Institution, she was the Deputy Director of the Retirement Security Project, and during Governor Gaston Caperton’s administration, she served as the Executive Director of the West Virginia Governor’s Task Force on Children, Youth and Families.
A native of Hinton, West Virginia, Stephanie has an AB in economics from Harvard and Radcliffe College and a Master of Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government. She was a Rotary Foundation Scholar in Athens, Greece. Stephanie served as the treasurer and a member of the board of directors for the Center for National Policy and as president of the board of trustees for the School for Friends.
DAVID PAVELKOPrinceton University
Head of Travel, Google, Inc.
David Pavelko is the Head of Travel at Google and manages marketing and advertising campaigns for airlines, hotel chains, cruise lines, car rental companies, OTA’s, meta, and travel publishers across Google search, display, mobile, YouTube and television advertising platforms. Prior to joining Google, Pavelko spent 6 years at Cendant Corporation where he was Vice President of Business Development and was responsible for developing and managing marketing programs for Fortune 500 organizations for the purposes of leveraging Cendant’s travel (Orbitz, CheapTickets, Galileo), hospitality (Ramada Inn, Days Inn, Super 8), car rental (Avis/Budget), real estate and financial services distribution channels. He also spent time at Choice Hotels in a similar business development capacity as well as a few years in the sports marketing industry primarily managing sponsorship programs in IndyCar racing. Pavelko is a graduate of Princeton University.
ALEXIS COSTANZO PUGHWVU, BSJ, 1973
Owner and Principal, Lakeshore Advertising Consultants
Alexis Pugh has more than 35 years of experience in advertising and public relations, having worked with various agencies in Atlanta, Ga.; Washington, D.C.; and Orlando, Fla. She is currently the (mostly retired) owner and principal of Lakeshore Advertising Consultants, Inc., which designs and produces collateral materials for clients in the multi-family housing industry.
Pugh also is very active in community service and serves on a number of boards. She is a member of the Board of Trustees and of the Executive Committee for Bethune-Cookman University; a member of the Advisory Board for the Center for Women’s Medicine at Winter Park Memorial/Florida Hospital; and a member of the Board of Directors for the Community Foundation of Central Florida, the Orlando Shakespeare Theater, the University of Florida Foundation, and Central Florida Public Broadcasting.
SEAN ROBERTSONWVU, BSJ, 1999
Account Executive, Dish Media Sales
Sean Robertson serves as a National Account Executive for Dish Media Sales, a division of Dish Network. As part of a diverse and dynamic sales team, his responsibilities include managing an active account list of over 80 national advertising agencies.
Robertson began his career as a Sales & Marketing Assistant with Turner Broadcasting Sales in New York City. In 2000, Robertson joined BET Networks Media Sales division as a Sales Planner where he was promoted to become the youngest Account Executive in the network’s 32-year history.
Following his time at BET, Robertson worked as the Director of Multicultural Sales and Business Development at Alloy Media and Marketing. Desiring to return to his roots in broadcast media sales, Robertson left Alloy to join SiriusXM where he served as an Account Executive prior to joining Dish.
Robertson graduated from the West Virginia University’s Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism in 1999. While at WVU, he worked at The Daily Athenaeum as an Account Executive.
Robertson lives in Jackson, N.J., with his wife, Candice, a Registered Nurse and 1998 graduate of West Virginia University with a degree in psychology. They have two sons, Rafael and Brendan.
JOE STERANKAWVU, BSJ, 1979
CEO, The PGA of America
Now in his 23rd year with the Association, Joe Steranka begins his fifth as The PGA of America’s Chief Executive Officer leading a number of the golf industry’s most important initiatives.
Steranka’s vision guides the staff of the world’s largest working sports organization in their dedication and service to the Association’s 28,000 men and women PGA Professionals as well as the global golf industry. In addition to his CEO role with the PGA, he serves as Chair of the World Golf Foundation and a member of the leadership teams for the World PGA Alliance and the International Golf Federation’s work to return golf to the Olympic Games.
Since joining The PGA of America’s staff as Director of Communications in 1988, Steranka has directed the marketing and business development of the Association’s brand, its championship events and media assets including the PGA Championship, Ryder Cup, PGA.com, Play Golf America, PGA PerformanceTrak and golf expositions, which encompass the PGA Merchandise Show and PGA Fall Expo. Most recently, Steranka has steered a new industry government relations program We Are Golf, designed to achieve legislative and public affairs goals on behalf of the $76 billion a year golf industry.
Through his stewardship, the Association developed long standing broadcasting agreements with CBS, NBC, Turner Broadcasting and others to distribute the PGA’s premier events to unprecedented worldwide audiences. He also cultivated a relationship with acclaimed advertising agency Leo Burnett, leading to popular public service announcements for PGA members. Steranka also steered The PGA’s new media strategy, including the creation and expansion of an alliance with Time Warner to enhance PGA.com, one of the leading golf Web sites, with 1.5 million unique visitors each month.
The 51-year-old sports industry veteran is one of just 11 PGA Honorary Members bestowed in the storied golf Association’s history, joining a prestigious list that includes former Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush. He is a Board member of the Children’s Healthcare Charity, which operates The Honda Classic; an Advisory Council member for the Environmental Institute for Golf; and serves on the Selection Committee for the World Golf Hall of Fame and as a National Trustee for The First Tee. In 2009, Steranka was honored with the March of Dimes Sports Leadership Award.
A 1979 graduate of West Virginia University with a B.S. in journalism, Steranka and his wife, Joann, live in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., and have two children, Alexandra and Stephen.
MICHAEL TOMASKYWVU, BSJ, 1982
Special Correspondent, Newsweek/Daily Beast; Editor, Democracy: A Journal of Ideas
Michael Tomasky is a special correspondent for Newsweek/The Daily Beast. He is also the editor of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas. Before joining Newsweek in May 2011, Tomasky was the editor-at-large with The Guardian News & Media’s U.S. editorial operation.
From 2003 to 2006, he was the editor of The American Prospect, a leading liberal opinion journal. While editor of the Prospect, he wrote a highly influential essay on the Democrats and the “common good,” which received front-page attention in The New York Times.
He contributes regularly to The New York Review of Books, where he has written about Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John McCain, Al Gore and James Baker. Before moving to Washington in 2003, he lived for many years in New York, where he was a political columnist most recently for New York magazine. He is the author of two books, “Left for Dead,” on the intellectual collapse of the American left after the 1960s, and Hillary’s Turn, about Clinton’s 2000 campaign. In addition to the aforementioned publications, his work has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post Book World, the Los Angeles Times, Harper’s Magazine, The Nation, Dissent, GQ and many others.
A native of Morgantown, W.Va., Tomasky now lives in Silver Spring, Md.
LORETTA UCELLIWVU, BSJ, 1976
VP of communications and public affairs, Peter G. Peterson Foundation
Loretta Ucelli is a strategic communications executive who has spent her 25-year professional career as an advisor to some of the world’s most influential public and private sector leaders, including former President Bill Clinton. In a variety of senior positions in industry, academia, government, campaigns, labor unions and non-profits, Ucelli has created unique, comprehensive communications strategies to protect and advance reputation and image. She is known for her expertise in developing powerful and meaningful messages for multiple audiences around some of the most vexing global issues of our time, including health care, the economy and environmental protection and regulation.
Currently, Ucelli serves as the VP of communications and public affairs for the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. Prior to this position, Ucelli held the most senior communications position at Pfizer Inc., the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical company. She led global internal and external communications strategy development and execution for one of the world’s most valuable healthcare enterprises. She led the introduction of a new CEO to all audiences and advanced efforts to reposition the company. Prior to joining Pfizer, she headed communications, government and community affairs for Columbia University.
Ucelli has also served in two of the nation’s most complex and demanding government communications positions. For the last two years of Clinton’s term, she was assistant to the president and director of White House communications. She was among the president’s closest advisors and a key actor in framing White House communications on economic, trade, education, healthcare and national security issues. In the news release announcing her appointment Clinton said, “I can think of no better person than Loretta to convey our administration’s vision for building a stronger nation in the 21st century.” Prior to her White House appointment, she was associate administrator for communications, education and public affairs with the Environmental Protection Agency. There, she served as chief spokesperson with all audiences, modernized the agency’s environmental education program, extended its direct outreach to the American people and transformed public understanding of the agency’s role.
Her extensive communications experience also includes work as a consultant advising corporate and public sector clients on crisis management as well as executive positions with a pro choice non-profit organization, a trade association and a public employee labor union. She has a wide range of political campaign experience, and she has also been a news editor and on-air reporter for radio stations in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
Ucelli was born in Staten Island, N.Y., and currently lives in Manhattan. She graduated from West Virginia University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and was named to that school’s Academy of Distinguished Alumni in 2002. She is involved in a variety of civic and professional organizations.
JOHN WALLSWVU, BSJ, 1978
Vice President, Public Affairs, CTIA – The Wireless Association
John Walls joined CTIA-The Wireless Association® in 2004, assuming the position of Vice-President, Public Affairs. Walls’ primary responsibilities are supervising external and internal communications, which include media relations, and the association’s web site, www.ctia.org. He is also responsible for the association’s research and creative staff, and the activities of MyWireless.org, the industry-sponsored consumer advocacy group.
Prior to his joining CTIA, Walls was a television news and sports anchor for nearly 25 years, most recently anchoring the evening newscasts for NBC-affiliate KJRH-TV in Tulsa, Oklahoma from 2000 to 2004. Walls was a member of the original anchor team for Fox Sports Net and was based in Los Angeles from 1996 to 2000. He has also served as Sports Director for three television stations, including from 1984 to 1996 for KTUL-TV and KOTV in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He began his broadcasting career in 1978 at WWVU-TV, a PBS affiliate, in Morgantown, West Virginia before serving as host of the syndicated television program, “PM Magazine” in Texas. Walls has received numerous awards for his work in broadcasting, notably Regional News Emmys for his reporting on methamphetamine in Oklahoma and his on-location anchoring of the Timothy McVeigh execution.
Walls graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Broadcast Journalism.
SCOTT WIDMEYERWVU, BSJ, 1974
Chairman and CEO, Widmeyer Communications
Scott Widmeyer has a 30-year record of providing strategic thinking to scores of decision-makers from presidents to governors to CEOs to union leaders. From working as a newspaper reporter in the 1970s to running major media operations for national campaigns, Widmeyer knows how to garner press coverage for his clients. His track record of success around reforming education, health care, campaign finances, technology, trade and other public policy matters illustrate his impact as a change agent on cutting edge issues. Clients turn regularly to Widmeyer for advice on economic development matters, marketing strategies, coalition building and crisis management. Widmeyer founded the firm in 1988, after holding major communications positions with five national leaders ―former President Jimmy Carter, former Vice President Walter Mondale, U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, former Rep. Geraldine Ferraro and the late president of the American Federation of Teachers, Albert Shanker.
Widmeyer was named a 2008 David Rockefeller Fellow, a program sponsored by the Partnership for New York City, which annually brings together leading executives to learn the workings of the public and private sector in America’s largest city. Widmeyer also has served on the boards of the March of Dimes, GLAAD and the Victory Fund. Widmeyer received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from WVU where he was editor and managing editor of the campus daily newspaper and where he has established two scholarship funds to benefit African-Americans and first generation West Virginians who are seeking degrees in journalism. In 2005, he was awarded the “Distinguished West Virginian” award by then Gov. Bob Wise. In 2009, Widmeyer was named to the WVU Academy of Distinguished Alumni.
DAVID WILKISONWVU, BSJ, 1988
Director of Major Accounts, The Associated Press
David Wilkison is director of major accounts for The Associated Press, one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering in the world. Based in New York City, Wilkison manages business development and serves as the AP’s liaison to national newspapers, magazines and large member groups, including The New York Times Co. and Gannett Co. Inc.
Prior to transferring to New York in 2009, Wilkison, 45, led the creation of the AP’s Mid-Atlantic operation as bureau chief, combining the Baltimore and Washington metropolitan news desks to strengthen coverage throughout D.C., Maryland, Delaware and Northern Virginia.
From 2003 to 2006, Wilkison was based in Phoenix, serving as the regional news director for 16 western and Midwestern states and the AP’s State Data Center in Spokane, Wash.
He joined the AP in 1988 in Charleston after graduating from WVU’s Perley Isaac Reed School of Journalism. In 1992, he was named the AP’s correspondent in Morgantown and transferred to Newark, N.J., four years later as supervisory correspondent. He also was news editor in Des Moines, Iowa, and Philadelphia, before become the assistant chief of bureau in Pennsylvania in 2000 and bureau chief in Louisville, Ky., in 2002.
At WVU, he spent four years at The Daily Athenaeum as a reporter and editor, including managing editor during the newspaper’s centennial year in 1987-88.
Wilkison, who grew up in Morgantown and graduated from Morgantown High School in 1984, is married to the former Kristin Connolly and has two daughters, the oldest of whom is a sophomore studying psychology at WVU.