Adam Conner-Simons oversees communications and media relations at MIT's largest research lab, the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). He develops content about CSAIL research and events, and leads its general press outreach, media training and social media efforts. He previously worked in the communications offices of Brandeis University and Pomona College.
Miles K. Davis
Miles K. Davis became the 20th president in Linfield College's 161-year history on July 1, 2018. He has a doctorate in human and organizational sciences from The George Washington University, a master's degree in human resource development from Bowie State University and a bachelor's degree in communications from Duquesne University. He was the inaugural chair of the management science department at the Harry F. Byrd Jr. School of Business at Shenandoah University, became the founding director of its Institute for Entrepreneurship and was named dean in 2012.
As the Senior Director of Marketing at West Virginia University, Tony Dobies has positioned the University as a leader in creative marketing and social media. He is a vocal advocate for new and innovative approaches to marketing in higher education and has spoken at numerous national conferences on the importance of social media in marketing and communications.
At WVU, he leads a team of talented social media managers, market researchers, advertisers, marketing strategists, brand and trademark licensing experts. Together with his team, he designs and manages marketing projects and initiatives to help reach the University's highest goals, especially in regard to recruitment.
In 2015, he was named a "30 under 30 Rising PR Star" by PR News. Dobies is an adjunct professor at the Reed College of Media at WVU. He graduated from WVU in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and again in 2017 with a master's degree in integrated marketing communications. Prior to joining higher education, Dobies spent time as a sports writer for various media outlets.
Erika Fields is a subject matter expert and ensures successful creation, implementation, and ongoing optimization across all major social media platforms. She monitors and stays abreast of industry trends and best practices, appropriately applying this knowledge to both organic and paid social media campaigns. Erika has more than 10 years of higher education social media and digital marketing experience. She earned her MA in Communications Management and BA in Communications from Simmons University.
Kelly Jasper is a data-loving, audience-focused communicator with a passion for finding new ways to tell strategic and engaging stories. As Director of Communications at Arizona State University's Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, the former journalist draws on more than 12 years of experience writing for newspapers, blogs and magazines to showcase one of the country’s best colleges of education. Before joining ASU, Kelly managed digital media and content strategy as Digital Content Manager at Augusta University. She still loves a good deadline.
Cortney J. Johnson
Cortney J. Johnson is an international student and scholar advisor, DSO/ARO (Designated School Official/ Alternate Responsible Officer) at the Office of International Education at Georgia Institute of Technology. In addition to immigration advising of F-1 and J-1 visa students, she provides leadership, development and implements a plan for effective communication for the International Student and Scholar Services division within OIE; including social media, web communication and electronic newsletters. She also provides support with social and cultural programming that enhances students' integration to the Georgia Tech community. She has been with Georgia Tech for more than three years.
Johnson graduated with a bachelor's degree in elementary education from SUNY New Paltz in 2002 and later earned a master's degree in post-secondary education from Troy University in 2007.
Travis McGuire has 15 years of experience promoting the advancement of education in two specific areas: alumni relations and digital communications. In 2017, he joined the Linfield College communications and marketing team as the director of social media. He leads the strategy for and produces content on Linfield's primary channels and provides social media guidance for 140+ known academic department, office, program and athletic team accounts. McGuire also coordinates all of Linfield's social media advertising as well as some display and search engine marketing.
He is a first-generation college graduate. He earned his bachelor's degree in communications from Grand Canyon University in 2004. He developed a love for various forms of communication at GCU, including at his work study job as the voice of the Antelopes.
Jordana Torres is the manager of digital and social engagement in Northeastern University's Office of Alumni Relations. She is also a proud Double Husky, having earned both her bachelor's degree and master's degree in business administration from Northeastern. In her role, she is responsible for managing alumni relations' paid social, organic social, and email strategies and identifying strategic opportunities for cohesive and innovative messaging across these channels.
Melissa M. Vélez-Luce
Melissa Vélez-Luce currently serves as director of alumni relations and as presidential liaison at North Park University. One of her primary responsibilities is to provide leadership and creative direction for the North Park University Alumni Association social media platforms, particularly in partnership with the university's annual Day of Giving. Additionally, she supports the Office of the President in the areas of strategic communications and operations. She is passionate about using social media to build bridges and create a sense of community.
Rachel Breitweser is a writer, photographer, videographer, social media manager and digital media strategist with Punahou School. Located in Honolulu, Hawaii, Punahou is the largest coeducational, independent K - 12 school on a single campus in the United States. Prior to working at Punahou, she was a writer, photographer and editor at Oahu Publications, Hawaii's largest news and media company. She was born and raised in Hawaii and is currently pursuing a master's degree in composition and rhetoric with a focus on social media.
Lauren Collette is a fundraising consultant at Campbell & Company, bringing more than five years of fundraising experience and a Gen Y knack for digital communications. She has learned the value of building relationships with supporters and connecting them to an organization's mission—the bedrock of fundraising—both in person and in the digital world.
Previously, she was a member of the development teams at two celebrated American institutions: The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. As the American History Museum's manager of annual giving, she was responsible for giving up to $25,000, launched its annual giving program, and managed online giving initiatives, including playing a key role in planning the Museum's Kickstarter effort that raised more than $300 million in 2016.
Matt Dymoke currently serves as the assistant director of alumni relations at Concordia College. His work consists of young alumni engagement and giving, student programming, regional events, as well as coordinating with the marketing and communications team on strategy and implementation. He graduated from Concordia College in 2014 and is in his fourth year at the college.
Heather Lavin has worked in higher education and development for eight years. In her current position, she writes, designs and coordinates strategy implementation for communications to Muhlenberg College alumni, parents and friends. Her expertise is in engagement and philanthropy through digital and social media. She has also served as a fundraiser, event planner and volunteer manager.
Lavin is a graduate of Muhlenberg College and received a master's degree in arts administration from Drexel University.
Jessica Leontarakis is a social media professional with 10 years of experience in content development and storytelling, community management and crisis communications. As the social media strategist for Princeton University, she sets the overall direction of social media for the university as well as works with campus partners to align messaging and branding.
Before joining Princeton, she worked for New York-Presbyterian Hospital where she co-founded the social media program and prior to that she served the City of New York under the Bloomberg Administration, overseeing online communications and social strategy for the Department of Education.
Leontarakis is a graduate of Albion College with a bachelor's degree in economics and management.
AJ Lopez III
A J Lopez III is the manager of digital marketing and social media at MSU Texas. His day-to-day responsibilities involve creating content for social media through photography and video, and educating the faculty and staff of MSU Texas about the best approach to their social media strategy. He strongly believes that social media has to do something and not just add to the noise. For more than 13 years, Lopez has used a camera to tell the story of the companies he's worked for including published work in national magazines, books and newspapers. Having a keen eye and bold style, his importance to detail and bright colors can be found throughout his photos. Originally from South Texas, Lopez is also an award-winning marketer and photographer.
Dianne Frances Powell
Dianne Frances Powell is a storyteller and strategic thinker who is currently associate director of marketing and communications at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in Indiana. She directs SMWC's social media presence as well as creates original content for both digital and print. She is head of the institution's social media administrators group and creator of the social media student ambassadors program. She is also lead writer and editor.
Before coming to SMWC, she was a reporter for the Tribune-Star, a daily newspaper in Terre Haute, Indiana. In 2016, she won second best news coverage under deadline pressure at the Better Newspaper Contest by the Hoosier State Press Association. She holds a master's degree from Ohio University and a bachelor's degree from Indiana University South Bend. In 2018, she served as host coordinator for CASE's Circle of Excellence Awards Feature Writing (topical) category.
Kevin Saghy is senior director of social media for The Ohio State University, responsible for building, implementing and optimizing a social media strategy that furthers engagement and brand building across the university. Under his leadership, the university is transforming its enterprise channels to deliver resonant content to specific target audiences in the spaces where they are active, in the moments that matter to them.
Prior to joining Ohio State, Saghy worked for eight seasons at the Chicago Cubs, most recently as assistant director of communications. He was responsible for promoting the club’s business and community initiatives through various integrated communications channels, including overall direction of the team’s social media strategy and reporting. He led cross-functional strategic planning, collaborated with corporate and community partners, and served as a team spokesperson to local and national media.
Under his leadership, the Cubs’ social media team was nationally recognized for its compelling content, entertaining voice and focus toward personal engagement, including the most total interactions with fans on Twitter among any Major League Baseball club. In a 2017 social engagement study released by SportsBusiness Journal, the Cubs were recognized as the top-performing baseball team and the only MLB club ranked among the top 25 global sports organizations.
Prior to joining the Cubs, Saghy worked as an account executive in the corporate practice of Ketchum, a global public relations agency. He was responsible for digital and traditional media relations, writing, event promotion and influencer programs for a list of clients that included Best Buy’s Geek Squad, FedEx, Dyson, Kellogg Company, State Street Corp. and Ketchum’s visibility teams.
He currently serves as an advisory board member for the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations and previously served on the advisory board for Social Media Week Chicago. He has volunteered for several Chicago-based and national PRSA committees. As a past national president of the student organization (PRSSA), he remains committed to initiatives that advance students in the public relations industry.
Saghy has been honored for his volunteer efforts and work in the communications industry, including induction into the PRSSA Hall of Fame in 2014. He was recognized as one of the Ten Outstanding Young People of Illinois by the Illinois Jaycees in 2013, received Midtown Educational Foundation’s Volunteer of the Year Award in 2012 and was honored as the Young Professional Mentor of the Year by the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations in 2010. Saghy also received PRSA Chicago's Young Professional of the Year Award in 2009.
He graduated with high distinction from Ohio Northern University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in public relations with a business option.
Jamie Saxon joined Princeton University's Office of Communications as arts and humanities writer in 2012. She writes news and feature stories for the homepage, including partnering on video features. She is the founder and producer of the weekly #TellUsTigers Instagram series—which profiles students, staff, faculty and alumni—for the university's main Instagram account, and curates a Twitter account, @jamiesaxonarts, focused on the arts and humanities.
Previously, she held senior-level editorial positions at publications and book producers in Princeton and New York, and in public relations firms in Washington, D.C.; New York; and Princeton. A graduate of Tufts University, she considers herself a "story hunter" and loves ballet, the cello and memoirs.
Rebekah Tilley manages social media for the top-ranked Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa. When she's not telling the stories of Tippie, she enjoys throwing down at Moth StorySLAM competitions where twice she's placed in the top three.