The marketing communications programs at WVU have aided brilliant and talented people to achieve their dreams and to find success within the industry. Alumni are encouraged to submit their job promotions, successful campaign stories and other additional materials for us to share on our website, social media accounts and in future blog articles.Share Your Successes
Michelle Forshner was promoted to the role of Senior Manager, Digital Customer Experience, this summer! Michelle has worked with San Francisco Bay Area-based biotech company Genentech for five years, working primarily within the arm of digital marketing. After contributing CX enhancements, launching two products, managing several cross-portfolio projects for the team, and completing her MS in Integrated Marketing Communications from West Virginia University, Michelle was promoted to Senior Manager. "Michelle consistently demonstrates strong subject matter expertise, excellence in delivery, and cross-channel leadership. She has played an instrumental role in some key portfolio-wide projects for Genentech."
Eric Winkfield will oversee diversity, equity and inclusion efforts at both M Booth and M Booth Health as Vice President.
Toyin Awesu-Uhuegbu currently serves as the Director of Communications for the Congressional Black Caucus for the U.S. House of Representatives. As the Director of Communications, Toyin works with the collective body of Black lawmakers in Congress to create awareness about critical issues to the African-American community and the legislative policy response of the Members on these issues.
"With so much at stake in 2020 for Black America, I couldn't have picked a better time to support the work of the Black lawmakers in Congress fighting for policies to ensure that every American has access to the American dream."
Jaime Hunt was recently named the VP & Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Miami University. Hunt's latest promotion stems for over 16+ years in higher education marketing leading demanding projects such as website redesigns, institutional rebrands and complete restructuring of internal marketing communications processes.
"I am eager to collaborate with the exceptional students, faculty and staff at Miami to share the university’s unique story and further enhance its brand and reputation."
Nathan Pieratt is the head of marketing for the startup SWIPEBY and has successfully launched a crowd investment campaign on the platform Republic.co. Nathan has helped the company raise over 170K in a week for this campaign.
Hilari Barton was recently hired as an Account Supervisor at Trevelino/Keller in Atlanta, GA, the fastest growing firm in Atlanta and third fastest growing in the southeast.
"Despite the pandemic and uncertainty in today's market, I have been lucky enough to land a new job - and a promotion."
Ashlee Sweigart recently received a promotion to Sr. Manager, Marketing for the Global Application Tooling division at TE Connectivity. This role has allowed her to be part of the leadership team and define the marketing strategy.
"This was an exciting move for me as my role was previously focused on Digital Marketing, but my personal development goal was to move into a broader-focused Marketing leadership position."
Tommy Morgan was recently recognized for his work leading the public relations team and driving integrated campaign across Avalara's marketing teams. This recognization, "Brand Champ," was awarded during the company's bi-annual marketing awards event.
Kimberly Schwalje has recently started a new job as Director, Marketing & Communications for Business Interface LLC, a company that partners with leading businesses to place qualified candidates in sustainable careers.
Lauren Loyless recently accepted a position with FEMA in the Region 6 Office of External Affairs. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Dallas.
Brian Gallaher managed a large digital marketing and communications project to launch a brand new website for Water Street Tampa. The new digital hub for Water Street Tampa will serve as a brand education and awareness platform, as well as a marketing and leasing tool for the urban development in downtown Tampa's waterfront.
Alexandra Ritchie recently wrote an open letter to the UW_Green Bay community to change the narrative around the barriers that higher education serves to demolish and created a website for UWGB's inclusive excellence department. She was asked to be apart of WBAY's segment Power 2 Change, a series focusing on the stories of Black people in the Community.
Jordan Smith was recently promoted to Senior Admissions Counselor at WVU Tech in Beckley, WV.
"It was a dream of mine to attend WVU as a kid, to now call myself an alum, and an employee of this storied university is more than humbling. There is no way I would have qualified for my recent promotion without my IMC degree. I owe my recent success to this program and all of the professors that guided me along the way!"
Amanda Sains is the head of marketing at Joolies Organic Medjool Dates in Venice, CA. She launched the brand at the tradeshow Natural Products Expo West in 2019 with only packaging prototypes and a stand-out booth design. Now, about a year and a half later this July, the brand is distributed nationally in over 1,500 doors with many different products including Dates and Date Syrups and flavors.
"I have been in the Food & Beverage CPG Space for the last 7 years brand building startups to 300+ doors. I've led rebrands and helped start completely new brands with strong hats in both marketing and sales. It is such a fun space to be in as a marketer, especially for those young, scrappy and healthy/wellness-focused folks out there, I highly encourage anyone and all to explore working in the food & beverage CPG industry."
Jose Huitron has moved into the role of Director of Student Innovation Programs with Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
"I have the awesome opportunity to both build entrepreneurs and help them launch new startups. The sky is the limit!"
Beth Michalec was promoted to Assistant Professor of Corporate Communication at Penn State Lehigh Valley. She also recently earned her Ph.D. in Rhetoric from Duquesne University and defended her dissertation titled "Opening Gates: Elevating Corporate Social Responsibility Communication and Strategic Philanthrocapitalism for Positive Social Change." Additionally, she was selected as Fulbright Specialist 2019-2023 and has received various awards.
Stephanie Marchant is the Lead First Year Seminar Instructor at Reinhardt University, mentoring new faculty and graduate assistants within the group after spending time as an adjunct professor and graduate admissions team.
"The IMC program at WVU provided me with the opportunity to pursue a career in higher education, and the relationships with classmates and professors provided a strong foundation for how I approach teaching. Now I have students looking to me for advice, and even referred a recent graduate from Reinhardt to the IMC program this year. I am proud to be a Mountaineer!"
Alexandria Savage recently started a job in Roanoke Virginia as a reporter for WFXR News.
Nicole Lightbourne has been promoted to the Web, Social Media & Analytics Lead at Raytheon Missiles & Defense.
Francie Williamson became the Communications Coordinator for the Department of Psychiatry at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
M. Patrice Johnson was recently named the Director of Marketing and PR for Arts Huntsville and PR for Arts Huntsville in Huntsville, AL. Arts Huntsville is a non-profit organization whose main goal is to help others engage with local arts, entertainment, and culture as well as support our mission of improving our community and schools by enabling access to high-quality arts programming and education. In addition, we organize and host numerous arts and music festivals throughout the year.
"As an active duty military spouse, this program allowed me to still be able to have my own career while traveling due to my husband's. I was fortunate enough to not only be able to get great industry knowledge from the program — I was also able to start a great career that I love!"
Mara Lambert became the Development Director for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern West Virginia.
"This has been a very rewarding experience thus far, but of course, thanks to COVID-19, has been one of the hardest experiences I've had. I never in a million years thought that I would be responsible for raising funds during a pandemic in an already-struggling economy."
Fiona Green joined Amazon as Sr. Marketing Manager on the brand team for Amazon Advertising, based in New York City. In her role, she leads the team's campaign strategy to elevate Amazon Advertising's position in the advertising industry. Recently, she launched a new executive interview series to hear how industry leaders are responding to recent global events, like COVID-19. The first interview of the series featured Mark Read, the global CEO of WPP, the world's largest advertising agency.
Christopher Caserta has recently joined the United States Medical Management (USSM) as the Vice President of Business Development. USMM is a leading management services organization and provider of home based primary care services for complex/fragile patients. Chris is an award-winning, healthcare and senior living strategist, marketer and operator with 20+ years of administration experience.
Angel Fitzpatrick was named the communications strategist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in July 2019.
"It is an exciting time to be working at NASA and I am very proud to be working on strategic communications plans for multiple projects, events, international symposiums, and for the Marshall Space Flight Center."
Lillian Lalo has used her IMC degree to become a "Sponsored Content Reporter" for Nexstar Media, allowing her to combine her news reporting role into a marketing role. She has also started a podcast, "Toxic Positivity" to spread education about the pitfalls of multilevel marketing companies.
"Since graduating from the Integrated Marketing Communications Masters program at WVU, my career has excelled in ways I would never have dreamed without my higher education. My job gives a platform for sponsored storytelling! I like to call it a 'PR professionals dream.'"
Sherrel Sampson is the Founder & CEO of Canviiy®, an innovative, organic-based health and wellness brand. Canviiy has official partnerships with Moffitt Cancer Center®, USF Health®, Tampa International Airport® and has been featured by renowned media outlets including Allure, SHAPE, ESSENCE, Black Enterprise, AspireTV, POPSUGAR and named a semifinalist in the HSN/Good Housekeeping Entrepreneurs’ Competition.