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Meet the Class of Fall 2022

Reed College of Media's Marketing Communications Online Programs Fall 2022 Graduating Class

At the conclusion of each semester, the WVU Marketing Communications Programs are excited to celebrate our graduates. Meet the members of the class of Fall 2022 who have successfully completed their studies!


Eric Alabiso II

Eric Alabiso II

M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications DINFOS
Communication Strategy and Operations Chief
Tampa, FL

Why did you choose to pursue a WVU Marketing Communications Graduate Degree?

I really enjoy connecting with people and understanding how people receive information. This degree was the next step in my formal education, and it is a big achievement for me. I am looking to pursue a career in marketing after my retirement from the Marine Corps.

What was your favorite course and why?

Probably Marketing Research and Analysis, not for the excitement but for the challenge it provided me.

What advice do you have to those considering the programs?

TIME MANAGEMENT! Every professor said it at the beginning of each semester and the advisors warn you of it as well. There is a considerable amount of reading and writing with this program, coupled with an unpredictable full-time job, time management and scheduling are a must to ensure assignments are completed.

What are your plans for after graduation and future career goals?

Preparing for retirement next year and looking for my next career in marketing.


Meg Cotton

Meg Cotton

M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications
Graphic Designer
Frederick, MD

Why did you choose to pursue a WVU Marketing Communications Graduate Degree?

After years of researching graduate programs, I chose WVU IMC Master's Program because it was very flexible, employs faculty with industry experience and stays current on marketing trends.

What was your favorite course and why?

I think capstone was my favorite. Putting all the elements together in a comprehensive integrated campaign was very rewarding.

What advice do you have to those considering the programs?

You can do it! It's a lot of work, but the staff and professors are helpful and encouraging.

What are your plans for after graduation and future career goals?

I had two goals for pursuing a master's degree, the first is to utilize my knowledge gained from this program to be a more effective marketing professional, and the second is to teach at the college level.


Sophia Darmelio

Sophia Darmelio

M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications
Healthcare Communications Area of Emphasis
Graduate Assistant at WVU University Relations Health Sciences
Morgantown, WV

Why did you choose to pursue a WVU Marketing Communications Graduate Degree?

After completing my undergrad at WVU, I knew I wanted to further my education and the IMC program was the perfect fit for me! I liked that you could choose some of the courses and pick an area of emphasis.

What was your favorite course and why?

I really enjoyed IMC 612 - Audience Insight in Healthcare. I thought this class was very insightful, and since my area of emphasis is healthcare marketing, it provided me more knowledge on the audiences I will be working with. Plus, professor Caserta was a great professor!

What advice do you have to those considering the programs?

If you want to further your education in marketing communications, I would recommend this program. All of the professors are very helpful and friendly, and they want to see you succeed. Since the program is online, it provides you with a lot of flexibility.

What are your plans for after graduation and future career goals?

After graduation, I am planning on starting a career in healthcare marketing.

Is there anything else you'd like to add? Or a quote you'd like to provide?

Both degrees that I earned in the Reed College of Media have shaped me into the professional I am today.


Chad Harris

Chad Harris

M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications
Digital and Social Media Area of Emphasis
Blacksburg, VA

Why did you choose to pursue a WVU Marketing Communications Graduate Degree?

I chose to pursue this degree because the pandemic stopped my momentum on my job search after receiving my bachelor's degree. Taking this route allowed me to expand my horizons and opportunities to achieve the career that I've always wanted.

What was your favorite course and why?

I honestly don't have a favorite course because each one had aspects that helped me grow as a student and a person. All of them were an integral part of who I've become today.

What advice do you have to those considering the programs?

My advice to those considering the program is to invest in yourself and your career. Programs like this don't come along often and you have to seize the opportunity while it's in front of you and take advantage of it.

What are your plans for after graduation and future career goals?

My plans are to continue working in the sports industry and expand my knowledge of any resource that will help me advance in the industry.

Is there anything else you'd like to add? Or a quote you'd like to provide?

Take life one day at a time and win the day. As long as you put in the work, you'll win far more than you'll lose.


Rachel Hull

Rachel Hull

M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications
Global Marketing Intern at Amphenol Communication Solutions
York, PA

Why did you choose to pursue a WVU Marketing Communications Graduate Degree?

I was very hesitant in deciding to pursue a master’s degree because of the commitment. I considered getting an MBA, but really wanted to do something more marketing-centric. IMC was the perfect option, and I’m so glad I made this choice.

What was your favorite course and why?

IMC-629 Mobile Marketing with Bob Bentz. It was great to learn how much you can do with mobile marketing alone, and Professor Bentz was a wealth of knowledge on the subject.

What advice do you have to those considering the programs?

If you’re considering it, go for it. There’s no better time than the present. There will always be barriers to getting your degree, but if it’s something you really want, it will be worth it.

What are your plans for after graduation and future career goals?

I plan on coming in full-time with the company that I’ve been interning with, Amphenol Communication Solutions.

Is there anything else you'd like to add? Or a quote you'd like to provide?

Let’s Go, Mountaineers!


Whitney Humphrey

Whitney Humphrey

M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications
Communications Administrator, West Virginia Housing Development Fund
Charleston, WV

Why did you choose to pursue a WVU Marketing Communications Graduate Degree?

I was at a pivotal point in my career and knew I needed to do something to make myself stand out from the competition. I knew several friends and colleagues who had successfully completed the program, so I looked into it and immediately realized a master's in IMC through WVU would help me meet my career and personal goals.

What was your favorite course and why?

IMC 615 Creative Strategy and Execution was hands-down my favorite course. I took it about halfway through the program and it was a nice break from writing research papers, allowing students to flex their creative muscles. The class was challenging for someone like me who works primarily in writing and editing, but I really enjoyed it and produced some excellent work for my portfolio.

What advice do you have to those considering the programs?

DO IT! Seriously, this program is a game changer for those wanting to grow their skills in marketing communications. The courses are relevant and the professors are helpful and want to see their students succeed. This program will grow and stretch you in ways that might be uncomfortable, but the end result is so rewarding.

What are your plans for after graduation and future career goals?

I plan to stay with my current employer so that I can use my skills to further grow and promote our work in affordable housing. Eventually, I'd like to end up in management, either by managing a marketing communications team within a larger organization or by starting my own PR firm.

Is there anything else you'd like to add? Or a quote you'd like to provide?

Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone can be intimidating and scary. The great staff within the Reed College of Media provides a soft place to land for students embarking on this journey. They are responsive and helpful and will work with you to make the best of your time in the program. Whether you're considering the program or are already a few courses in, reach out and say hi to the staff. Good relationships with your advisor, professors and classmates are a key part of your success!


Julia Lienhard

Julia Lienhard

M.S. in Data Marketing Communications
Maryland

Why did you choose to pursue a WVU Marketing Communications Graduate Degree?

In March 2020, I was selected by the American Marketing Association (AMA) chapter at the University of Maryland, College Park to compete in a marketing strategy case competition at the AMA International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans, LA. On Tuesday, March 10, I was notified that all university-sponsored events had been canceled due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. I was scheduled to fly in for the conference the following morning on Wednesday, March 11. This period redefined the way that I previously viewed loss. If I had never received that cancellation email, I might not have ever realized my fervent desire to study consumer behavior and pursue a career in marketing. I applied to the Data Marketing Communications program just a few months after I graduated in August 2020.

Julia Lienhard

What was your favorite course and why?

My favorite course was the Capstone — the results that I got from my survey were absolutely hilarious. I curated a combination of attitudinal, behavioral and demographic questions to gauge consumer attitudes toward the luxury industry post-pandemic. The survey was modeled after BuzzFeed quizzes and the personalities of each survey respondent really shined through. I was analyzing all of the data and laughing for hours while sitting at my desk!

Julia Lienhard

What advice do you have to those considering the programs?

Complete as much outside reading as possible! I highly recommend Influence by Robert Cialdini, What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell, and The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan. I cited tons of material from outside sources in my weekly discussion posts and responses. I drew many connections to cultural references and historical examples that I came across on my own.

What are your plans for after graduation and future career goals?

After graduation, I will be coaching volleyball, starting a new art portfolio, working on a nonfiction book, job searching and making arrangements to move to the Washington DC area.

Is there anything else you'd like to add? Or a quote you'd like to provide?

A quote by Henery David Thoreau that inspires me: “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” To me, the message is that the experiences that we have along the way, good and bad, help us to appreciate the journey.


Serafina Maerten

Serafina Maerten

M.S. in Data Marketing Communications
Martinsburg, WV

Why did you choose to pursue a WVU Marketing Communications Graduate Degree?

My academic advisor in undergrad at Shepherd University motivated me to further my education with a master's degree. Then I decided to pursue the Data Marketing Communications program because I felt like it best suited my strengths and weaknesses.

Serafina Maerten

What was your favorite course and why?

All of the courses were great but my favorite course was DMC 663 Brand Data Collection & Viz with Professor Neelesh Varde. This was my favorite course because Professor Neel created assignments that pushed me out of my comfort zone and taught me so much! At the moment the course was frustrating but reflecting back it is the one that stands out the most and was my favorite.

What advice do you have to those considering the programs?

Serafina Maerten

The best advice I can offer is, trust me you can do it and get ready to fall in love with discussion posts.

What are your plans for after graduation and future career goals?

Growing my professional network, giving back to the WVU community through mentorship and making arrangements to possibly move to Pittsburgh.

Is there anything else you'd like to add? Or a quote you'd like to provide?

Joining this master's program was the best decision I could have made to prepare myself personally and professionally for the future.


Jaylin McManus

Jaylin McManus

M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications
Marketing Associate | Pennsylvania Horse Racing Association
Harrisburg, PA

Why did you choose to pursue a WVU Marketing Communications Graduate Degree?

I wanted to continue my education after graduating with my bachelor’s degree from WVU. The flexibility and wide range of courses drew me to the IMC program. I knew that being a part of this program would allow me to grow my knowledge of marketing and apply it to my position. Country roads will always take me home.

Jaylin McManus

What was your favorite course and why?

IMC 615 Creative Strategy and Execution was my favorite course. I loved being able to pick a client that was close to me and show my creative side.

What advice do you have to those considering the programs?

This program takes a lot of time and dedication, but it is enjoyable. Through all the stress, keep in the back of your mind that end is very rewarding.

What are your plans for after graduation and future career goals?

I am hoping to continue working for the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Association where I have so many opportunities to learn more about marketing and the horse racing industry. One day, I would love to be a digital marketing and social media freelancer.


Maria Mitchell

Maria Mitchell

M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications
Project Manager at Powerhouse Planning
Martinsburg, WV

Why did you choose to pursue a WVU Marketing Communications Graduate Degree?

Reviewing the program requirements and course options demonstrated how valuable the program would be to my career and development as a marketing professional.

Maria Mitchell

What was your favorite course and why?

I really enjoyed Content Marketing — it was fun to develop a full plan from start to finish.

What advice do you have to those considering the programs?

It is a rigorous program and will take up much of your time! Be sure to get into a routine and set yourself a schedule. Two years from now, you will still be two years older, but if you start your graduate degree today, you could be two years older with a graduate degree!

Maria Mitchell

What are your plans for after graduation and future career goals?

I hope to continue to grow in my current role, and am considering doctoral programs!

Is there anything else you'd like to add? Or a quote you'd like to provide?

"Growth and comfort do not coexist." -Ginny Rometty, CEO of IBM




Claire O'Neil

Claire O'Neil

M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications
Public Relations Leadership Area of Emphasis
WVU College of Creative Arts Graduate Assistant & West Today Teaching Assistant
Morgantown, WV

Why did you choose to pursue a WVU Marketing Communications Graduate Degree?

After graduating with my bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from the Reed College of Media, I decided I wanted to go back to school. I became interested in the Integrated Marketing Communications Program because of the job opportunities I could get in marketing, public relations and social media through having the degree.

Claire O'Neil

What was your favorite course and why?

One of my favorite classes was my Audience Insight class. I really enjoyed this class because it helped me understand how companies typically attract their target audience. I also liked my capstone course because it gave me the opportunity to test out my design skills through making billboard and poster designs for my client. This was one of my hardest classes, but I was able to learn and grow so much.

Claire O'Neil

What advice do you have to those considering the programs?

I would say do it! I didn't think I could, but the program gives you more flexibility than you think and are able to finish up classes a lot quicker than the typical college student. I was able to complete the program successfully while having two WVU media jobs during the school year, along with a marketing construction job during the summer. Along with this flexibility I was able to have some amazing professors who work in different professions all across the country and connect with my classmates in group chats who are either new to the IMC industry like me or have been in it for years. Overall, I think it's a great way to learn from a lot of different people and be educated on what it's like to use different forms of media to tell a great story.

What are your plans for after graduation and future career goals?

My goal after graduating is to pursue a career in either marketing or journalism, with a potential focus within the entertainment industry.

Is there anything else you'd like to add? Or a quote you'd like to provide?

Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn!


Ashlee Phillips

Ashlee Phillips

M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications
Junior Account Executive at Allied Global Marketing
Seattle, WA

Why did you choose to pursue a WVU Marketing Communications Graduate Degree?

I was looking for a program that could help me excel in my marketing career while letting me maintain a balanced schedule of working full time. The WVU IMC program gave that perfect balance.

What was your favorite course and why?

My favorite course was IMC Entrepreneurship because it was totally different than any course I had ever taken before and the professor was always extremely helpful and ready to push us to do our best.

What advice do you have to those considering the programs?

My biggest advice in the program is to connect as much as you can with the students and professors. With it being an online format, you have to have the self-discipline to take advantage of any networking opportunities you can.

What are your plans for after graduation and future career goals?

I would love to go into brand marketing in the motorsports industry!

Is there anything else you'd like to add? Or a quote you'd like to provide?

I don’t have a specific quote but throughout the entirety of the program, I had a sticker on my desk that said “yes you can” and I constantly reminded myself, “you can do hard things." It’s amazing what you’re capable of if you just push yourself a little harder.


Nathan Rasnake

Nathan Rasnake

Higher Education Marketing Graduate Certificate
Director of Annual Giving
Wise, VA

Why did you choose to pursue a WVU Marketing Communications Graduate Certificate?

I chose to pursue my IMC degree and the certificate in Higher Education Marketing because an alum of the program recommended it to me based on my goals and knew that WVU could help me accomplish those goals.

Nathan Rasnake

What was your favorite course and why?

I loved the applied public relations course with Debra Britt Davenport and Matthew Cummings! The course was very practical and it allowed me to hone my PR skills. This course truly prepared me to handle general public relations as well as crisis communications and reputation management.

What advice do you have to those considering the programs?

Do it! You won’t regret studying in this program. It is one of the most innovative and practical programs I have seen.

What are your plans for after graduation and future career goals?

I plan to continue working in higher education marketing either through advancement or athletics and fan engagement.


Jordan Roberts

Jordan Roberts

M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications
Public Relations and Social Media Manager
Hahira, GA

Why did you choose to pursue a WVU Marketing Communications Graduate Degree?

I received my undergraduate degree in journalism, but I've been working in marketing since then. I wanted to solidify a firm foundation of marketing to continue growing in the industry and in my current role. WVU's IMC program provided exactly what I needed to reach the next step in my career.

Jordan Roberts

What was your favorite course and why?

Social media marketing, web analytics, content marketing and the capstone course were a few of my favorites. They all complement one another and were directly relevant to my role as the public relations and social media manager for a medical school. I love that my capstone class, while challenging, gave me the opportunity to create a true proposal to deliver to my client.

What advice do you have to those considering the programs?

WVU's IMC program is phenomenal. The faculty members have real-life experience and make the learning environment so beneficial. In fact, I used much of the content and campaigns that I created in the classroom in my current role. You're able to create something that has professional oversight and feedback, then apply it to your career immediately. I can confidently say that the IMC program is a major reason that my career growth with my current employer is moving forward.

What are your plans for after graduation and future career goals?

Beginning in January 2023, I'll be transitioning from the public relations and social media for PCOM South Georgia into the marketing manager for PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia. I'm excited to continue growing with PCOM, and my education from WVU is making that happen.


Leah Schoolcraft

Leah Schoolcraft

M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications
Communications Specialist, WVU
Pittsburgh, PA

Why did you choose to pursue a WVU Marketing Communications Graduate Degree?

I was struggling in a digital news position that didn't pay enough, and I felt like I was starting to hit the limit of my capabilities there. I was burnt out from months of covering COVID-19 stories and wanted more. Knowing that education was always a foundation in who I was, a colleague of mine suggested that I try out the IMC program. After doing research, I applied and got accepted. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.

What was your favorite course and why?

My favorite course was Web Metrics and SEO. It was really fun to learn about different web metrics and how to use them to tailor content in the future to attract a target audience! I also had an amazing professor (S/O to professor Mark Tietbohl) and classmates to learn from!

What advice do you have to those considering the programs?

Be specific in what you want out of the program prior to you going in. With the customizable track options, you have endless opportunities to build a toolbox of knowledge that will help you out in the real world. Think about what courses will help you reach your goals and build your schedule based off of your answer.

What are your plans for after graduation and future career goals?

I will be starting a new position at Carnegie Mellon University later this month as a digital project coordinator for their Communications and Marketing department. This new role will allow me to use my skills of digital marketing to support the launch of new programs coming to the University.

Is there anything else you'd like to add? Or a quote you'd like to provide?

There are so many things that this program offers outside of academics such as lifelong friendships and world-class mentors. Don't be afraid to take a chance on yourself either. A quote I have always loved that fits for this is: "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” - former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt.


Nicole Smallwood

Nicole Smallwood

M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications
Account Executive at Tombras Agency
Sarasota, FL

Why did you choose to pursue a WVU Marketing Communications Graduate Degree?

In January of last year, my former employer decided to consolidate my 20-person operations-based team and remove our team’s role. They pitted us against each other for less than 10 spots on the senior operations team. I looked around me and realized I had not been pursuing a career at this company, but instead had been pursuing a paycheck. After many sleepless nights and arduous conversations, I came to the conclusion that it was time for a life change. I wanted to get back to my roots in marketing, and I found the IMC Graduate program. Almost two years later, I don't regret it!

What was your favorite course and why?

My favorite two courses were IMC 615 Creative Strategy and Execution and IMC 621 Current Topics in IMC. I enjoyed IMC 615 as it allowed me to learn more about creative execution and strategy which I had previously not done much with. Selecting a "client" and getting to create this campaign for them was a lot of fun and I enjoyed getting to see the rest of my classmates get creative too. I also really enjoyed IMC 621 and that I got to not only attend Integrate, but also really meet my classmate and professor. It was such a unique experience that allowed me to meet so many great people and write about current events within the marketing world!

What advice do you have to those considering the programs?

Simply put: Do it! Don't let fears hold you back from pursuing an advanced degree. Being able to be open at any age to higher learning is only a positive and this program will only continue to help you succeed. Don't hold back and go for it!

What are your plans for after graduation and future career goals?

I currently am an account executive for Tombras Agency and am working towards becoming an account director for this agency. I hope to continue to succeed onward and upward!

Is there anything else you'd like to add? Or a quote you'd like to provide?

Country Roads took me home, but they also gave me the tools to pave new ones to take me further!


Nicole Teklits

Nicole Teklits

M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications
Public Relations Leadership Area of Emphasis
AAA/ Travel Advisor
Northampton, PA

Why did you choose to pursue a WVU Marketing Communications Graduate Degree?

My bachelor’s degree is in sports management, and I enjoyed both my sports marketing and public relations classes so I decided to look for a masters program that had both. WVU was the first to pop up and here we are 2.5 years later!

Nicole Teklits

What was your favorite course and why?

I loved my Audience Insight class. Professor Boggs was extremely helpful if any questions popped up. It seemed to mirror a lot of topics from my psychology class that I loved in undergrad.

What advice do you have to those considering the programs?

Time management is key. I worked five part time jobs at one point in my grad school career, and I relied heavily on my planner. Also, email the professors if you have any questions, they usually respond pretty quickly.

What are your plans for after graduation and future career goals?

I would love to work my way up within the AAA organization to become a manager of either marketing or public relations.


Michelle Waldron

Michelle Waldron

M.S. in Integrated Marketing Communications
Social Media Intern
Framingham, MA

Why did you choose to pursue a WVU Marketing Communications Graduate Degree?

I knew that when graduating with my bachelors in marketing it was still pretty broad. I wanted to make my area of focus more specific and IMC gave me many options to choose from.

What was your favorite course and why?

IMC 641 Social Media and Marketing — I knew that I had a passion for social media and this class solidified that love and passion. I learned so many things and am now able to take it to my internship

What advice do you have to those considering the programs?

DO IT! It is such an amazing program!

What are your plans for after graduation and future career goals?

My future career goal is to eventually work for a marketing agency in Boston doing their social media :)


Deborah Waressen

Deborah Waressen

M.S. in Digital Marketing Communications
Marketing Coordinator at USP
Silver Spring, MD

Why did you choose to pursue a WVU Marketing Communications Graduate Degree?

I chose to pursue the WVU Marketing Communications Graduate Degree because I wanted to take courses that were specialized and tailored to my interests while gaining valuable insights and skills to advance my career in digital marketing communications.

What was your favorite course and why?

My favorite course was the final Digital Marketing Capstone because it allowed me to combine all the knowledge I had previously gained throughout the program into a thorough campaign plan.

What advice do you have to those considering the programs?

Those considering the marketing programs at WVU should pursue them because they can gain valuable theoretical insights and hands-on experience. Moreover, the professors are great mentors and are always available for additional guidance and support.

What are your plans for after graduation and future career goals?

Now that I have obtained my master's degree in Digital Marketing Communications, I plan to execute the strategies I learned in my current role. Additionally, I have many passions, including but not limited to rescuing and protecting animals, exchanging language and culture and being knowledgeable of the many ongoing social issues, such as mental health. In the future, I hope to be able to connect at least one of my passions to my work as a marketing professional!

Is there anything else you'd like to add? Or a quote you'd like to provide?

"It won't happen in one day, but one day it'll happen."


Interested in growing your career with a master's degree in Data, Digital or Integrated Marketing Communications? Request more information today!

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