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Alumni Mentor Program

The overarching goal of this program is to introduce Communication Studies students to a mentor, and the entire alumni network, to provide career advice, resume tips, and interview support, beyond the formal guidance offered by professors or at the career center. Hopefully this leads to a lasting relationship over the years, and benefits both parties equally. For mentors, this also provides access to a more tight-knit alumni network.

The Program is open to all Communication Studies juniors and seniors. Interested students are invited to take a survey to be considered for participation in the Program. Participation will be contingent on mentor availability. Accepted students will be notified via email.

2016 Inaugural Mentor Class:

 

erin dillon

Erin Dillon, ’09

Interpersonal/Organizational track; Health Communication concentration

Erin Dillon is a communication professional with a background in public health and social marketing. She currently works as a freelance consultant for Hairpin Communications, whose clients include organizations like the Henry P. Kendall Foundation and the City of Cambridge (Massachusetts). Prior to this role, Erin spent five years working for the Cambridge Public Health Department, where she facilitated the department’s brand initiative, developed marketing plans for public health programs, and helped manage the department’s website and social media accounts. Erin has a BA in Communication Studies from The College of New Jersey and an MA in Health Communication from Emerson College.

Mentee: Cassidy Cardone


tara shanahan

Tara Shanahan, ’11

Public and Mass track

I’ve spent 6 years working in children’s book publishing as a publicist securing media coverage and setting up book tours and events. My first five years were spent at Penguin Young Readers where I worked on the publicity campaigns for books such as The Fault in Our Stars, The 5th Wave, and Skippy Jon Jones. I’m currently a Senior Publicity Manager at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers working on the publicity campaigns for their picture book, middle grade and young adult novels.

Mentee: Amelia Ortman


rachel harrison

Rachel Harrison, ’08

Public and Mass track

Rachel Harrison is a public relations professional with both in-house and agency experience. She currently works as a public affairs officer for New York University, leading media relations for NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development and writing for the school’s publications, social media, and digital communications.
Rachel strives to use her experience and skillset to further ideas and organizations that make a difference in people’s lives. She has held roles on the media relations teams at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Duke University Medical Center, promoting cutting-edge research and sharing inspiring patient stories.
Rachel graduated summa cum laude from The College of New Jersey with a bachelor’s degree in communication studies (public and mass communication track) and minors in marketing and French. She will complete a master’s degree in public relations and corporate communication at NYU in December.

Mentee: Emma Streckenbein


rowena briones winkler

Rowena Briones Winkler, ’08

Public and Mass track

Dr. Briones Winkler obtained her M.A. and Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Maryland and her B.A. in Communication Studies (Public & Mass Track) from TCNJ. Her professional experience includes consulting in the private sector as well as working for many nonprofit organizations, including the American Red Cross and The Family Resource Network. She also has taught courses in areas such as public speaking, public relations, research, social media, and health communication. Dr. Briones Winkler’s research agenda explores how social media and technology impact these areas in terms of campaign development and relationship building, particularly in the areas of sexual health, crisis communication, and risk communication. More recently, Dr. Briones Winkler has been conducting research on the use of social media and technology for digital activism and student engagement purposes. In addition to exploring how both nonprofits and PR educators can use social media to reach their goals and audiences, Dr. Briones Winkler is currently working on developing strategies for using social media in bystander interventions and sexual assault/domestic violence victim outreach, particularly on college campuses.

Mentee: Natasha Pineiros


domenick wissel

Domenick Wissel, ’12

Public and Mass track

Domenick Wissel currently serves as the Social Media Marketing Manager for Strategic Products and Services (SPS), a Unified Communications System Integrator and Managed Services Provider. In this role, he drives engagement and thought leadership across social media platforms and ensures internal and external communications adhere to the company brand. He received an M.S. in public relations from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

Mentee: Jennifer Eckley


raquel fleig

Raquel Fleig, ’10

Public and Mass track

Raquel Fleig Lawrence is a content strategy associate specializing in executive and corporate communications at iCIMS, a recruitment software provider and one of the top ten Best Places to Work in NJ. Raquel joined iCIMS as a public relations specialist in 2014 after working as an account executive and copywriter at Spitball, an advertising agency serving brands from Cholula Hot Sauce to the town of Red Bank. She graduated from TCNJ in 2010 with a BA in Communication Studies in the Public and Mass track and a Spanish minor.

Mentee: Kathleen Zarro


Lauren Balsamo, ’13

Public and Mass track

I am currently the Beauty Editor at Cosmopolitan and Seventeen Magazines. I started at Cosmo as the beauty intern my last semester at TCNJ, and then worked my way up to Editor over the past 3 and a half years. I completed the Public and Mass track in the Communications department.

Mentee: Emily Fuentes


tyler fugazzie

Tyler Fugazzie, ’13

Public and Mass track

Tyler is a published independent author living and working in New York City. He serves as the Marketing and Communications Manager for VEI, Inc., an educational nonprofit transforming students into business professionals by bringing the workplace into the classroom. He helps develop and share the story of our community of educators, business partners, and students through print, digital, and events. Previously I interned at TerraCycle and worked as a Technical Project Specialist at TCNJ’s Records and Registration.
I graduated with a BA in Communication Studies (Public/Mass Communications) with a minor in Marketing and frequently supplemented my education through the pursuit of creative side projects.
Personal Website: http://www.tylerfugazzie.com/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tyfugazzie

Mentee: Amanda Brecher


rachel chlebowski

Rachel Chlebowski, ’14

Radio, TV, & Film track

I am currently the Editorial Assistant for the Licensed Editorial division at Random House Children’s Books, which is more or less on the opposite end of the publishing spectrum from my first position out of school. Previously, I was Editorial Assistant at Bedford, Freeman, and Worth Publishing Group, where I worked on High School AP textbooks and study guides. I graduated from TCNJ in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in both English and Communication Studies, with a concentration in Radio-TV-Film and a minor in Creative Writing.

Mentee: Michael Langan


kendall anderson

Kendall Anderson, ’06

Interpersonal/Organizational track; Interdisciplinary Health concentration

Kendall has over ten years experience working solely in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries in various project management and consulting roles. She has particular expertise in market research, operations, and project management. Kendall is currently the Operations Director for the Health division of Hall & Partners, a brand insights and communications agency. In her role, she leads a team of Project Managers, and is dedicated to increasing the operational success of the company by improving processes and efficiency and driving best practices and standards.

Mentee: Nicole Tomkiel


andrew pearson

Andrew Pearson, ’08

Radio, TV, & Film track

Andrew is currently Head of Video at M Booth, a global communications company in New York City servicing a wide array of global brands such as Google, Buick/GMC, Sam Adams/BostonBeer Co. and American Express. In addition to producing full production capabilities (including 360/VR and studio Photography) Andrew collaborates on creative/digital strategy to help grow the content department and business. Andrew’s concentration was TV/Radio & Film while at TCNJ and has worked with other global PR agencies in addition to directing 2 feature documentaries.

Mentee: Ellie Schuckman


tara criscuolo

Tara Criscuolo, ’14

Public and Mass track

Hi there! My name is Tara Criscuolo. I graduated from TCNJ in 2014 with a B.A. in Communication Studies (with a concentration in Public/Mass Media). I also minored in both marketing and photography. Currently, I’m the Marketing Coordinator at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). My job largely consists of supporting and integrating brand design, style guidelines and implementation into all marketing materials produced, while also supporting marketing work flow between internal departments and external marketing vendors.

Mentee: Allison Vergano


rebecca vogt

Rebecca Vogt, ’11

Radio, TV, & Film track

Rebecca is currently a reporter and fill-in anchor with Time Warner Cable News in Buffalo, New York. Prior to working at TWC News, she spent two years out west as a one-man-band reporter for KCFW, an NBC station in Kalispell, Montana. Rebecca also spent some time after graduation reporting for WGHT-AM, a local radio station in Pompton Lakes.

Mentee: Kayla Lafi


ebony wingo

Eboni Wingo, ’12

Public and Mass track

Eboni is a 2012 graduate of TCNJ’s Communication Studies program within the Public and Mass track. Eboni currently works as an account executive at a boutique public relations agency, TogoRun, which specializes in the healthcare industry, and assists some of the top pharmaceutical and biotech companies with their communications and PR plans. She is also actively involved in her former internship program’s (The Emma Bowen Foundation for Minority Interests in Media) alumni association.

Mentee: Lena Campbell


alli wentling

Alli Wentling, ’14

Public and Mass track

Alli Wentling is an account executive at FleishmanHillard, where she works on the Corporate and Financial Issues team with clients such as Enterprise Holdings, UPS, Monsanto and AT&T. Prior to FleishmanHillard, Alli was an associate at a small boutique reputation management agency. There, she worked with clients in a variety of industries, including higher education, agriculture, animal nutrition and healthcare, in the non-profit and for-profit space. She is currently pursuing her MBA at St. Louis University.

Mentee: Sondra Nieradka


hilarey wojtowicz

Hilarey Wojtowicz, ’13

Journalism & Professional Writing major; Communication Studies minor

I am a Managing Editor in New York City for Odyssey, a new social media platform that democratizes content creation with an added human element and an experience that you cannot find anywhere else. Previous positions that I’ve held include Assistant Managing Editor at Odyssey, and Editorial Assistant and Production Assistant for Family Vacation Critic, a TripAdvisor website. I’m currently also a committee member for New York Women in Communications, a large network in New York for media and communications professionals. Lastly, I am also a graduate student online through the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism. While at TCNJ for undergrad, I majored in Journalism and Professional Writing, and minored in Communications Studies (no track).

Mentee: Kelly Corbett


angelica anas

Angelica Anas, ’14

Interpersonal/Organizational track

I currently serve as Public Relations Specialist at Rutgers University-New Brunswick where I focus on data reporting and metrics related to the university system’s public relations efforts. In my role, I aid in making the strategic decisions regarding the university’s news agenda and reputation management. I previously served as a Marketing Specialist at a mid-sized law firm where I assisted with various communications and marketing tasks. I graduated in 2014 and completed the Interpersonal and Organizational track in the Communications Studies department.

Mentee: Jessica Buckley


stefanie urso

Stefanie Urso, ’14

Public and Mass track

Stefanie Urso is an Executive Corporate Communications Specialist for Voya Financial, a Fortune 500 financial services company. Headquartered in New York with 7,000 full-time employees across the United States, Voya Financial, formerly ING U.S., is committed to being America’s Retirement Company™.
Reporting to the senior vice president and chief communications officer, Stefanie supports all CEO communications, including the development of talking points for the board of director’s quarterly meetings, ongoing all-employee messages, and key talking points for the CEO and chief operating officer for internal and external speaking events. She plays a lead role in defining the Corporate Communications strategy, measuring the satisfaction level of internal clients and providing a continuous analysis of the team’s growth opportunities to deliver superior service.
Prior to joining Voya in February 2015, Stefanie was a Financial and Business Communications Coordinator for AECOM – a $20-billion, fully integrated infrastructure firm, with nearly 100,000 employees serving clients in more than 150 countries around the world. At AECOM, she supported the chief communications officer, with responsibilities that included leading the distribution of the Fortune 500 Company’s press releases. Previously, Stefanie held internships with Pfizer, CNA Insurance, and Red Nucleus, supporting innovation, corporate communications, and corporate services efforts, respectively.

Mentee: Kristen Gassler and Brandon Agalaba


alexis ganz

Alexis Ganz, ’14

Public and Mass track

Alexis is a Senior Account Executive working in PR, driving media relations programs, content marketing and social media strategy for clients in the financial services sector. For the past two and a half years, she has worked at Bliss Integrated Communication, bringing new content formats and creative integrated campaigns to life. Starting in mid-October, Alexis will begin a new role as a Senior Account Executive at Prosek Partners.
Alexis graduated magna cum laude from The College of New Jersey, with a B.A. in public/mass communication and a minor in professional writing.

Mentee: Megan Strucko


natalie schiavi

Natalie Schiavi, ’14

Public and Mass track

After graduating from TCNJ, I pursued a career in the insurance industry which I never thought I would be working in. I started off in sales for a few months and then transitioned into claims. I’ve been a Liability Claims Adjuster for Allstate Insurance Company for two years. Basically, I determine who is at fault in car accidents using NJ laws. There are many reasons why I love working in insurance and why I think it’s a great career path. There are so many other opportunities that a Communication Studies can consider including marketing and social media.
During my junior and senior year at TCNJ, I was a social media intern for the Department of Communication Studies where I updated content on the TCNJ.edu website and wrote articles mainly focusing on current students. I was also Editor-In-Chief for the Seal Yearbook which was a
lot of fun and definitely well worth the outcome.

Mentee: Jennifer Coronato


michelle futerfas

Michelle Futerfas

Public and Mass track; Health Communication concentration

Michelle is a Project Manager at Red Nucleus, a premier provider of learning and performance solutions for the life sciences industry. Since joining Red Nucleus, Michelle has worked on projects including print modules, eLearning, and workshops for several major pharmaceutical clients such as Amgen, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi, Genzyme, and Hologic. Michelle’s professional working experience includes time as an Assistant Health Behavior Strategist at McCann Health and as a Health Education Assistant at HealthEd. Michelle received her Master of Arts in communication with a focus on health communication from the University of Maryland, where she also served as an instructor for an introductory public speaking course. She received her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in health communication and minors in marketing and professional writing from The College of New Jersey.

Mentee: Caitlyn McNair


chris rightmire

Chris Rightmire

Christopher Rightmire is an innately curious analyst addicted to finding out how the world works, measuring variables that aren’t conducive to measurement and providing beautifully packaged “million dollar insights” that help drive strategy, quantify existing efforts, or fascinate
target audiences. Mr. Rightmire has over three years of experience answering questions for clients in the following sectors: beauty products, financial & professional services, healthcare, agribusiness, maternity & baby products, technology, the public sector and more. He is also currently pursuing his Master of Science degree in data analytics at Villanova University.

Mentee: Amy Feminella


MelissaVirzi_Headshot

Melissa Virzi, ’12

Radio, TV, & Film track

Melissa is currently an editor at Empire Design, an international creative agency specializing in film advertising campaigns. Based in their New York office, Melissa works as a staff editor creating film and television trailers. Previously Melissa worked at another trailer agency in New York – Wheelhouse Creative. For the past three years she’s been coming back to TCNJ to do a guest lecture on the art and history of editing trailers.

Mentee: Sara Davis



Victoria Falcone

I am 25 years old, living in Weehawken New Jersey and my current position is the Manager of Strategic Partnerships at St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital in Bayside, Queens. I work on special events, fundraising, community outreach, social media, and corporate and local partnerships. After graduation I worked for Nick Cannon as his Executive Assistant and Publicity Coordinator, then I worked for a television production company as a Talent Manager and Production Coordinator, then I went on to Produce a fundraising concert with Nick Cannon and St. Mary’s Children’s Hospital. On top of this I have worked for the Princeton Football Team as a member on the Media Team for game-day operations and have worked on TeenNick, Nickelodeon, and AXS TV productions.

Mentee: Brooke Buonauro


Christine Rehm, ’14

Radio, TV, & Film track

Christine Rehm graduated from The College of New Jersey in 2014 as a Communication Studies and Spanish double major. Throughout her four years at TCNJ her internships focused on human resources and marketing. After graduation she immediately started as a business development intern at a small educational marketing agency in downtown Manhattan. Upon completing her internship in August, she wanted to get more experience in HR and started a six month contractor role in campus recruiting at Strategy&, a consulting firm part of PwC. From there, she joined Deloitte Consulting fulltime as a campus recruiting coordinator. She has enjoyed learning and mastering so many different systems that are used in campus recruiting as well as participating is so many fun recruiting events. Christine loves living and working in New York City.

Mentee: Erica Cogland


Josh Fidler, ’14

Radio, TV, & Film track

Josh is a desk assistant at Fox News Channel. Josh works closely with the morning show and helps identify breaking news stories. He works closely with FNC reporters and producers as well Fox affiliates across the country. Before that he was newsroom intern at Erin Burnett OutFront on CNN, a digital intern at truTV and a newsroom intern at SportsNet New York (SNY). I graduated TCNJ in 2014 with a BA in History and Communication Studies, with a concentration in Radio-TV-Film and a minor in psychology.

Mentee: Tim Limson


kevin oconnor

Kevin O’Connor, ’07

Radio, TV, & Film track

Kevin O’Connor is a 2007 graduate of the Communication Studies: TV, Radio, Film track at TCNJ. He got his first job after graduation at The Trentonian as a sports writer thanks in no small part to a fellow classmate. Kevin is currently living in Los Angeles and working as a freelance writer and search engine optimization specialist. Over the years, his SEO experiences have taken him through a range of industries, from legal to medicine to financial services. As it turns out, his general education courses at college have come to serve him well in the real world.


Patrick Lavery, ’09

Radio, TV, & Film track

I am a 2009 graduate currently working as a morning news producer and feature reporter for New Jersey 101.5 Radio. Previously I’ve worked for WGHT Radio in Pompton Lakes, NJ, WYNY Radio in Milford, PA, the Somerset Patriots, and the New York Yankees. At TCNJ, I appeared on LTV and wrote occasionally for the Signal, and served as a Sports Director, News Director, and Station Manager for WTSR in addition to numerous DJ, news, and sports broadcasting shifts.

Mentee: Aaron Watson


Andrew Pietranek, ’11

Radio, TV, & Film track

Andrew graduated TCNJ in 2011 and currently works as a freelance camera assistant and camera operator in the Tri-state area. Recent credits include AOL’s “Build”, a live interview series based in NYC, the HGTV shows “Flea Market Flip” and “Beachfront Bargain Hunt”, and Food Network’s “Cooks vs. Cons and “Bakers vs. Fakers”. Andrew is grateful for the time he spent honing his skills in Kendall Hall while attending TCNJ and is excited to become involved in the Alumni Mentor Program.


Thomas Rozycki

English major

With over two decades of corporate communications, investor relations, crisis communications and social & digital media experience to his credit, Thomas Rozycki has provided counsel across a wide range of industries and disciplines.
Rozycki has worked within major corporations and in agency settings, always seeking to push the boundaries of transparency, to ensure full disclosure across the corporate communication and governance
spectrums. From Reg FD to Sarbanes-Oxley to Dodd-Frank, he has worked tirelessly with his clients to exceed the basic standards of disclosure and set new benchmarks for compliance.
He has spent the last several years developing corporate and crisis communications programs for his clients. Projects have included employee record theft, labor relations, and Somali piracy.
Tom has spent the last 12 years galvanizing teams behind a common purpose irrespective of discipline, geography or mandate. Working at a mid-sized, independent firm, this has proved invaluable in helping clients across market capitalizations achieve share of voice dominance.
Inherent to all of these functional roles, Tom has sought to develop camaraderie and an integrated approach across the firm’s three wholly owned global offices to ensure delivery of service.
Tom earned his honors Bachelor of Arts degree in English literature at Trenton State College (now known as The College of New Jersey), and lives with his infinitely understanding wife and three sons in Central New Jersey.


U-Jin Lee, ’13

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