Alumni Participant Bios
Michael Alexander ’05
Gabe Bernstein ’15
Account Executive, New Business Strategy, Google. Gabe has spent the last half decade in advertising sales and is currently an Account Executive on the New Business Strategy team at Google. He helps brands of all sizes onboard and utilize Google’s advertising channels to accelerate growth. He is also a Partner Mentor for Google for Startups, where he advises early stage startups in Google’s partner programs on marketing and sales. Prior to that, he spent 2.5 years on the go-to-market team at AdQuick.com, a series A startup in the adtech space. He joined as the second employee on the East Coast and helped the company scale year-over-year revenue 500 percent.
Kaitie Burger ’12
Director of Destination Strategy, Madden Media. Kaitie works at Madden Media, a full-service marketing agency that specializes in the tourism industry, as a Destination Strategy Director. In her role, she oversees business development and overall strategy for east coast accounts. Prior to joining Madden in 2020, Kaitie spent eight years with Discover Lehigh Valley as Content & Communications Manager. During this time, she served on the Board of Directors & as Chair of the Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance. In 2016, she was named to Destinations International’s “30 Under 30” program. At Muhlenberg, Kaitie currently serves on the Alumni Board as Chair of the Nominations & Governance Committee, and will begin a term as President of the Board in July 2023. She lives in Bethlehem, PA.
Joe Caporoso ’09
President, Team Whistle, a sports media entertainment company recently acquired by DAZN. Previously, Joe built the social media and content teams at Whistle over his 10 years at the company. He was double major at Muhlenberg in Media & Communication and Political Science.
Zach Cimring ’20
Law Student, Seton Hall University School of Law. Zach is a current third-year law student at Seton Hall. Upon graduation in May, Zach will serve as a judicial law clerk to Justice Fasciale of the New Jersey Supreme Court, the state’s highest court. After the clerkship, Zach will join Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP. Zach graduated from Muhlenberg in 2020, where he majored in Film Studies and Media & Communication. He was the President of the Muhlenberg Film Association and a member of the Varsity Men’s Soccer Team. Zach also studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain.
Jillian Fligge ’11
Director of Digital Marketing, Hand Lettered Design. What do a local restaurant group, a pet hotel, a nonprofit and a calligrapher have in common? They ALL need marketing! Jillian’s background working for these very different companies is proof of how diverse a career in communications can be. As the Director of Digital Marketing for Hand Lettered Design, Jillian’s current focus is promoting mindful lettering workbooks and courses to a national audience. At Muhlenberg, Jillian was editor of The Weekly and double-minored in Creative Writing and Art Studio. She lives in Allentown with her husband Pat, a fellow ‘Berg alum, and their mildly Instagram-famous golden retriever, Steve.
Jonathan Flint ’13
Associate Director, Camphill Communities California. Jon provides business operation, program delivery and quality assurance for members of his organization to access community-based disability services and supports. He is active in regulatory and policy discussions at the state, federal, and regional levels. He is an analytical problem-solver and curious life-long learner, supporting people of all abilities to become experts in their own lives.
Alberto Garrido ’21
Content Coordinator, TelevisaUnivision. Alberto graduated from Muhlenberg in 2021 with a degree in Media & Communication and Theatre. Upon graduating Alberto wrote and produced his own mini-series pilot, which has since been accepted into film festivals such as Miami Web Fest and KatraLatinx. In the fall of 2021 he accepted an internship with Greenpoint Pictures, through which he received multiple freelance production jobs, which ultimately offered him the experiences of being on set and adjusting to a fast-changing environment. In the spring of 2022, he began a temporary assistant position for a New York-based comedian which prepared him to shift gears and accept a full-time position with TelevisaUnivision’s creator marketing team. Alberto offers assistance on creator-led social media campaigns, doing everything from talent discovery to managing the team’s social media and offering assistance on set.
Marisa Gottlieb ’21
Influencer Coordinator, SHADOW PR. Since joining Shadow, Marisa has worked on gifting, campaigns, social tracking and events for brands like Aerie, Casetify, Birdies, BREAD Beauty Supply and SONY Electronics. Prior to joining Shadow, she worked in the entertainment industry as a social media coordinator, as well as completing a handful of internships, also in the entertainment industry. Also a freelance photographer, Marisa graduated from with a degree in Media & Communication and a minor in Sustainability Studies.
Steven Grossman ’00
Celebrity Talent Manager and Producer, Untitled Entertainment. Steven is a leading Hollywood talent manager and producer, named one of “Hollywood’s New Leaders” by Variety, the entertainment industry’s leading trade publication. He was named to legendary Vanity Fair writer George Wayne’s “Downtown 100” list in both 2018 and 2019 as one of “the coolest, most relevant, creative, influential and inspiring people.” He has appeared several years on The Brown List as one of Hollywood’s “Most Well Liked Executives.” He is the proud recipient of the 2016 Spotlight Award at La Vie En Blue Fashion Gala at Warner Bros. for his philanthropic work raising awareness for Autism Speaks. He is founder of Operation Save Christmas, and previously served on entertainment advisory boards for City of Hope and Make A Wish Foundation.
Alyssa Hertel ’18
Sports Reporter, Des Moines Register . Alyssa is currently with the Des Moines Register, where she covers high school sports, Division I recruiting, Drake men’s basketball, and Iowa and Iowa State football. Prior to working for the Register, she held sports writing positions at USA Today and USA Hockey Magazine.
Haley Hnatuk ’20
Content Marketing Coordinator, Fastmail. Haley is Content Marketing Coordinator at Fastmail, a privacy-first email company, where she also serves as Producer of their podcast, Digital Citizen, an Apple Top Tech show that focuses on how individuals can live healthier digital lives. Through her work there, she explores how technology can be used for community building. She is also working as an Editor and Assistant Producer on the feature-length film “in love, in memory” with fellow Muhlenberg graduate, Drew Swedberg. At Muhlenberg, Hnatuk was a Media & Communication and Film Studies major.
Jessica Kasza ’11
Senior Director of Programming & Operations, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). In 2022, Jess returned to PBS as a Senior Director of Programming & Operations in Arlington, VA. Before that, she oversaw the global operations for a fully remote marketing startup company called 1021 Creative. In her previous time with PBS, Jess was the Director of Operations for the PBS Digital Studios team, managing all of their beloved YouTube series such as Crash Course, Sound Field, and Eons. During that time, she won an Emmy for her work on the series “Prideland.” Prior to PBS, she was a Producer & Production Manager within The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, GA, and she spent a few years as a freelancer in video production in Nashville, TN, and NYC.
Erica Kornbluh ’15
Strategic Partner Manager, Google/YouTube. After starting her career in the buying office at Saks, Erica pivoted to follow her Media & Communication degree. She worked in the advertising organizations at both BuzzFeed and Spotify, where she had the opportunities to collaborate with internal stakeholders and external partners. At Spotify, she was supporting the advertising efforts on their owned and operated podcasts. This is what led her to her current role at YouTube. As a Strategic Partner Manager, she works on podcasting content partnerships, where she partners with podcasting companies and creators.
Alyssa Kratz ’17
Reporter/Multimedia Journalist/Anchor, Fox43. Alyssa joined the FOX43 team in January 2022, after spending 4 years working in the Poconos! She was previously a reporter/multimedia journalist at Blue Ridge Cable 13, where she also anchored and produced. At Muhlenberg, she was president of MBC and worked in Walson Hall. She also interned at WFMZ-69 News, where she fell in love with reporting. Her passion for news started in high school, where she anchored her school’s morning announcements…and her parents say she’s been talking since the day she was born.
Jake Krol ’18
Senior Editor, Technology and E-Commerce, The Arena Group. Jake is Senior Editor of Technology and Commerce for The Arena Group’s TheStreet, Sports Illustrated and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, among other brands. He sources the latest deals, curates best-of reviews and covers new product announcements across tech, outdoors and sports. Jake frequently tests all sorts of consumer devices and breaks down what’s new in tech. Yes, that means iPhones and all the Apple goodies. He has previously worked for Mashable, CNBC, CNN, Fox News, CNET, BGR, and founded NJTechReviews LLC while in high school.
Stephanie Huber Liebnick ’14
Registrar & Associate Director of Enrollment Services, Yale University School of Nursing. Stephanie started her journey in higher education as the Student Data Information Specialist at her undergraduate alma mater, Muhlenberg. She later moved on to work at Bentley University outside of Boston, Massachusetts, where she began as their Assistant Registrar working her way up to serving as the Senior Associate Registrar and more recently as their Interim-Registrar. During the peak of the pandemic in May 2020, Stephanie graduated with her M.Ed. in Higher Education with a focus in Higher Education Administration and Advising from The Pennsylvania State University.
Sasson Lonner ’22
Digital Marketing/Social Media Management, Alan Gordon Enterprises. Since graduating, Sasson moved to LA and have been working to break into the world of cinematography. He started off as a production assistant working on various commercial sets, and ultimately decided he wanted to be more directly involved in working with cameras. He cold emailed dozens of camera houses around LA and ultimately ended up with a full time job at Alan Gordon Enterprises.
Jack McCallum ’71
Senior Writer, Sports Illustrated. Long-time writer for Sports Illustrated and author of 13 books, including two New York Times best sellers. I taught in the Muhlenberg College Media & Communication Department as an adjunct for several semesters.
Seth Mellman ’75
DGA Stage Manager Television, Freelance. After 10 years as a professional musician in Los Angeles, he began his career as a stage manager for network television production in 1991. While in Los Angeles he worked on shows such as the “HBO Comedy Hour,” “The Soul Train Awards,” “Good Morning America” and “Hollywood Squares.” In 1999, he moved back to the East Coast and productions here include “The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade,” “NBC Christmas Tree Lighting,” “The Dr. OZ Show,” The Grammy Awards, The TONY Awards, “The Kennedy Center Honors,” “Iron Chef America,” MTV Music Awards, Country Music Television Awards, and “Rachael Ray.”
Heather Mill ’10
Publicist and Consumer Events Manager, Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House. For the past ten years, Heather has secured top-tier media placements for best-selling authors, specializing in podcasts. She also creates and executes strategy for Penguin’s presence at key consumer shows, including Comic Cons and BookCon. Prior to entering the publishing industry, Heather worked at a public relations agency with clients in the consumer technology space. At Muhlenberg, Heather was a Media & Communication major with minors in Business and Dance.
Christin Miller ’05
Director of Strategic Communications, Social and Influencer, Bayer. A seasoned expert in the field of integrated marketing and communications, Christin “Chrissy” Miller has held top ranking positions in the fast-paced world of New York City marketing agencies and has recently transitioned to an in-house role at life sciences company, Bayer. Throughout her tenure, she has created, led and executed many award winning consumer-facing programs that have led to measurable business results and consumer behavior change. She is deeply rooted in the digital marketing world and holds responsibility for organic content creation for brand’s social channels, influencer engagement, coordinated paid media efforts, corporate and internal communications as well as big ticket creative campaigns.
Kim O’Brien ’09
Senior Writer, Franklin & Marshall College. As the senior writer at Franklin & Marshall College, Kim supports the college’s brand identity with message-driven storytelling in a variety of formats. Prior to F&M, Kim worked as an independent consultant providing marketing services for a range of clients. A journalist at heart, Kim began her writing career covering local government, sports and entertainment for LNP Media Group. She has over a decade of writing, editing and strategic experience within marketing and public relations environments.
Grace Oddo ’22
Assistant Director of Advancement Communication, Muhlenberg College. As a former Muhlenberg Weekly reporter, student writer at the Office of Communications, and sketch comedy aficionado, Grace has always believed in the power of a good story. She graduated Muhlenberg in May 2022 with a degree in Media & Communication and a minor in Creative & Professional Writing…and she never left! As assistant director of advancement communication, Grace collaborates with other teams in advancement to develop and execute marketing strategies that engage with and tell the stories of Muhlenberg’s awesome alumni network. She also serves as a staff representative at all of Advancement’s signature events. In the near future, she hopes to go back to school to get her Master’s in Writing.
Jessika Parra ’19
Assistant Director, Alumni Affairs, Muhlenberg College. Jessika (she/her) graduated from Muhlenberg in 2019 with a major in Media & Communication and minors in Business Administration and Dance. She currently works in Muhlenberg’s Office of Alumni Affairs, focusing on student and young alumni engagement. Her favorite part of this role is helping to plan events that have become significant traditions to the College such as Candle Lighting, Champagne Brunch, THAW and Alumni Weekend. Before returning to Muhlenberg, Jessika worked at dentsuX, a media agency in NYC, supporting clients within the LVMH group.
Robert Pepper ’03
Career Coach, The Edge. Robert, a 2003 Muhlenberg graduate, works at The Edge, a personal-development coaching company that helps entrepreneurs and high achievers discover or rediscover their purpose and live life to its fullest. Although he now has a rewarding job, a good relationship, and a healthy mind & body, he was far from an overnight sensation. Robert spent nearly 20 years scrabbling through life and working a range of jobs, some rewarding, some less so. He attended Muhlenberg Alumni Week in 2019 and used it as a reset button to reevaluate his situation and reignite his passion for learning. A common phrase he hears working with entrepreneurs of all ages is that life is just beginning, and the best is yet to come.
Jackie Phillips ’13
Senior Specialist, Communications, Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site. Jackie (she/they) is a communications professional specializing in nonprofit storytelling. With ten years of experience in marketing, communications, and fundraising, Jackie has worked for a wide range of organizations including a network of Catholic schools, a community band, a regional theater, and, currently, a museum. In her role as Senior Specialist, Communications for Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, Jackie helps promote and raise funds for a prison-turned-museum that interprets the past, present, and future of criminal justice reform in America. In their free time, Jackie puts their music major to use as a member of ANNA Crusis Feminist Choir and percussionist for Narberth Community Theater.
Gabe Plesent ’18
PR Professional and Brand Consultant, Self-Employed. Gabe has worked in PR/Strategic Communications since he graduated from Muhlenberg in 2018. First, at some of the premier public relations firms, representing brands like Dollar Shave Club, Casper, MIRROR, Quip, and many other of the venture-backed “disruptors.” About two years ago, he left agency life to begin consulting and freelancing on his own, working directly with brands as a ‘PR and Media Relations consultant.’ His current client roster includes Cake, Hone Health, Gel Blaster, and Mimmo. He would love to chat with Media & Communication students about the public relations field, building consumer trust, working with media (editorial, broadcast, podcasts, etc.) and finding your own pathway in business.
Andrew Rhodes ’11
Senior Vice President, DKC. Andrew is a public relations executive with more than 10 years of experience in bringing some of the most iconic brands in the country to life. He is currently a Senior Vice President at DKC, managing sports, media and business accounts. He also guides the day-to-day operations of the company’s award-winning sports practice. Rhodes has developed and executed campaigns for leading brands, game changing startups, and some of the most recognizable figures across industries. Rhodes is a trusted communications advisor to burgeoning brands and seasoned organizations and leaders alike. His clients have included: Meta, Sports Illustrated/The Arena Group, SMAC Entertainment, Delta Air Lines, Away, and the International Olympic Committee. He also works with acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns and has helped former athletes like Derek Jeter and Michael Strahan build their second careers. Outside of the office, as a beneficiary of their groundbreaking research, he regularly volunteers with March of Dimes. Rhodes graduated from Muhlenberg College with a B.A. in Media & Communication and Psychology.
Ali Ruchman ’19
Media Operator, Spectrum News 1 SoCal. Ali graduated from Muhlenberg in 2019 with a major in Media & Communication and a minor in Documentary Storymaking. She moved to California in August 2019 and started her career in scripted television working as an office PA on Amazon’s “Goliath” and “The Terminal List,” before working as a set PA on shows such as “The L Word: Generation Q” and “Grey’s Anatomy”. She has now found a home at Spectrum News 1 SoCal as a teleprompter operator and a video playout operator. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in Alumni Week from the other side of the table!
Sarah Sharpe ’19
Orlando Theme Park Blogger/Content Specialist, Undercover Tourist. Sarah graduated Muhlenberg in 2019 with a double major in Theatre and Media & Communication. Her internships included once-in-a-lifetime positions with TV Guide Magazine‘s editorial team, Universal Orlando Resort’s content team, and Cartoon Network’s public relations team. Today, she gets paid to go on roller coasters and write cheesy puns as a Theme Park Content Specialist for Undercover Tourist in Orlando, Florida. Her day-to-day responsibilities include writing blogs and video scripts, creating social media content during site visits, and helping families have their dream vacation. You can find her obsessing over superheroes on Instagram, Archive of Our Own, YouTube, and Marvel Super Hero Island.
Lisa Siciliano ’10
Senior Manager, International Streaming Content Management, Paramount. Lisa has been working at Paramount (formerly ViacomCBS) for the last decade! Throughout her tenure, she has been part of 3 teams: Media Services Distribution, Nickelodeon Digital Partnerships, and now, International Streaming Content Management. With a focus in video operations and project management, Lisa has helped launch Paramount + in almost 10 regions, and spearheaded fun projects such as up-resing old seasons of SpongeBob for its 20th anniversary. She is excited to be back at Muhlenberg for Alumni Week and can’t wait to see her professors, old friends, and current students!
Tom Simon ’01
Director of Marketing, WorkDove. Tom started his career in the music industry as a marketer and moved to Raleigh, NC, in 2009 to chase a career in tech marketing. Since then, he has ranged from marketing for nonprofits, to 3D scanning and 3D printing, CPG, content licensing, and now HR Tech. Along the way he founded a company that exited to Facebook and then another that ended up on “Shark Tank.”
Ashlee Smith ’15
Director of Content, PBS North, Duluth, MN. Ashlee leads content strategy and programming across all genres, manages production, education, and community engagement. In her role, Ashlee has launched the first multiplatform initiative for the station, “The Great Minnesota Recipe,” and helped to produce Emmy-winning coverage for “The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon.” Previously, Ashlee spent six years working at PBS, where she was most recently Assistant Director, managing programs such as “PBS American Portrait” and “Finding Your Roots.”
Brian Teta ’98
Executive Producer, ABC’s “The View”. Emmy Award–winning television producer. Started career in daytime television as a booker and producer for Montel, Ricki Lake and Judge Hatchett. Left for late night and joined the “Late Show with David Letterman” in 2004 as the sports and human interest booker. Worked for Dave for 11 years, and was a Supervising Producer when Dave ended his run in 2015. Joined “The View” as Co-Executive Producer in 2015 and was elevated to Executive Producer in 2017. Now in its 26th season, “The View” is the #1 most watched talk show in all of daytime television.
Julia Way ’21
Account Executive, DKC Sports. Since joining the agency, Julia has supported PR efforts for a variety of agency partners including Manchester City, the BIG EAST Conference, Sports Illustrated, the Professional Fighters League, and Religion of Sports. Prior to joining DKC, Julia was an Account Coordinator at Krupp Kommunications, focusing on thought leadership in the health/wellness and entrepreneurship spaces. She spent time as a field reporter/producer for local sports television in her hometown of San Diego, CA and completed a public relations/influencer outreach internship at Power Digital Marketing. At Muhlenberg, Julia was a Media & Communication and Theatre double major.
Elizabeth Whitney ’04
Managing Principal, Meguire Whitney. Elizabeth has spent almost twenty years since graduating from Muhlenberg in and around the federal government, serving as a congressional aide before becoming a lobbyist and government relations consultant. She opened her own firm in 2017 and represents not-for-profit electric utilities before Congress and federal agencies. In addition to her Communication degree from Muhlenberg, she holds a master’s in Political Management from George Washington and a JD from Georgetown Law. In 2021 she began offering grant writing services in addition to lobbying. She now has a team of eight professionals and the firm has been named to Bloomberg Government’s “Top Performing Lobbying Firms” the past two years.
Natalie Wizel ’13
Content Producer, New York Football Giants. At the Giants, Natalie is responsible for producing and editing content across all of the team’s digital and social media platforms. She produces the NY Giants flagship in-season show, “The Coach Daboll Show,” that airs on MSG Networks and the Giants YouTube channel and website. She is responsible for multiple roles in the control room at the in-house studio and MetLife stadium, including EVS producer, playback, and editing live highlights for the team’s in-stadium video boards and post-game show. She fills a “hybrid” production role, so along with the creative side of production, she also coordinates the daily production scheduling, equipment orders and repairs, oversees the team’s asset management system, and manages its seasonal interns and production assistants. Previously she worked with Major League Soccer, HBO Sports, and New York City Football Club. Through these opportunities, she was able to gain multifaceted experience in production, accreditation, logistics, asset management, and operations of professional sporting events. She graduated Cum Laude in 2013 with a degree in Media & Communication and Spanish, was a member of the Media & Communication Honors program, studied abroad in Seville, Spain, and was a four-year member of the Varsity Women’s Soccer team.
Amanda Wong ’14
Associate Producer, CBS Sports/Paramount +. Since graduating from Muhlenberg in 2014, she worked in a variety of sports such as NFL, college football, college basketball, MLB, boxing and now international soccer. In her career, she worked on the NCAA Final Four, Super Bowl 50, MLB All-Star game and World Champion Boxing events. In her last year as an associate producer, she worked on the production for FIFA CONCACAF World Cup Qualifiers, UEFA Champions League Final, Derby D’Italia and FIFA W Championship. Outside her in-studio responsibilities, she worked on the documentary “The Only,” which tells the story about former goalkeeper, Briana Scurry, who played for the US Women’s National Team and won the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Ariel Wursta ’21
Multichannel Media Planner, SSCG Media Group. After graduating, Ariel started working as an Assistant Media Planner at SSCG Media Group and since then has been promoted to Multichannel Media Planner. SSCG Media Group is one of the largest full-service pharma-focused strategic media planning and buying networks. At her agency, she is in charge of recommending and executing media for major pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, targeting audiences such as Health Care Professionals. She works to promote their Patient Resources as well as drug brands in the Oncology, Dermatology, and Gastroenterology spaces. She works as a liaison between the clients, creative agencies, vendor partners, and internal teams. Additionally she’s had the opportunity to work on new business pitches, the RFP team, and PR task force.
Rachel Zatcoff ’12
Account Manager, Inkhouse PR. Rachel is an enthusiastic, self-starter who thrives as a dedicated project manager. She has more than ten years of experience working with various industries including, but not limited to, travel and tourism, consumer packaged goods and services to retail and hospitality—and now data analytics + technology. She enjoys juggling many projects at once and has often been called a ‘Jane’ of all trades. At home, she is the mother of two young boys, navigating the wild ride of parenthood with her husband (and fellow Mule!) Brad. In her spare time (ha!) she enjoys binge-watching the latest Netflix series, riding her Peloton, visiting local playgrounds with the boys and trying new restaurants.
Maggie Zerbe ’17
Senior Manager of Content Strategy, Philadelphia 76ers. Maggie is an Emmy and Clio-award winning producer, photographer and storyteller. She’s previously worked for NFL Films, the Brooklyn Nets and worked with brands such as Red Bull, Netflix and TIDAL. Currently a Senior Manager of Content with the Philadelphia 76ers, Maggie develops, produces, and manages large scale campaigns, day-to-day team coverage and partnership platforms.