Alumni Participant Bios
Michael Alexander ’05
Executive Vice President, International Marketing, Universal Music Group East Coast Labels (Def Jam, Island, Republic Records). Michael is the head of International Marketing and Publicity for Universal Music Group’s East Coast labels, responsible for overseeing marketing, publicity, and talent relations for more than 300 artists. In 2018 Michael was named one of Music’s Top Young Power Players by Billboard in their annual 40 Under 40 issue. Michael and his team have played an integral roll in the development and global success of such artists as Ariana Grande, Post Malone, Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Kanye West, The Weeknd, Shawn Mendes, and Drake. Michael joined the UMG family in 2003 as an intern during his sophomore year at Muhlenberg College.
Kurt Beyer ’11
Associate Brand Group Director, Horizon Media in New York. Kurt has experience developing and executing multi-channel ad campaigns across a number of business verticals, working on accounts such as Mars Chocolate, Motorola, Stoli Vodka, Lindt Chocolate, LG, and most recently Burger King. He is a self-professed mobile nerd and digital enthusiast, tasked with bringing the latest and greatest technologies to his clients in order to reach their goals. He continuously participates in new business pitches and wins at Horizon, using a blend of art and data to demonstrate the value of quality advertising to brands across the country.
Kendall Bryant ’05
Head of Product, Well+Good, a lifestyle and media company dedicated to wellness. Kendall spent the early part of her career in journalism (Men’s Health and Best Life magazines) on the editorial side, and later took her passion for blending content with purpose to NBCUniversal where she launched the company’s first on-air, pro-social, single cause initiative—Green is Universal—which evolved into a corporate social responsibility division. Kendall has also led content and product for a tech startup, and was a former design lead and content strategist at Fidelity Investments. Kendall graduated from Muhlenberg in 2005 and has her master’s in advertising from Boston University.
Joe Caporoso ’09
Vice President of Social Media, Whistle Sports, start up sports media company in NYC. Joe has been at Whistle Sports for five years and is currently in charge of setting day-to-day content strategy for their YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. He graduate from Muhlenberg in 2009, where he played football for four years. He has previously worked at AOL and United Way, and manages an NFL website (TurnOnTheJets.com) on the side—a site which helped him secure his initial position with Whistle Sports.
Russ Choma ’03
Investigative Reporter, Mother Jones, in the Washington bureau of the San Francisco–based magazine. Russ covers money in politics and influence for Mother Jones. He previously worked for the Center for Responsive Politics as the money-in-politics reporter for its OpenSecrets.org blog. After graduating from Muhlenberg, Russ worked as a newspaper reporter in New Hampshire for five years. Since 2008, he has worked for several nonprofit investigative journalism organizations in Washington, D.C.
Jeri Cohen ’84
Global Brand and Change Management Consultant, Freelance. Jeri is an accomplished agency and client-side marketing professional; journalist; and Adjunct Professor in Business at Muhlenberg, having designed and taught two special topics: Brand Culture and Advertising Creative Strategy. She recently learned that she had been accepted into the Adjunct Pool at NYU’s Stern School of Business and hopes to teach Brand Strategy in Spring 2020. She describes herself as a creative and critical thinker who has devoted her career to building relationships as well as understanding and meeting people’s needs—clients, teams, students, and the evolving media. As a journalist, she sees both sides of the story, and has a legal and regulatory sensibility that is valuable when managing crisis communications. Her most fulfilling role—in addition to being a mom—is as a teacher, which gives her a fascinating window into a new generation and allows her to learn from her students as much as they learn from her.
Katherine Dalldorf ’16
Associate Editor, Photographer, Producer and Cameraperson, Four Corners Media, an award-winning independent documentary production company in Brooklyn, NY. She has worked on films and photographed throughout North America and in Europe, documenting everything from the 2017 Women’s March in Washington, D.C., to the refugee crisis in Lesvos, Greece. Her work has appeared on PBS Newshour, The Intercept, and Al Jazeera English, among others. Through Muhlenberg she spent a semester abroad studying at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague, Czech Republic. During her time in Prague she wrote and directed a short film
shot on 16mm.
Kyle Detweiler ’10
Finance Director, Whitemarsh Township Authority and Head Football Coach, Archbishop John Carroll High School. Kyle is a 2010 graduate of Muhlenberg College. He dual-majored in Business Administration and Media & Communication. In 2011, he graduated with a Master’s of Business Administration from La Salle University. Currently, Kyle serves as Finance Director for the Whitemarsh Township Authority in Lafayette Hill, PA, as well as the Head Football Coach at Archbishop John Carroll High School in Radnor, PA.
Jillian Fligge ’11
Director of Marketing & Special Projects for Paxos Restaurants, a family-owned company that operates a number of local restaurants and businesses in the Lehigh Valley area. In an ever-moving position, she works directly with ownership on company-wide developments, is in charge of email and social media campaigns, advertising, and menu design for the restaurants, and coordinates events and upcoming projects. A former editor of The Muhlenberg Weekly, Jillian’s career history also includes freelance reporting for a number of newspapers, magazines and blogs in the tri-state area.
Jonathan Flint ’13
Program Manager, Camphill Communities California. Jon applies the communications and management skills he learned at ’Berg to engage others in co-creating safe, inclusive, multi-generational households of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Valuable skillsets include lifelong learning, ability to ask good questions, responsibility for the details, analysis of patterns in behavior, action-oriented teamwork, and effective communication. His work responsibilities involve regulatory agencies, public policy and advocacy, as well as program development and management, such as identifying benchmarks which contribute to quality of life and reporting on those outcomes. Jon currently resides in Santa Cruz, CA with his wife Rachel.
Nikki Gum ’08
Communication Specialist, Upper Perkiomen School District. As the first person to hold any type of communication role for the district, Nikki has had the opportunity to build UPSD’s communications strategy from the ground up. She enjoys the varied nature of her job, including the regular interactions with students and teachers. Nikki’s previous roles include director of college communications at Muhlenberg, adjunct instructor in Muhlenberg’s Media & Communication department, communications director at the PA NewsMedia Association, senior assistant director of communications at Gettysburg College, and press assistant in Senator Bob Casey’s Washington, D.C., office.
Alessandra Halperin ’18
Content Specialist, Holmes Report. Upon graduating, Alessandra joined the Holmes Report, the world’s foremost provider of public relations intelligence, news and insight as a Content Specialist. The majority of Alessandra’s work is social media–focused, developing and posting content across all social media channels. While at Muhlenberg, Alessandra was a member of the Muhlenberg Women’s Rugby team as well as the Relay for Life Executive Board. Alessandra is thrilled to be back at Muhlenberg for her first year as an alum!
Greer Hardy ’18
Assistant Account Executive, MediaCatalyst Marketing Communications. Greer works inn public relations and social media at a marketing and communications firm in Stamford, CT. During her time at Muhlenberg, she double-majored in Media & Communication and Studio Art, and maintained an internship at one of Connecticut’s top PR agencies. Now she work, primarily, on the public relations and social media side for some of MediaCatalyst’s top accounts.
Jordan Horne ’18
Graphic Designer and Visual Communications Specialist, SAP. Jordan supports the HR Engagement and Enablement team with internal marketing consulting at SAP, the German-based multinational enterprise software company. In her SAP role, Jordan creates deliverables to support the company’s employee programs, including, presentations, infographics, and webpage design. At Muhlenberg, she double-majored in Media & Communication and Dance, and helped lead the BergBuzz creative agency.
Kayla Jacobs ’17
Administrative Assistant to the Executive Director, The Foundation for the Bethlehem Area School District. Kayla first joined the Foundation staff in early 2018 as a temporary Special Event Assistant for the 3rd Annual Celebration Dinner. After a successful fundraising event, she then joined the team in a permanent role as Administrative Assistant. Kayla works closely with the Board of Trustees to support the implementation of the Foundation’s mission and the development of enhancement opportunities for all students of the Bethlehem Area School District.
Sadie Katz ’17
Customer Engagement Associate, ClassPass, the world’s largest fitness aggregator. Working at a fast-growing start-up has given Sadie opportunities to dip her toes into many aspects of ClassPass, in addition to her primary role as a Customer Engagement Associate. She spends her days in communication with ClassPass customers, analyzing user sentiment and looking for trends and bugs with the app. Sadie is also on the Social team and helps runs ClassPass’s social media platforms.
Allie Keller ’08
Senior Event Manager, The Event Studio. Allie’s enthusiasm for customer experience has driven her career in registration and client management. In addition to project oversight and logistics, her passion lies in guest relations, customer retention, and hotel block management. Her experience in event planning began as a Page at NBCUniversal, followed by a role as Senior Manager of Special Events at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, where she truly developed her passion for working with people. Prior to joining the team at The Event Studio, Allie was the Executive Relations Manager for Fortune Conferences at Time Inc.
Alyssa Kratz ’17
News Producer, Blue Ridge Communications TV-13, a local news station in Northeast Pennsylvania. Alyssa produces TV-13’s 5:30pm Valley Report. She gathers and investigates leads for stories and handles all assignment desk duties. Alyssa works under deadline to organize, write and compile all stories/elements of the newscast and works closely with reporters, anchors, technical directors, and videographers to create the show. She also posts content to web and social media pages. Alyssa graduated from Muhlenberg in 2017 and started at TV-13 in July as an associate producer. She was promoted to a producer role in December 2017.
Jacob Krol ’18
Associate Tech Writer, CNN Underscored, based in NYC. Jacob is in charge of building out the Tech Vertical for the site, including reviews, deals, news, gift guides, and more on the latest technologies. 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.
Philip Lakin ’09
National Agent Success Specialist, Compass, a technology-driven residential real estate brokerage. Philip graduated from Muhlenberg in 2009 as a Theatre and Media & Commutation double major. The skillset he developed at Muhlenberg, combined with his love for startups, led him to launch his own guerrilla marketing agency. One of their largest clients, Gett (a ride-sharing platform based in Israel), acquired them soon after. This led to Philip honing his skills in people management, building onboarding platforms, and scaling operations. At Compass, he works with Agent Ops teams all over the country to improve agent onboarding and retention.
Heather (Fox) Lavin ’08
Senior Associate Director of Advancement Communications, Muhlenberg College. Heather has worked in higher education and development for eight years. In her current position, she writes, designs and coordinates strategy implementation for communications to Muhlenberg College alumni, parents and friends. Her expertise is in engagement and philanthropy through digital and social media. Heather has also worked as a fundraiser, event planner, volunteer manager, professional dancer, and a fitness instructor. She graduated Muhlenberg in 2008 with a double major in Media & Communication and Dance. She also received a master’s in arts administration from Drexel University.
Jason Leonhard ’18
Marketing and Communications Manager, Urbanity Dance, a Boston-based contemporary dance company. Jason graduated from Muhlenberg with a BA in Music Composition & Theory and Media & Communication. Professionally, he has worked in marketing, design, and writing roles for numerous arts organizations, including Urbanity Dance (currently), Miller Symphony Hall, and the Muhlenberg College Department of Theatre & Dance. He values arts accessibility above all and seeks to spread this in his work! As a student, he wrote for, performed in, and served as music director for several ensembles, tutored music theory, and composed/sound designed for student films and staged productions.
Molly Majewicz ’17
Olympus Fellow, Olympus Corporation of America, the global optics company. After graduation, Molly joined Olympus’s Fellows program, a rotational leadership development program that exposes fellows to three areas of the business. Molly’s first rotation focused on integrated marketing communications, where she developed strategies for Olympus’s new brand launch. Her second rotation was in corporate communications; she developed and implemented an internal communication campaign and also assisted in designing the company’s new intranet. Her final rotation is in social media, where she plans, develops, and posts content, and reports on the company’s corporate and medical platforms. She has also transitioned from a student DJ to a community DJ on Muhlenberg’s station, 91.7 FM. Her show is bi-weekly on Saturdays from noon to 2pm.
Jack McCallum ’71
Senior Writer, Sports Illustrated. Jack worked as a sports journalist for forty years. He was elected to the writers wing of the Basketball Hall of Fame and is the author of twelve books, including the New York Times bestseller Dream Team. He teaches as an adjunct at Muhlenberg and has a master’s degree in English literature from Lehigh.
Jacob McDaniel ’17
Freelance Blogger and Writer. A major in Film Studies and minor in Creative Writing, Jake is working part-time as a freelance blogger and writer, with hopes to break into the production side of filmmaking. He spent the year after graduation working in Kenya and South Africa, as a production intern with safariLIVE. While at the company, he logged video footage, managed Facebook and YouTube feeds, created videos, and blogged. He is also a prolific fiction writer, with a primary focus on fantasy, horror, and science fiction. So far he has written thirty-nine novels (as yet unpublished).
Mark McGillivray ’14
Art Director and Designer, Empire Design and Freelance. Mark is a designer, art director, and illustrator based in NYC, specializing in key art development, bespoke typography, CGI, and image making. He has worked on a range of entertainment projects, from movie posters, to full Broadway campaigns, to title sequences, and album artwork. Clients include Universal Pictures, StudioCanal, Amazon Studios, MTV, Absolut Vodka, A24, Filmnation, PUMA, Gunpowder & Sky, Villiger Cigars, Anomaly, and more.
Seth Mellman ’75
DGA Stage Manager/Associate Director, Freelance. Seth began working in production in 1990 and joined the Directors Guild of America in 1992. As a stage manager for television, past and current work includes primarily variety and entertainment productions. Resume includes the Grammy Awards, Tony Awards, Kennedy Center Honors, MTV Music Awards, Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD, Iron Chef America, HBO Comedy Hour, CMT Awards, Rachael Ray, Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, and Good Morning America. He is currently working on his ninth season of The Dr. OZ Show. Seth also produces corporate videos through his production company SMP Video LLC, in Princeton, NJ.
Tim Murray ’09
Host, NBC Sports Radio. Since graduating from Muhlenberg, Tim has done almost everything there is to do in sports radio. From hosting to anchoring to producing to being laid off. Currently, Tim is co-host of The Daily Line, a nationally syndicated afternoon drive show on NBC Sports Radio. The highlight of his career to this point was being in Pyeongchang as part of Westwood One’s Winter Olympics broadcast team.
Ricardo Negron ’15
Videographer/Photographer, Freelance, and Cinema and Comedy Programming Assistant, ArtsQuest, a local non-profit dedicated to the preservation of both Bethlehem’s (and its surrounding areas) rich history and art culture. In his role(s), Ricardo oversees projects that typically adopt much of the more hands-on, and practical, curriculum that Muhlenberg had to offer during his time there. From crafting press releases, to editing in-house trailers, to learning how to be a sound technician for comedy shows, and much more, Ricardo has a little bit of everything under the multimedia spectrum going on. In his spare time, Ricardo is an amateur rapper under the moniker “Anxious Boy” and can also be found performing onstage in local theatrical productions.
Robert Pepper ’03
Writer, Freelance. Robert has been writing about and reviewing business and consumer technology for over ten years. He has also written about a wide range of other topics, from comic books, to politics, to bargain hunting. In his personal life, he enjoys other creative outlets, including making paracord creations, voice acting, cooking, and playing music. Robert graduated from Muhlenberg in 2003, but he has never stopped learning and growing. He watches YouTube videos and listens to podcasts; his search history has run the gamut from gaining practical skills to learning historical wonders and esoterica.
Jackie Phillips ’13
Communications Specialist, Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site. Jackie graduated in 2013 with a double major in Media & Communication and Music. Her desire to work for a Philadelphia-based nonprofit led her first to Independence Mission Schools, a startup network of 15 independent Catholic elementary schools. After five years there working primarily in fundraising, Jackie moved on to a new role in August 2018. She now supports the marketing and advancement teams at Eastern State Penitentiary, coordinating communications for this centuries-old prison turned museum and historic site. In her free time, Jackie sings with Anna Crusis Women’s Choir and plays percussion in the Merion Concert Band.
Gabe Plesent ’18
Public Relations Account Coordinator, Moxie Communications Group. Gabe currently works at Moxie Communications Group, facilitating and coordinating media opportunities for several clients such as Dollar Shave Club, Pandora, Casper, quip, and Curology. On these teams, Gabe prepares briefing documents, creates messaging strategies and secures awards, conferences, and editorial opportunities. During his senior year at Muhlenberg, Gabe worked for the personal/corporate branding company Main & Rose, helping their small team of Account Executives stay organized and well-informed. He coordinated speaking events for clients, and worked to find creative ways to tell their stories to reputable journalists.
Andrew Rhodes ’11
Account Supervisor, DKC , one of the top 10 independent PR firms in the country. In over six years with DKC, Rhodes has helped plan and execute strategic public relations plans for clients across a wide range of industries including sport, media, business and technology. Clients during his tenure include: Facebook, Delta Air Lines, Ken Burns/PBS, NBC, NFL Films, Pro Football Hall of Fame, United States Tennis Association, The Players’ Tribune, Oath/Yahoo, MOD Pizza, Ritani and Windpact. His past experience includes time with WNBC-TV (NBC 4 New York) and Minor League Baseball’s Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Outside of the office, he is passionate about his volunteer leadership work with the March of Dimes. Rhodes graduated from Muhlenberg in 2011 with a BA in Media & Communication and Psychology. While at Muhlenberg, Rhodes worked with the athletic department as a game-day facilities and operations manager for regular and postseason competition across 12 teams, was the “Voice of the Mules” for eight teams and served as an intern in the Office of Admission.
Jessica Scanlon ’16
Sales Planner, TLC and OWN at Discovery Communications. Jessica is a New Jersey native who graduated Muhlenberg College with a BA in Media & Communication and Theatre. Through her position Jessica builds media proposals and creates sales presentations at the TLC and OWN networks and platforms utilizing all available research, sales, and content resources. In addition to her position at Discovery, Jessica has worked for Universal Music Group as a Coordinator for Commercial Partnerships.
Christopher Seivard ’86
Owner, C.Seivard Production Services. Christopher works in television, corporate, and issue/non-profit media. He has created diverse video and film projects, and worked on countless reality shows. He learned his craft on indie films in New York City. A 1986 graduate of Muhlenberg College, he has seen immense change in his 30 years of work. He is a former competitive cyclist, a dedicated Eagles fan, and member of Red Sox Nation. When not playing with a camera or his two kids, he is found with his old car or motorcycle.
Lisa Siciliano ’10
Manager of Digital Video Operations, Nickelodeon. Lisa has been part of the Viacom family since 2013—almost 6 years! She spent the first 4.5 years working with the Media Services Distribution team, which is responsible for the creation and delivery of Video on Demand and Download to Own content for all networks. In August 2017, she became the Manager of Digital Video Operations at Nickelodeon. She works with companies such as Apple, Google, Amazon, and multiple internal teams to ensure that Nickelodeon episodes are available for purchase the day after air and that they’re promoted on store. Lisa is excited to be back for her 8th Alumni Week!
Tom Simon ’01
Founder and Chief Barketing Officer, Zookies Cookies, a maker of wholesome, organic, bake at home dog treats located in Raleigh, NC. The last startup Tom founded, Source3, was acquired by Facebook in August 2017. His strengths are in marketing, strategic planning, and general entrepreneurship foundation. Tom graduated from Muhlenberg in 2001.
Ashlee Smith ’15
Executive Assistant to the Chief Programming Executive, PBS. Ashlee began working at PBS shortly after graduating in 2015. Starting as a Program Associate, she was responsible for screening all General Audience programming for indecency and ratings. She next moved to Senior Program Associate, where she helped to project manage shows like Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife, and The Great American Read. Ashlee worked directly with producers to ensure all project materials were delivered in time for air. Now, Ashlee is employed as the Executive Assistant to the Chief Programming Executive, who she supports administratively as she learns what it takes to be an executive in television.
Katie Southwick ’06
Product Owner, Vanguard, a client-owned investment firm based in Malvern, Pennsylvania. Katie has been working at Vanguard for 12 years in various capacities. She has spent time in client facing, project, consulting, and leadership roles in the organization. She is currently a Product Owner leading an Agile team focused on process improvement. Katie received her master’s in Business Administration from La Salle University, and graduated from Muhlenberg with a degree in Media & Communication.
Drew Swedberg ’17
Project Manager: Media Without Limits, Promise Neighborhoods of the Lehigh Valley. Drew is a documentary filmmaker, cinematographer, and educator. He is an independent filmmaker for a non-profit, a freelance cinematographer, and a teacher of youth documentary filmmaking. He graduated with the first minor in the LVAIC Documentary Storymaking program.
Erin Tiffany ’17
Assistant Production Manager, Center Theatre Group. After graduating in 2017 with a double major in Media & Communication and Theatre, Erin attended the Yale School of Drama, where she received a Certificate in Technical Design and Production. She then moved to Los Angeles to work for Walt Disney Imagineering as the Technical Direction Intern for Live Entertainment. While at Disney she worked extensively on the Marvel, and Shanghai portfolios. Erin—still in LA—is now the Assistant Production Manager at Center Theatre Group, working on countless productions including “Indecent,” “Happy Days,” and the upcoming national tours of “The Play that Goes Wrong,” and ”Once on this Island.”
Diana Tirendi ’07
Senior Associate Director, Alumni Affairs, Muhlenberg College. Diana graduated with a BA in Media & Communication. While at Muhlenberg, Diana was active with the Best Buddies program and the Arc of Northampton County. Her passion for volunteerism led her to a career in nonprofit where she led successful campaigns at the March of Dimes until 2010, when she moved to the American Heart Association, leading the Lehigh Valley Heart Walk and Go Red For Women campaigns. In 2013, Diana had the opportunity to extend her experience into higher education in an alumni volunteer management role at Lehigh University. In 2016 she was fortunate enough to transition that experience into a role at her alma mater, where she currently serves as the Senior Associate Director in the Alumni Affairs office.
Dylan White ’14
Product Specialist and Patient Advisor, Keystone Canna Remedies, in Bethlehem. Dylan graduated with a double major in Media & Communication and Film Studies. After performing a few jobs in the Audio/Visual field and outside of it, Dylan returned to the Lehigh Valley to work on his crafts of writing and filmmaking. He also holds a key position in the rapidly budding cannabis industry (pun intended) at Keystone Canna Remedies, the first medical cannabis dispensary in Pennsylvania.
Elizabeth (Kelsey) Whitney ’04
Managing Principal, Meguire Whitney. Elizabeth has spent the last fifteen 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.
Rachel (Jakubowitcz) Zatcoff ’12
Media Relations Specialist, Vault Communications. At Vault, Rachel is responsible for supporting the agency’s clients with strategic communications, media outreach, and maintaining relationships with media contacts at the local, regional, and national levels. Rachel is currently the agency’s internship coordinator and enjoys mentoring young talent. In her career, she’s witnessed the World’s Largest Pierogi, had a client on the Rachael Ray Show, and successfully mastered how to crack the code on celebrities’ agents’ contact information.
Maggie Zerbe ’17
Digital Content Coordinator, Philadelphia 76ers. At 76ers, Maggie is responsible for producing various pieces of content and managing social media platforms with over five million total followers. Previously she worked at NFL Films, producing content that aired on Showtime, ESPN, HBO, and NFL Network. Maggie graduated Cum Laude in 2017 with a degree in Media & Communication and a minor in Creative Writing. As a student, she was a member of the Media & Communication Honors Program and competed on the women’s basketball team for four years.