Comm Grad Spotlight

A degree in Communication opens the door to a wide variety of employment opportunities. The profiles below highlight people with Communication degrees who are now employed in a range of interesting positions.

 

Featured

Comm Grad Spotlight: Felicia Horowitz

Felicia Horowitz

B.A. in Communication, University of Southern California
Philanthropist, CEO and Founder of the Horowitz Family Foundation

Growing up in Los Angeles, Felicia Horowitz was the first in her family to graduate from college. Horowitz credits the Sugar Ray Robinson Foundation for putting her on the right path to finish her studies. As the CEO and Founder of the Horowitz Family Foundation, she partners with the American Jewish World Service, the GLIDE Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Boys and Girls Club, and many other organizations to advocate for and provide help to those in need.

Horowitz’s philanthropic work is driven by the need to help marginalized communities not only in the United States but around the world. She advocates for women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and violence prevention, and works to unite people cross culturally through technology and community. She works tirelessly herself, helping to prepare warm meals for 2,200 people a day through GLIDE’s Daily Free Meals Program in San Francisco, and traveling the world fighting for human rights and dignity. Horowitz received the 2019 Everyday People Award from the WACO Theater Center in Los Angeles and is listed on Oprah Winfrey’s SuperSoul 100 list.

 

Comm Grads

Comm Grad Spotlight: J. Cole

J. Cole
B.S., Communication
Rapper, Producer, Songwriter, and Philanthropist

About

Seven-time Grammy Award-nominated rapper J. Cole (Jermaine Lamar Cole) graduated magna cum laude from St. John's University with a bachelor’s degree in Communication in 2007. Self-taught on piano, Cole also is a hip-hop producer who has handled most of the production in his own projects and has produced singles for major artists such as Kendrick Lamar and Janet Jackson. He has also launched other ventures, including his own record label, Dreamville Records, and a non-profit organization called the Dreamville Foundation.

Through his Dreamville Foundation, Cole conducts philanthropic activities in his hometown of Fayetteville, North Carolina. The foundation holds an annual "Back to School Supply Giveaway" to provide school supplies to children, hosts a book club for young men, and sponsored "The Nobody's Perfect Writing Contest and Mother's Day Brunch" for students. In addition, the foundation sponsors the annual "Dreamville Weekend," a Fayetteville event that features a discussion with the Young Men's Book Club, an Appreciation Dinner, and a Career Day panel of African-American professionals in a variety of fields.

In 2015, Cole purchased his childhood home, which had been repossessed from his mother, and created a homestead where single mothers and their children can live rent-free.

Comm Grad Spotlight: Olga Haygood

Olga Haygood
B.A., Public Communication
Director of Client Services, J. Walter Thompson INSIDE

About

Olga Haygood has been an integral part of J. Walter Thompson (JWT) INSIDE for over a decade, leading multi-million-dollar employee marketing and communications programs for major global brands. She was recently promoted to Director of Client Services for the firm. JWT INSIDE is a global, full-service agency creating pioneering ideas in employer branding, employee communications, and recruitment advertising. In her new role at JWT Inside, Haygood leads national account management and media team oversight, evolution of the client services model for JWT INSIDE, business development partnerships, new client onboarding, and maintenance of key client relationships.

Haygood credits her Communication degree for providing her with a generalist entree into the field, noting that her “degree provided a foundational framework, beginning with understanding how to go from insights to strategy and eventually to execution.” She adds that “studying communication has enabled me to ask the right questions, read the room, lead the discussion, and offer insights into tangible recommendations that meet client needs. At the core of each engagement with a client,” she continues, “is the ability to forge meaningful relationships and become an advisor vs. order taker, a soft skill necessary for any communications professional.”

Prior to joining JWT INSIDE, Haygood was the Associate Director of Communications for Voices for America’s Children. At American University, she graduated Magna Cum Laude and was part of the Honors Program. She minored in Spanish in college and is fluent in the language.

Comm Grad Spotlight: Bridget Lowell

Bridget Lowell
B.S., Communication
Chief Communications Officer and Vice President, The Urban Institute

About

Bridget Lowell has 20 years of communications and leadership experience across the nonprofit sector, on Capitol Hill, and in broadcast journalism. She is currently Chief Communications Officer and Vice President at The Urban Institute, a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, DC, where she oversees a 50-person department and leads an organization-wide effort to increase the visibility of The Urban Institute’s research. Prior to joining Urban in 2012, she served as Director of Strategic Communications at The Nature Conservancy, the largest environmental organization in the world. She has also served as a Communications Director for North Carolina Congressman David Price and as a broadcast reporter.

Comm Grad Spotlight: Allison Weiland

Allison Weiland
M.S., Communication Studies and Journalism
B.S., Communication Studies and Theater

About

Allison Weiland is the executive director of the Sioux Falls State Theatre Company. She has been working on the State Theatre Renovation Project since 2017. Weiland is a Madison, S.D. native. She attended South Dakota State University in Brookings, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and theater, and a master’s degree in communication studies and journalism. She also taught communication studies and theater for two years. After her college experience, she spent five years in Minneapolis, where she worked for companies as a product coordinator, digital product manager and account executive. Her husband, David Mercer, is a music teacher. The couple has a 3-year-old daughter.

Comm Grad Spotlight: Linda Boulton

Linda Boulton
B.A., Communication
Graduate Assistant, Seton Hall University
Instructional Designer, Real Estate Sales Academy

About

Linda Boulton is a graduate assistant at Seton Hall University earning her Master’s degree in Strategic Communication. In her administrative role at the university, Boulton works for the Center for Graduate Studies building online resources for graduate students and planning, executing, and evaluating email-marketing campaigns. In addition, Boulton works as an instructional designer, creating online courses for a Chicago-based real estate school. Before pursuing graduate school, she earned her B.A. in Communication from Saint Xavier University.

Comm Grad Spotlight: Catherine Ryan

Catherine Ryan
B.A., Communication
Assistant Director of Marketing & Private Events, American Writers Museum

About

Catherine received a B.A. in Communication from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2015. She began her involvement with the American Writers Museum that same year as the Administrative Assistant. Since then, she has been involved in general operations, event planning, and fundraising efforts, and is now the Assistant Director of Marketing & Private Events. This position has allowed her to use her event planning and salesmanship skills while learning more about the event industry. When she isn’t attending one of the many public programs offered at the AWM, you can find her chairing the NPH USA Midwest Region Associate Board.

Comm Grad Spotlight: Brian Pashkoff

Brian Pashkoff
B.A., Communication
Managing Principal, MGA, Inc.

About

At MGA, Inc. a leading tenant representation firm in Washington, DC, Brian provides expert real estate consultation to leading nonprofits and associations in the region. He says he uses the skills and lessons he learned as a Communication major every day, “From pitching new business to speaking in front of member boards and negotiating sale and leasing contracts.”

Comm Grad Spotlight: Giustino Bovenzi

Giustino Bovenzi
B.A., Journalism
News Editor, Good Day Columbus

About

At Columbus, Ohio’s ABC 6/Fox 28 news station, Giustino works as a News Editor, where he edits video content for various news programs. He also produces the station’s high school football highlight show, “First Scores.” He says, “At WSYX/WTTE, we use communication in every action and interaction of our day. From communicating with producers to communicating to the masses, the messages we send out as a team aim to engage our viewers, keeping them informed and entertained every day. Communication is the key!”

Comm Grad Spotlight: Dawn Staley

Dawn Staley
B.A., Rhetoric & Communication Studies
Head Coach, University of South Carolina Women’s Basketball; Head Coach USA Women’s National Basketball Team

About

Dawn Staley is a three-time Olympic gold medalist, three-time All American at the University of Virginia, Sports Illustrated Player of the Year 1991, and a member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Staley is head coach at the University of South Carolina, and head coach of the USA Basketball Women’s National Team through 2020. She has played in the American Basketball League and the WNBA. She graduated from the University of Virginia in 1992.

Comm Grad Spotlight: Robert Neller

Robert Neller
B.A., Speech Communication
37 th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps

About

General Robert B. Neller is the 37th Commandant of the United States Marine Corps. Prior to his current assignment, he served as Commander, Marine Forces Command from July 2014 to September 2015 and Commander, Marine Forces Central Command from September 2012 to June 2014. General Neller received a joint degree in History and Speech Communication from the University of Virginia, and was commissioned in 1975. He also holds a master’s degree in human resource management from Pepperdine University.

Comm Grad Spotlight: Lucija Straley

Lucija Straley
B.A., Communication
Deputy Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Embassy Vientiane, Laos, U.S. Department of State

About

As a U.S. diplomat, Lucija Straley works to advance U.S. interests and to tell America’s story to the Lao public. She serves as the spokesperson for the U.S. government in Laos. In this role, she manages Embassy Vientiane’s relationship with Lao and international press. In addition, she oversees the Embassy’s website and social media platforms. Over the past year, Lucija worked on press logistics for several high-level visitors to Laos, including President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry.

Comm Grad Spotlight: Mike Emrick

Mike Emrick
Ph.D., Communication
NHL Announcer

About

Mike “Doc” Emrick is a four-time Emmy Award-winning play-by-play announcer, and is the lead voice for NBC Sports Group’s NHL coverage. Emrick has covered professional hockey for more than 40 years, calling more than 3,000 games, and was the first broadcaster to be inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, in 2011. In addition to his work on television and radio broadcasts, Emrick has contributed to NHL.com, and provided voice-overs for Hockey Week, NHL Power Week, the NHL’s Stanley Cup video, Sony NHL video games, and EA Sports video games. His other sports broadcasting credits include covering the NFL, NCAA men’s basketball, track and luge. Emrick has been the vice president of the NHL Broadcasters Association since 1985.

B.S., Speech, M.A., Radio/Television, Ph.D., Communication

Comm Grad Spotlight: Sierra Wilson Lowe

Sierra Wilson Lowe
B.A., Communication
Regulatory Communications Coordinator, Cook Medical Group

About

Sierra Lowe works as a Regulatory Communications Coordinator, responsible for the timely reporting and investigation of stakeholder complaints, including Adverse Event Reporting. At a company specializing in the development of minimally invasive medical devices, Lowe is continually managing sensitive information and assessing situations to determine effective forms of communication. Her role requires her to be informed of current regulatory laws and safety practices and also to present information to diverse audiences, including both corporate and government officials.

Comm Grad Spotlight: Carrie Underwood

Carrie Underwood
B.A., Communication
Country Music Singer/Songwriter

About

Since winning “American Idol” in 2005, Carrie Underwood has become a successful country music star. The Top Country Artist of all-time, Underwood was inducted into the Grand Old Opry in 2008. In her decade-long career, she has won seven Grammy Awards, 17 Billboard Music Awards, 12 Academy of Country Music Association Awards, nine American Music Awards, and the prestigious CMT Artist of the Year award three times. As a songwriter, Underwood has received a Golden Globe Award nomination and won 10 BMI Awards. Additionally, she has been repeatedly recognized for her humanitarian efforts on behalf of children, animals, arts education, and disaster relief.

Comm Grad Spotlight: Richard Sherman

Richard Sherman
B.A., Communication
Professional Football Player, Seattle Seahawks

About

Richard Sherman is a cornerback for the National Football League’s Seattle Seahawks. Despite being drafted 154th in the fifth round of the 2011 NFL draft, Sherman made his presence in the NFL known immediately and made the All-Rookie Team. Today, he is considered one of the best cornerbacks in the league. Sherman has made three Pro Bowl rosters, three All-Pro teams, and won a Super Bowl title. He was the 2014 NFC Defensive Player of the Year.

Comm Grad Spotlight: Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey
B.S., Communication
Talk Show Host, Producer, Actress

About

Oprah Winfrey is best known for hosting “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” which ran for 25 years and received three Emmy Awards. After the show ended in 2011, Winfrey launched her own television network, the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN). Winfrey’s company produces content specifically targeted to women, including “O: The Oprah Magazine.” Winfrey is also an accomplished actress, having been nominated for an Academy Award for her role in “The Color Purple,” which she later co-produced on Broadway. Winfrey is an active philanthropist, raising millions for various causes through her charitable organizations. She received the first Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Bob Hope Humanitarian Award and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Winfrey can currently be seen in the OWN television series “Greenleaf.”

Comm Grad Spotlight: Katherine Healey

Katherine Healey
B.A., Communication
Program Facilitator, Challenge Day

About

Katherine Healey is a program facilitator for Challenge Day, a nonprofit program that helps teens and adults learn and connect in their schools and communities. Healey’s role as a facilitator takes her into high schools all over the United States, Canada, and the Netherlands, where she leads workshops aimed at breaking down barriers between students and creating understanding, community, and compassion while empowering individuals.

Comm Grad Spotlight: Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning
B.A., Communication
Professional Football Player (Retired), Denver Broncos

About

Peyton Manning is a former NFL quarterback who played 18 seasons before retiring in 2015. After 14 seasons and one Super Bowl victory with the Indianapolis Colts, Manning spent his last four seasons with the Denver Broncos, where he captured his second Super Bowl win in 2015. Widely considered to be one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, Manning holds numerous NFL records, including records for career and season passing yards and passing touchdowns. Manning has been named Super Bowl MVP and is a five-time NFL season MVP and a two-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year. He has made 14 Pro Bowl rosters and 10 All-Pro teams. Manning also runs his charity, The Peyback Foundation, which helps disadvantaged children. He sustains a relationship with St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, where the children’s hospital is named in his honor.

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