Alumni & Friends
SJMC Alumni Society Board
The SJMC Alumni Board is made up of 10 to 12 members who serve in 3-year terms. Members are drawn from the SJMC alumni community and represent both the journalism and strategic communication industries.
The board meets monthly to coordinate a number of programs designed to keep alumni connected to the school, including the Alumni Mentoring Program , the Alumni Award for Excellence and the Above the Fold Award.
2012-13 Board Members
Sarah Bauer, B.A., '06, president
Bauer is the Program Director for the Minnesota Newspaper Association,
the trade association for all newspapers in the state. Bauer coordinates
all training programs for the Minnesota News Media Institute, its nonprofit, and
coordinates MNA’s annual Better Newspaper Contest, as well as its annual
convention. Bauer speaks regularly about media ethics, politics and
journalism, the development of social media and news gathering/reporting, the
history of press councils, and other journalism-related issues with visiting
foreign journalists, in high school and college classrooms, as well as
newsrooms. Previously, Bauer was executive director of the Minnesota News
Council. Bauer also serves on the board of directors for the Minnesota Pro
Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and League of Women Voters
Minnesota Leaders of Today and Tomorrow program.
Contact Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org or more information about:
- The journalism industry, newspapers, community journalism
- Social media
- Event and meeting planning
- Developing personal and professional leadership skills
- Transitioning from being a full-time student to being a full-time working adult
Chad Haldeman, B.A., '08, vice president
Chad Haldeman is the founder the president of Generate Consulting, a management consulting firm with a focus on sales operations and performance improvement. Haldeman is able to leverage his Fortune 200 experience to help small and mid-sized companies drive revenue and scale their sales operations. Generate plays the role of trusted adviser to many long-term clients who see Haldeman and his partners as integral parts of their sales and management team. Prior to starting his own company in 2008, Haldeman held positions of increasing responsibility in sales and leadership over 14 years at Clear Channel, a global media and entertainment conglomerate. Haldeman is a trained Master Facilitator in the Creative Problem Solving Process, a brainstorming and creative development technique used for individual and group planning and idea generation.
Contact Chad at email@example.com for more information about:
- Electronic, print and digital media
- Advertising sales
- Outside sales
- Sales leadership
- Sports and event marketing
- Professional networking strategies and tactics.
Amy Nelson, M.A., '01, secretary
Amy Nelson is Features editor at the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the daily newspaper based in St. Paul, and also Managing Editor of the company's affiliated Spaces magazine. For the newspaper, Nelson coordinates, edits and leads two teams of reporters and editors — the arts and entertainment reporters and critics and the features reporters focusing on style, food, relationships, health, technology, parenting and consumer issues. She also edits the Travel section pages and is in charge of the popular Eat section. For Spaces magazine, she assigns, edits and coordinates editorial content for the high-end glossy magazine focusing on interior design and home trends. Nelson served as the newspaper's first social-media editor, helping build the brand's various social media feeds, and often serves on panels and as a guest speaker on social media and other challenges facing the newspaper industry.
Contact Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about:
- Working in the newspaper industry
- Digital media and how it is changing the newspaper industry
- Social media/building your brand
- Nina Bouphasavanh, B.A., '03
- Nina Bouphasavanh is a senior producer at Magnetic Productions, a company recognized as one of the fastest-growing production companies in the country. As a producer, she is able to nurture her love of creation and visual storytelling for a variety of networks. Bouphasavanh is a multi-talented, award-winning media professional with a rich background in journalism news, entertainment, marketing and television production. With nearly two decades of media experience, she has been able to work in front of the camera and behind-the-scenes, allowing her to travel around the world. She has been instrumental in producing quality programming for the Travel Channel and has appeared on-camera for a variety of projects, including Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern.
Contact Nina at email@example.com for more information about:
- Working in television production
- Journalism news – reporting and producing
- Branding yourself
- Diversifying your career
- Developing personal and professional skills
- Matt Burgess, B.A., '00
- After graduating from SJMC, Matt Burgess received his portfolio certificate from Miami Ad School and began working on Best Buy's holiday and Geek Squad campaigns. Then, Burgess moved on to Campbell Mithun to work as a copywriter on such accounts as Burger King, H & R Block, Land O' Lakes, Nature Valley and Partnership for a Drug-Free America. In 2008, Burgess joined OLSON where he is now a creative director. His clients include the University of Minnesota and he has won numerous awards for his work, including Effies, OBIEs and FCS Portfolio Awards.
Contact Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about
- Working in an advertising agency
- Working with clients
- Advertising campaigns
- Advertising creative
- Demian Brink, B.A., ’97
- Demian Brink is VP of account services at Spyder Trap, an online marketing agency in Minneapolis. In the 15 years since graduating from the SJMC, he has been lucky enough to work at some of the best advertising agencies in the country on brands such as JP Morgan Chase, Citibank, Hanes, Harley-Davidson, BFGoodrich and United Airlines. Brink's work has been recognized with several industry awards including a Webby Award, SXSW Interactive Gold, Gold and Silver One Show Pencils and a Cannes Gold Lion. More importantly, he has great appreciation for those who have mentored him over the years and is always looking for ways to do the same for others.
Contact Demian at email@example.com for more information about:
- Working at an advertising agency
- Digital marketing strategy
- Search engine marketing
- Performance analytics
Shireen Gandhi, B.A.,
- Shireen Gandhi, APR, is vice president of health care public affairs for Weber Shandwick, a global public relations firm. She is also a licensed attorney in Minnesota. Gandhi serves clients in the health care space with a particular emphasis on associations, health systems, hospitals and physicians. Her areas of communication expertise include quality and patient safety, labor relations, government investigations, grassroots outreach, partnerships and engaging influencers. Prior to Weber Shandwick, Gandhi was a vice president at the Minnesota Hospital Association for more than eight years. She also serves on the board of directors for Portico Healthnet, an organization dedicated to connecting low-income individuals with health care services. She is a past-president of both Minnesota PRSA and the Minnesota Health Strategy & Communications Network. She holds her J.D. from Hamline University School of Law.
Contact Shireen at SGandhi@webershandwick.com for more information about:
- Agency life
- Trade associations
- Health care public relations and strategic communications
- Interviewing and developing professional leadership skills
- Going to law school
Daniel Gore, B.A. ’91, president
- In 23 years, Dan Gore has worked in strategic communication management in both the agency and client sides of the business. Over the years, he's been part of 3M Company, J Walter Thompson and Padilla Speer Beardsley, as well his own agencies. Gore is also an adjunct instruction with SJMC. His professional experience has crossed many market segments including B-to-B, consumer packaged goods and medial devices. Along with marketing communication strategy, Gore has specialized in public relations, crisis communication and issues management. His clients have included 3M, Medtronic, The American Red Cross, Pentair, Jim Beam, Select Comfort, Dish Network and others. Currently leading his private firm, Creative Matters, Gore contracts his time through agencies and organizations, consulting in all aspects of strategic communication.
Contact Dan at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about:
- The field of public relations and strategic communication
- Owning your own business
- Client relations
- Victoria Hoshal, B.A., '82
- Hoshal began her career in development
and in 1997 became founder, CEO and creative director of Legacy
Catalogue, a national brand of home furnishings and accessories. She
later became a direct marketing account executive at the Star Tribune in
2007 and, since 2009, as been director of business development at dtrio
marketing group. At this award-winning direct and multi-channel agency,
she is responsible for securing new business opportunities and clients.
Contact Victoria at email@example.com for more information about:
- Working in marketing
- Direct marketing
- Pitching new business
Sarah Howard, B.A., '06
- Sarah Howard is the communications director for the University of Minnesota School of Journalism & Mass Communication (SJMC). In this role, she edits and oversees the school's alumni publication, the Murphy Reporter, and is head of all communications functions, including social media, the website, e-newsletters, media relations and events promotion. Prior to working at SJMC, she served as an associate editor at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine where she contributed to award-winning lifestyle features and front-of-book Twin Cities pop culture news sections, as well as led the magazine's benefits and fundraisers coverage. She also served as editor of the magazine's annual best-selling Top Doctors features, as well as its Volunteer Hall of Fame and Medical Guide supplemental publication. Howard also freelances for such publications as The Shops at West End's Compass magazine and Delta Airlines' Sky magazine. She is currently working toward her master's degree in strategic communication at SJMC.
Contact Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about:
- Working for a magazine
- Freelance writing
- Being in-charge of multiple communication functions
- Going back to school while also working full-time
John Lutter, B.A., ’80
- John Lutter is a creative director at Risdall. In this role, his duties include writing copy for all media, extensive client interaction and creative direction. In his career, Lutter has created advertising at several Twin Cities advertising agencies and two daily newspapers for clients ranging from multi-national corporations to main street retailers. His work has earned recognition at the One Show, CA, CA Interactive, The Show and other competitions. He has served on the board of the Advertising Federation of Minnesota and as president of the Art Directors and Copywriters Club of Minnesota.
Contact John at email@example.com for more information about:
- Working in the advertising field
- Advertising creative
- Networking within the advertising industry
Mary Tan, B.A., ’93
- Mary Tan is the communications director for the City of Brooklyn Park. As part of her duties, she handles media relations, crisis communications, strategic messaging, social media and video production. She is also the editor of the city newsletter, Park Pages, and is producer and host of the city's television show, Brooklyn Park Now! Previously, Tan was a television reporter and anchor for 13 years who worked in cities all over the country, including Las Vegas, Atlanta and Minneapolis. She is a former president of the Asian American Journalists Association – Minnesota Chapter, a member of the Hennepin County Sheriff's Community Board and a member of the Minnesota Association of Government Communicators. She is a freelance writer for the Asian American Press and an occasional guest host on the television show, Life to the Max, a show that showcases people who live life to the fullest.
- Contact Mary at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about:
- Getting a government public relations/communications job
- Getting into the television news field
- Media relations and crisis communications
- Minority opportunities in journalism
- Ex-officio members
- Erica Giorgi, Alumni Relations, CLA
- Jean Kucera, Assistant to the Director, SJMC
- Rebecca Rassier, Student Services Coordinator, SJMC
- Albert R. Tims, Director, SJMC