Fall 2017 Media Career Day

Today’s panels feature a variety of accomplished alumni eager to share their advice and expertise. Follow the action and contribute your reports from the discussions. (We’re on Twitter @IUMediaSchool, #MediaSchoolCareers.)

All events are in Franklin Hall.

To learn more about the panelists, click on each [+].


8:45 a.m.

Women in Media Networking Coffee Hour, Franklin Hall Commons

10 a.m.

Production Careers in TV, Franklin Hall 114

Kyle Benham, BA’09, producer for Chelsea, Netflix’s first talk show to air in 190 countries. He oversees both documentary and comedy sketch segments. Previously, Benham has produced for a variety of other shows, including: Nick Cannon’s Wild ’N Out on Tour, Brand X with Russell Brand, Kathy Griffin’s Kathy, George Lopez’s Lopez Tonight, The Arsenio Hall Show, The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Kimmel Live. He also co-created the improvised late night talk show Up Late with Adam Fisher, which ran for more than three years at various Los Angeles theaters and included guests such as No You Shut Up!’s Paul F. Tompkins, Reno 911!’s Robert Ben Garant, The Daily Show’s Jessica Williams and Scorpion’s Ari Stidham.


Marla Hudnall, BA’00, second assistant director, G.L.O.W. She graduated from IU with a BA in theater and telecommunications. Her concentrations were in acting, directing and production. After college, she moved to Chicago, where she worked as an assistant editor and field sound tech for a few years at Film and Tape Works before getting into the Director’s Guild of America training program in 2004 and moving to Los Angeles. There, she worked on shows such as Dexter, ER, 7th Heaven, NCIS and Criminal Minds as a DGA trainee. After graduating the training program and joining the guild as a second assistant director in 2007, Hudnall has continued to work in LA on shows such as CSI: NY, House, Togetherness, American Horror Story, Raising Hope, Agents of Shield, You’re The Worst, Santa Clarita Diet and G.L.O.W. Marla lives in Los Angeles with her 2-year-old son.


Sarah Meneely, BAJ’09, associate production manager, Creative Services Sports Unit, Turner Broadcasting. After freelancing briefly with Turner Sports after graduating college, she joined their Creative Services Sports Unit in 2011. She coordinates logistics and production for Turner Sports across a variety of content platforms including TNT, tbs, TruTV,  NBA TV, NBA.com, NCAA.com, PGA.com and ELEAGUE.com. Favorite projects include the NBA All-Star open with Michael B. Jordan, the MLB on TBS campaign with Bryan Cranston, the NCAA Final Four open with Kendrick Lamar, the Inside the NBA feature “Chariots of Backfire,” the PGA Championship open with Ric Flair and the NBA on TNT campaign “The Quest.”


Digital Media Advertising, Franklin Hall 310

Katie Coyle, BAJ’15, media associate, Starcom. She began her career in media about a year and a half ago. Before that, she worked as an event planner, a newborn baby photographer, a web designer/coder, a public relations intern and a freelancer all in a short span of 13 months. What she learned from this is that’s it’s OK to not know exactly what you want to do in life, and it’s OK to wait to find a job that will make you happy. She has come back to Bloomington plenty of times since graduating to visit her younger brother, a seasoned Little 500 rider.


Katie Risch, BA’02, executive vice president, customer service, Centro, a Chicago-based provider of enterprise-class software and services for digital advertising. Risch leads the company’s marketing efforts along with the team that helps brands, agencies and publishers maximize the value of Centro’s technology for their businesses. She was previously senior vice president of Software Client Solutions and, before that, Centro’s senior vice president of publisher development, where she led strategic relationships with more than 10,000 publisher partners. She launched Centro’s audience extension business unit as well as the company’s private ad exchange. She began her career at Centro as a media buyer, handling the planning and execution of campaigns for marquee accounts including General Motors and Lionsgate. She started in print, as a sales account executive for the Cincinnati Enquirer. Risch is originally from Milwaukee and lives in Chicago.


Nelson Spade, BA’07, digital sales director, Nexstar Media Group. Spade graduated from IU with a major in telecommunications and minors in business and communication and culture. He earned his MBA in marketing and international business from the University of Indianapolis in 2012. Spade oversees local and regional digital sales for HYFN Local and WISH-TV in Indianapolis. Spade’s passion for digital coaching, world class service and strategic partnerships shines through with everyone on his staff.


Morgan Taylor, BAJ’13, media supervisor, Starcom. Taylor manages the cable and Hispanic network investments for all of Starcom. She works across several accounts in many verticals such as Lowe’s, Airbnb, Allstate and Kraft. Previously, she worked on both the Kellogg and Procter & Gamble digital and TV activation teams. She is a member of the She Runs It chapter in Chicago and volunteers with Off the Street Club as a tutor. She was born and raised in Gary, Indiana. In her spare time, she likes to travel, go to concerts, brunch and read books.


Jason WadlerJason Wadler, BA’89, executive vice president, Leapfrog Online; chair, Leapfrog Marketing Institute. Wadler worked with Leapfrog’s co-founders to build Leapfrog from a startup into one of the largest performance marketing agencies in the country. In addition to his corporate development and strategy role at Leapfrog, he is the chair of the Leapfrog Marketing Institute, Leapfrog’s market research arm.

Wadler has more than 25 years of corporate strategy and marketing expertise, having held senior-level roles at Townsend Agency, MediaOne/Comcast, Ameritech/AT&T and Discover Financial Services. He has been a featured speaker at industry events including Digiday, Online Marketing Media and Advertising, the CMO Collective and the CMO Forum. His marketing perspectives have been published in Forbes, The Economist, Advertising Age and CMO.com. Wadler is an active adviser and board member for a number of Chicago-based companies and serves as board president for the Vasculitis Foundation, an international nonprofit organization. In addition to his IU degree, he has completed post-graduate work at University of Chicago and DePaul University. Wadler lives in Glencoe, Illinois, with his wife and two children.


Gaming Roundtable Discussion, Franklin Hall 212

Chris Ingerson, BA’14, founder/lead developer, Sleepy Owl Software; developer, Half Full Nelson. A mechanics designer at heart, Ingerson is also a programmer and 3D artist familiar with everything from Unity and Unreal to Maya and Substance Designer. While at IU, Chris was an executive member of Hoosier Games, where he pushed for multiple reforms to help with project and team structure. In 2014, he founded Sleepy Owl Software to formalize work on his first commercial game, Text Quest. Ingerson is also a developer at Half Full Nelson, an Indianapolis-based game developer creating XR, mobile and serious games.


Mary Kenney, BAJ’13, associate writer, Telltale Games, which creates episodic narrative games in popular franchises, including The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and Borderlands. Kenney is passionate about video games, narrative design and player-driven storytelling. She believes games create a unique sense of empathy in players, one that can’t be replicated in any other medium. She has writing credits on Batman: The Enemy Within, and is currently working on the final season of The Walking Dead. She is an award-winning writer with a background in journalism and marketing. Kenney studied game design at New York University and holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from IU.


Digital Journalism Master Class, Franklin Hall 312

Thom Patterson, BA’87, senior producer, CNN. Based at CNN’s World Headquarters in Atlanta, he develops, reports, writes, produces and manages CNN Digital content for special in-depth projects. Before joining CNN Digital in 1999, Patterson spent six years working in broadcast news at CNN’s Washington Bureau, where he served as an assignment desk editor, field producer, TV package producer and line producer for programs such as Inside Politics. During his time in Washington, Patterson also wrote and produced hundreds of TV news stories and conducted hundreds of interviews with newsmakers on Capitol Hill and at the White House. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from IU.


Informational Interviews (Pre-Scheduled), Franklin Hall 109

Michael Norman, BAJ’13, associate producer and graphics producer, Big Ten Network. Norman is an IU journalism alumnus. He works for four different companies across the Chicago sports broadcasting landscape: the Big Ten Network, the Chicago Cubs, NBC Sports Chicago (formerly CSN Chicago) and WGN. Through connections at BTN, Norman was hired as a freelance producer for NBC Sports Chicago and WGN. During his time at the two networks, he has produced graphics for live broadcasts of the Chicago Bulls, Blackhawks, Fire, Cubs and White Sox.

In 2015, he started working for the Chicago Cubs – his favorite team – as a graphics producer and operator for the Wrigley Field video boards. With the Cubs, he is responsible for designing and generating content and executing sponsored elements on game days, while also contributing to Cubs productions.


Informational Interviews (Pre-Scheduled), Franklin Hall 111

Greg Sorvig, BA’06, director of film programming and marketing, Heartland Film. Sorvig is responsible for the organization’s public relations, communications and marketing efforts, acting as the organization’s media liaison with major studios, filmmakers and media outlets. Previously, he served as a graphic designer and multimedia design manager.


1 p.m.

Informational Interviews (Pre-Scheduled), Franklin Hall 109

Marla Hudnall, BA’00, second assistant director, G.L.O.W. She graduated from IU with a BA in theater and telecommunications. Her concentrations were in acting, directing and production. After college, she moved to Chicago, where she worked as an assistant editor and field sound tech for a few years at Film and Tape Works before getting into the Director’s Guild of America training program in 2004 and moving to Los Angeles. There, she worked on shows such as Dexter, ER, 7th Heaven, NCIS and Criminal Minds as a DGA trainee. After graduating the training program and joining the guild as a second assistant director in 2007, Hudnall has continued to work in LA on shows such as CSI: NY, House, Togetherness, American Horror Story, Raising Hope, Agents of Shield, You’re The Worst, Santa Clarita Diet and G.L.O.W. Marla lives in Los Angeles with her 2-year-old son.


Informational Interviews (Pre-Scheduled), Franklin Hall 111

Tara Martino, BA’04, vice president, national publicity and integrated marketing, Universal Pictures. Before working for Universal, she began her career at E!, starting as a talent assistant and eventually working her way up to talent executive and segment producer. She ultimately left E! to work for ESPN. As an avid sports fan, this was the perfect marriage between her love of sports and her experience in the entertainment industry. Since then, she has spent the last 10 years successfully working in publicity and marketing at Universal Pictures. Her favorite film campaigns include Forgetting Sarah Marsall, Les Misérables, Steve Jobs and Trainwreck.

Martino still attributes much of her success to interning in LA the summer between her junior and senior years at IU. She interned at both E! and ABC Daytime and is always thankful that she took that chance. Without that experience, her life could have taken a much different path. 


Informational Interviews (Pre-Scheduled), Franklin Hall 113

Rachel Sorvig, APR, BAJ’07, public relations director, Bose Public Affairs Group. Sorvig provides a wide range of services to local, state and national clients in the areas of media relations, strategic planning and grassroots advocacy. She has led several award-winning campaigns at Bose. Her work has earned a Best of Show award for internal communications, a Pinnacle Award for media relations and an Award of Honor for external communications from the Public Relations Society of America. Her expertise also helped garner a PRSA Diamond Award for excellence in crisis communication.


Informational Interviews (Pre-Scheduled), Franklin Hall 0030M

Katie Coyle, BAJ’15, media associate, Starcom. She began her career in media about a year and a half ago. Before that, she worked as an event planner, a newborn baby photographer, a web designer/coder, a public relations intern and a freelancer all in a short span of 13 months. What she learned from this is that’s it’s OK to not know exactly what you want to do in life, and it’s OK to wait to find a job that will make you happy. She has come back to Bloomington plenty of times since graduating to visit her younger brother, a seasoned Little 500 rider.


1:30 p.m.

Audio and Video Production, Franklin Hall 114

Brian Hrastar, BA’96, executive producer/managing director, Optimus. Hailing from Englewood, Ohio, Hrastar’s interest in film-making brought him to IU’s telecommunications department. Upon graduation, he headed to the big city of Chicago and began working as an intern at Optimus, a post-production house focused on creating TV commercials for Chicago advertising agencies. In stocking refrigerators, picking up lunch orders and delivering videotapes around town, Hrastar learned the maxim that no detail is ever too small and that exceeding the clients’ expectations is more important than anything else in this business.

He worked his way through the ranks, from intern through operations positions. He was an assistant creative editor for five years before pivoting to project management, assuming the producer role in 2002, and was promoted to executive producer in 2010.  In May 2015, Brian was made a partner, and in July 2016 he was promoted to executive producer/managing director, overseeing all post operations within the facility.

Aside from thriving on the ever-changing creative, technical and business landscape of the job, Hrastar is particularly proud of helming the Optimus Internship Program for a dozen years, mentoring hundreds of talented young people and exposing them to the ins and outs of the vibrant Chicago post-production scene.


Elise Jaffe, BA’99, executive producer/managing director, Big Teeth Productions. She has more than 18 years of experience in advertising, TV and new media production. Her career began in children’s television at Reading Rainbow and Blue’s Clues. She’s been a producer at JWT, Grey New York, DraftFCB, Edelman, VSA Partners, Vitamin Pictures and Foundation Content, for clients big and small. She also created, produced and directed a web series for kids titled Fooditude that taught tweens about life through food. She’s never met a schedule she couldn’t organize, a budget she couldn’t manage or a song she wouldn’t rock out karaoke-style. She is also a voiceover talent and member of SAG-AFTRA. Jaffe lives in Chicago with her husband (and business partner) and their three kids: two human, one canine.


Chad Stum, BA’09, director, Original Six Media; assistant director of Video, IU Communications. Stum founded and led a full-service production company, Original Six Media, in Chicago for the last five years. While at Original Six, he served as the managing director and creative director for the company and all projects. Original Six Media’s focus is on short-form documentary and commercial work for brands such as AIG, World Kitchen, Vitamin Water and AT&T. Stum recently took a position at IU as the assistant director of video production for IU Communications. In his new position, he leads a video production team that creates commercial and marketing video for all of IU’s campuses. He continues to work with his company in Chicago as a director but is extremely excited to bring his expertise and experience to IU Communications.


Careers in Writing, Franklin Hall 212

Tammy Letherer, BA’89, independent author and writing coach. Letherer is the author of one novel, Hello Loved Ones, and an upcoming memoir, The Buddha At My Table. She is a community blogger for the Huffington Post and works as a writing coach in Chicago, where she lives with her three children. Letherer worked for many years as a marketing and promotions copywriter on McDonald’s, Kellogg’s, Smirnoff and other national accounts. Since finishing her first two books, she most enjoys helping others with all stages of producing a book, from writing and editing to pitching or self-publishing. She also writes blogs for a variety of clients and teaches others to blog using her Five-Step Blog Blueprint. Please visit her at TammyLetherer.com and sign up for her weekly newsletter for writing tips and inspiration.


Dawn Reiss, BAJ’00, independent journalist. Based in Chicago, Reiss has written for TIME, USA Today, Reuters, U.S. News & World Report, Fortune.com, The Atlantic, the Chicago Tribune, Chicago magazine, Time Out Chicago, Crain’s Chicago Business, Civil Eats, American Way and Travel + Leisure, among others. She is a 2017-18 gun violence fellow with the Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, a 2017 Reynolds Week Fellow for business journalism and a 2016-17 Social Justice News Nexus fellow with Northwestern University. She won a 2010 Peter Lisagor Award for best breaking news story in Chicago for her Time.com coverage of the trial of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. For stories, she has eaten crickets in Cambodia, interviewed the likes of Maya Angelou and Justin Bieber, investigated the deaths of two sailors, driven to every NFL city in the U.S., written about investing and social justice topics and followed the coffee trail in Italy.


Carrie Schedler, BAJ’11, associate editor, Chicago magazine. Schedler manages the dining department at Chicago magazine, the award-winning city magazine for the greater Chicago area. She and a team of critics and writers survey the restaurant and bar scene, covering both trendy new spots and undiscovered gems both in print and online. In addition, she writes feature-length profiles of prominent Chicagoans in food and the arts. Prior to joining the magazine in 2013, she worked as an editorial assistant at Columbus Monthly magazine and as a temporary reporter in the Associated Press’ Indianapolis bureau. She graduated from IU with a major in journalism and minors in English and French, and served as the Indiana Daily Student’s editor-in-chief in summer 2010.


Sports Media, Franklin Hall 216

Rick Bozich, BA’75, sports journalism, WDRB-TV. Bozich’s first byline was published in the Indiana Daily Student in March 1974 – and the topic was instrument rental at the IU School of Music. Nothing there to suggest he would proceed to write and talk about sports for the next 43 years while covering 33 consecutive NCAA Final Fours as well as 10 World Series and Super Bowls.

After a four-decade career in newspapers in Anderson, Bloomington and Louisville, Bozich moved to WDRB.com and WDRB-TV in Louisville in June 2012. He appears in TV commentaries four days per week. Bozich and Eric Crawford were the first of six Louisville newspaper veterans to join WDRB, and the trend has been copied by other national stations.

Bozich has won an Emmy, as well as first place awards for feature, game-story and column writing from the Associated Press Sports Editors. He is a member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Hall of Fame. He credits his IU education as the foundation of a career he has passionately embraced.


Sarah Meneely, BAJ’09, associate production manager, Creative Services Sports Unit, Turner Broadcasting. After freelancing briefly with Turner Sports after graduating college, she joined their Creative Services Sports Unit in 2011. She coordinates logistics and production for Turner Sports across a variety of content platforms including TNT, tbs, TruTV,  NBA TV, NBA.com, NCAA.com, PGA.com and ELEAGUE.com. Favorite projects include the NBA All-Star open with Michael B. Jordan, the MLB on TBS campaign with Bryan Cranston, the NCAA Final Four open with Kendrick Lamar, the Inside the NBA feature “Chariots of Backfire,” the PGA Championship open with Ric Flair and the NBA on TNT campaign “The Quest.”


Michael Norman, BAJ’13, associate producer and graphics producer, Big Ten Network. Norman is an IU journalism alumnus. He works for four different companies across the Chicago sports broadcasting landscape: the Big Ten Network, the Chicago Cubs, NBC Sports Chicago (formerly CSN Chicago) and WGN. Through connections at BTN, Norman was hired as a freelance producer for NBC Sports Chicago and WGN. During his time at the two networks, he has produced graphics for live broadcasts of the Chicago Bulls, Blackhawks, Fire, Cubs and White Sox.

In 2015, he started working for the Chicago Cubs – his favorite team – as a graphics producer and operator for the Wrigley Field video boards. With the Cubs, he is responsible for designing and generating content and executing sponsored elements on game days, while also contributing to Cubs productions.


Advertising and Marketing, Franklin Hall 310

Allie Benham, BA’09, head of marketing, American Greetings Entertainment. Benham oversees global marketing, brand partnerships, public relations and social media for brands including Care Bears, Madballs and the Netflix original series, Buddy Thunderstruck. Previously, she managed the hit Nickelodeon brand, Yo Gabba Gabba! while working for DHX Media, spending four years overseeing a national live tour, a global licensing program and promotions with Delta, KIA, Wonderful Pistachios, Vans and more. Additionally, Benham is an investor in The Gourmandise School of Sweets & Savories, a growing Santa Monica-based gourmet cooking school where she oversees development of events, as well as marketing and retail strategy. In her spare time, she is also a volunteer for the animal rescue group, Dogs Without Borders, and is a certified makeup artist.


Sean SmithSean Smith, BA’95, president, Third Street Attention Agency, an advertising and marketing firm helping accelerate the growth of consumer packaged goods brands domestically and abroad. Since launching 10 years ago, Third Street has garnered multiple national awards for creative excellence, developed signature campaigns for global brands, and was recently named a finalist for Chicago Ad Agency of the Year. 

Smith and his perspectives on communication and business trends have been featured in several media outlets, including Entreprenuer.com, The Huffington Post, FastCompany.com, U.S. News & World Report and Investor’s Business Daily. Prior to launching Third Street, he was director of marketing for WXRT-FM Chicago and led the marketing efforts for all rock-formatted stations for CBS Radio. Smith got his start as an intern at WRRM-FM in Cincinnati. He is a telecommunications alumnus. He can be reached at Sean@TakeThirdStreet.com.


Greg Sorvig, BA’06, director of film programming and marketing, Heartland Film. Sorvig is responsible for the organization’s public relations, communications and marketing efforts, acting as the organization’s media liaison with major studios, filmmakers and media outlets. Previously, he served as a graphic designer and multimedia design manager.


Laurie Stearn, MBA’09, senior vice president, agency relations, American Association of Advertising Agencies. Stearn has had a 25-year career in advertising and marketing, sitting at all chairs at the table: advertising, marketing (as a client), recruiter of undergraduate- and master’s-level candidates, independent marketing consultant, adjunct marketing professor, career services leader and MBA student. At 4As, she helps more than 300 Midwest advertising agency members grow their business and get the most from their organization membership.

Prior to 4As, Stearn ran her own marketing consulting business, providing solutions to advertising agencies, client-side marketers and higher education institutions. She also spent two years at The Kelley School of Business as senior associate director of graduate career services, co-director of the MBA Consumer Marketing Academy and an adjunct professor of Marketing.


The Business of Creative, Franklin Hall 210

Jason Wadler

Jason Wadler, BA’89, executive vice president, Leapfrog Online; chair, Leapfrog Marketing Institute. Wadler worked with Leapfrog’s co-founders to build Leapfrog from a startup into one of the largest performance marketing agencies in the country. In addition to his corporate development and strategy role at Leapfrog, he is the chair of the Leapfrog Marketing Institute, Leapfrog’s market research arm.

Wadler has more than 25 years of corporate strategy and marketing expertise, having held senior-level roles at Townsend Agency, MediaOne/Comcast, Ameritech/AT&T and Discover Financial Services. He has been a featured speaker at industry events including Digiday, Online Marketing Media and Advertising, the CMO Collective and the CMO Forum. His marketing perspectives have been published in Forbes, The Economist, Advertising Age and CMO.com. Wadler is an active adviser and board member for a number of Chicago-based companies and serves as board president for the Vasculitis Foundation, an international nonprofit organization. In addition to his IU degree, he has completed post-graduate work at University of Chicago and DePaul University. Wadler lives in Glencoe, Illinois, with his wife and two children.


Yulia Boyle, MPA’99, senior vice president, international media and experiences, National Geographic Partners. Boyle is in charge of strategy and management of international licensing operations of magazines, books, kids’ media and other ancillary media products in local languages globally. She also manages NG Live events – an event series with National Geographic photographers, explorers and adventurers presented by Performance Arts Centers. Boyle leads strategic business relationships with more than 120 partners in 65 countries in 38 languages.

Boyle has been instrumental in rapid global expansion of the National Geographic media properties, specifically overseeing launches of NG magazines and books in Taiwan, China, Indonesia, the Middle East, Eastern and Central Europe, the Baltic states and the former Soviet Union. She has been successful in conceptualizing and launching new high-revenue, new-format publishing products, such as National Geographic Traveler Italy, distributed as a membership magazine to the 350,000-member base of Touring Club Italiano; and the National Geographic Kids Sticker Collectible Album in Western Europe. Additionally, she secured partnerships and oversaw the launches of new editions of National Geographic magazine in Taiwan, Georgia, Latvia, Kazakhstan and Iran.


3:15 p.m.

Public Relations, Franklin Hall 310

Victoria Fields, BAJ’12, global communications manager, Cook Medical. Fields graduated from IU with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, a second major in Spanish and a concentration in public relations. She started her career as a content marketing specialist for Momentum Telecom, a telecommunications startup, and joined Cook Medical in 2014 as a written content manager for the company’s Aortic Intervention clinical division.

Most recently, Fields is the global communications manager for Cook Medical’s Vascular division, focusing on internal communications and employee engagement. Since 2016, Victoria has served as the professional adviser for the Beth Wood Chapter of PRSSA.


Jennifer Hurtubise, BAJ’06, vice president, communications, Indiana Hospital Association. Hurtubise manages member communications, strategic planning, media relations and digital communications. Prior to becoming vice president of communications, she was IHA’s director of communications from 2011-2015. She provides communications counsel to the Indiana Patient Safety Center and serves as a liaison to Indiana’s hospital marketing and public relations professionals and to the Indiana Hospital Auxiliaries Association.

Hurtubise is a long-time volunteer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana and is currently obtaining her master’s degree in public affairs with a focus in nonprofit management through the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IUPUI. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism.


Phil Robinson, BA’09, vice president, digital, Third Street Attention Agency.

It was 7 a.m. on a Friday, and Robinson had a decision to make.

The night before, he had met with an ad agency exec from Chicago, certain that as a graduating senior at IU, this was his path forward.  But the more the exec described what large agency life would be like for a recent grad, the more unsure Robinson became that it was where he belonged.

When the alarm sounded the next morning, Robinson headed to Media Career Day for the 8 a.m. session, to listen to what a new agency that had just launched had to say. Its name was Third Street – and it called itself an attention agency. What they described was something different: something entrepreneurial, something that sounded like exactly what Robinson had been looking for. They had no clients, no employees – and Robinson wouldn’t take no for an answer. He became Third Street’s first hire. 

That was eight years ago. Today, he oversees groundbreaking marketing and public relations programs for Third Street, on behalf of the multi-million dollar global brands it represents. And he still has the same alarm clock.   


Rachel Sorvig, APR, BAJ’07, public relations director, Bose Public Affairs Group. Sorvig provides a wide range of services to local, state and national clients in the areas of media relations, strategic planning and grassroots advocacy. She has led several award-winning campaigns at Bose. Her work has earned a Best of Show award for internal communications, a Pinnacle Award for media relations and an Award of Honor for external communications from the Public Relations Society of America. Her expertise also helped garner a PRSA Diamond Award for excellence in crisis communication.


How to Make a Film, Franklin Hall 212

Leya Taylor, BA’09, owner/producer, Forbidden Films LLC. Taylor is a videographer and editor based in Bloomington. She studied cinema and English literature at IU and has been involved in the production of numerous independent films since 2007. She wrote and starred in the highly successful, Grand Guignol-style play, Bloomington After Midnight. That play was created as an event for the Dark Carnival/Diabolique International Film Festival, which ran for a decade, and for which Taylor was also one of the principal organizers. 

In 2012, Taylor co-produced and photographed the movie, Found, for which she won several awards. In 2015, she co-produced and was director of photography on Found‘s followup title, Headless. That same year, she co-directed and co-produced independent horror film The Legend of Wasco. She works for The Media School, helping to recruit young journalists, filmmakers and game designers.


Catherine E. Rubey, BA’92, owner/creator, InGe Inc. Rubey is the writer, producer and executive producer for Holiday Baggage starring Barry Bostwick and Cheryl Ladd. It has been featured every holiday season on Lifetime and Hallmark networks since 2011.

Rubey also provides writing, editing, commercial/film and screenwriting services and consulting. Additionally, she helps small businesses design and implement their digital marketing strategy. Using online best practices, organizations can grow their business and digital presence. She has presented at IU and at Social Media Week in Chicago, with a focus on personal branding, managing your online reputation and social networking.


Greg Sorvig, BA’06, director of film programming and marketing, Heartland Film. Sorvig is responsible for the organization’s public relations, communications and marketing efforts, acting as the organization’s media liaison with major studios, filmmakers and media outlets. Previously, he served as a graphic designer and multimedia design manager.


Journalism, Franklin Hall 114

Deanna Allbrittin, BAJ’13, nightside reporter and fill-in anchor, FOX59/CBS4. She covers the city-county government and community reporting beats for the stations. This bring her full circle from her days as an intern at FOX59 while a student at IU.

Before FOX59, Allbrittin worked at WFIE in Evansville as a morning anchor and reporter, where she started a new segment — the pride and joy of her career so far — “Sunrise School Spirit.” The competition pits a dozen schools in the Evansville area against each other to see which can donate the most food for the Tri-State Food Bank. During its inaugural season, nearly 125,000 pounds of food were donated to families in need. The segment won the 2016 Best Community Impact Award from the Indiana Associated Press and was a finalist for several other honors.

Allbrittin also reported as an on-air intern for WSJV in South Bend and WTIU-WFIU in Bloomington.

She traveled to eight different countries to study abroad and report before graduating from what was then IU School of Journalism.

Outside of work, she continues to nurse the travel bug she caught at IU!


Rick Bozich, BA’75, sports journalism, WDRB-TV. Bozich’s first byline was published in the Indiana Daily Student in March 1974 – and the topic was instrument rental at the IU School of Music. Nothing there to suggest he would proceed to write and talk about sports for the next 43 years while covering 33 consecutive NCAA Final Fours as well as 10 World Series and Super Bowls.

After a four-decade career in newspapers in Anderson, Bloomington and Louisville, Bozich moved to WDRB.com and WDRB-TV in Louisville in June 2012. He appears in TV commentaries four days per week. Bozich and Eric Crawford were the first of six Louisville newspaper veterans to join WDRB, and the trend has been copied by other national stations.

Bozich has won an Emmy, as well as first place awards for feature, game-story and column writing from the Associated Press Sports Editors. He is a member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Hall of Fame. He credits his IU education as the foundation of a career he has passionately embraced.


Kara Kenney, BAJ’01, investigative reporter, WRTV. In April 2012, Kenney was named Journalist of the Year by the Indiana Society of Professional Journalists. Her investigations into government fraud and waste have earned her the Richard Driehaus Investigative Award from the Better Government Association, an Emmy and five Emmy nominations, an Edward R. Murrow award and numerous awards from the Associated Press. Since then, she has won an additional three Emmys.

Her coverage of the former Wayne Township school superintendent’s retirement payout earned first place from the Associated Press in Community Impact and resulted in a new state law that calls for more transparency in superintendent contracts.

Kenney is a School of Journalism alumna. She has two daughters and she is glad to be in the Hoosier state, and loves attending IU basketball games.


Thom Patterson, BA’87, senior producer, CNN. Based at CNN’s World Headquarters in Atlanta, he develops, reports, writes, produces and manages CNN Digital content for special in-depth projects. Before joining CNN Digital in 1999, Patterson spent six years working in broadcast news at CNN’s Washington Bureau, where he served as an assignment desk editor, field producer, TV package producer and line producer for programs such as Inside Politics. During his time in Washington, Patterson also wrote and produced hundreds of TV news stories and conducted hundreds of interviews with newsmakers on Capitol Hill and at the White House. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from IU.


Commercial Post-Production Presentation, Franklin Hall 216

Brian Hrastar, BA’96, executive producer/managing director, Optimus. Hailing from Englewood, Ohio, Hrastar’s interest in film-making brought him to IU’s telecommunications department. Upon graduation, he headed to the big city of Chicago and began working as an intern at Optimus, a post-production house focused on creating TV commercials for Chicago advertising agencies. In stocking refrigerators, picking up lunch orders and delivering videotapes around town, Hrastar learned the maxim that no detail is ever too small and that exceeding the clients’ expectations is more important than anything else in this business.

He worked his way through the ranks, from intern through operations positions. He was an assistant creative editor for five years before pivoting to project management, assuming the producer role in 2002, and was promoted to executive producer in 2010.  In May 2015, Brian was made a partner, and in July 2016 he was promoted to executive producer/managing director, overseeing all post operations within the facility.

Aside from thriving on the ever-changing creative, technical and business landscape of the job, Hrastar is particularly proud of helming the Optimus Internship Program for a dozen years, mentoring hundreds of talented young people and exposing them to the ins and outs of the vibrant Chicago post-production scene.


Ruben Vela II, BA’94, creative offline editor, Optimus. 


Marketing in Entertainment with Universal Pictures, Franklin Hall 210

Tara Martino, BA’04, vice president, national publicity and integrated marketing, Universal Pictures. Before working for Universal, she began her career at E!, starting as a talent assistant and eventually working her way up to talent executive and segment producer. She ultimately left E! to work for ESPN. As an avid sports fan, this was the perfect marriage between her love of sports and her experience in the entertainment industry. Since then, she has spent the last 10 years successfully working in publicity and marketing at Universal Pictures. Her favorite film campaigns include Forgetting Sarah Marsall, Les Misérables, Steve Jobs and Trainwreck.

Martino still attributes much of her success to interning in LA the summer between her junior and senior years at IU. She interned at both E! and ABC Daytime and is always thankful that she took that chance. Without that experience, her life could have taken a much different path. 


Maya Lasry, BA’11, director, creative advertising, Universal Pictures. Lasry has spent the last six years working in the Creative Advertising Department of Theatrical Marketing at Universal Pictures. In this role, she leads creative campaigns on respective film advertising materials including trailers, TV commercials, posters, outdoor installations and social/digital content.

In the process of producing audiovisual and print creative material, Lasry reads the script, breaks down the film and works to develop the strategy, positioning, tone and overall advertising message of the films’ marketing materials prior to their theatrical releases. She’s directly involved with the research and media teams, as part of the creative process involves testing, analyzing and executing findings in materials so that they best speak to the films’ target audiences. 

Lasry graduated from IU as a double major in psychology and music, both which help a great deal in the production of trailers.


  • Show more like this.
  • Show fewer like this.
  • What is this?
Get started
Study media as an
undergraduate.

Pursue graduate studies.

Apply to IU.

Explore Bloomington, Ind.
  • Show more like this.
  • Show fewer like this.
  • What is this?