Alumni: 1980s

Staying in touch with old friends and professors also is a way to stay in touch with The Media School. Check out these Class Notes by era.


Jonathan H. Amsbary, MA’80, PhD’86, is a professor of communication studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he also serves as graduate director of the master’s of arts program. Amsbary has published two books: Interviewing: Situations and Contexts and Surviving Group Meetings: A Survival Tool for Working in Groups(December 2015)

Joni M. (Esser) Fisher, BA’80, released the first book in her Compass Crimes Series, South of Justice, May 15. Her second book, North of the Killing Hand, will be released in October 2016. (August 2016)

Valerie Jones, BA’81, is the vice president and lead media and marketing creative producer for Law Catalyst: Legal Media and Marketing. She is the senior producer for the prime-time legal feature television program The American Law Journal(December 2015)

Becky (Snelling) Schroer, BA ’81, retired as scientific communications publications coordinator at Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis. She now is pursuing her artistic passion through creating jewelry, available through her shop Key to Rebecca Designs on Etsy. (August 2016)

Kathleen Johnston, BA’82, is an investigative producer at CBS. Previously, she spent 10 years as a senior producer at CNN in Atlanta. (December 2015)

Deanne J. Hall, BA’82, has joined Wisconsin Watch at the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, which was founded by her husband, Andy Hall, BA’82. The center is dedicated to increasing the quality of investigative journalism in order to foster informed citizens and strengthen democracy. (December 2015)

Judith Hoover, PhD’83, is the author of Beyond Monongah: An Appalachian Story. The book received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews and was named among their Best Books of 2016. (March 2017)

Gordon Jackson, PhD’83, wrote his 12th book, Be Thou My Vision: Light, Sight and the Christian Faith. He also published a Kindle book of quotations, Assuring Alexis: 306 Quotes of Encouragement and Hope for Withstanding the Trump Era. His first novel will be released in the summer. Jackson is professor emeritus at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington. (March 2017)

Stuart Englert, BA’84, is author of two books published in December: Paradox: Valley of the Sheeple and Beyond Paradox: The Great Awakening, both part of his allegorical novel series. He also is author of Sold Out: How an American Magazine Lost its Soul in 2015. (January 2017)

Paul Heaton, BA’84, is the director of the office of the President at Council for Advancement and Support of Education. He previously served as the inaugural director of the CASE Center for Community College Advancement from 2011-16. (December 2016)

Gary Jusseaume, MAJ’85, is the head coach for cross country, and the middle and distance coach for track and field at Worcester State University in Worcester, Massachusetts. After retiring from investigative field producing for WBZ-TV Boston, Jusseaume was head coach of men’s and women’s cross country and track and field teams at Assumption College in Worcester. (January 2016)

Rick Gieser, BA’86, is the publicist for Zanies Comedy Clubs in Chicago, Rosemont and St. Charles, Illionois. He also works as a producer for WGN radio in Chicago. (January 2017)

Steven Ralston, PhD’86, is provost and vice president of academic affairs at Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky. He was previously dean of the School of Communication Arts at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. (April 2017)

Kit (Lowry) Selzer, BA’86, is senior remodeling editor at Better Homes and Garden magazine. She recently celebrated her 30th anniversary with Meredith Corporation, where she had a summer internship in 1984 and 1985 before being hired full-time in 1986. (August 2016)

Daniel Brogan, BA’87, is the founder, president and editor-in-chief of 5280 Publishing Inc. Launched from his second bedroom in 1993, 5280 is now the largest local magazine in Colorado and has been a finalist for seven National Magazine Awards. The company also publishes 5280 Home, 5280 Traveler and 5280 Health magazines. In 2016, it acquired the Colorado Parent family of publications and events. (April 2017)

Jim Joseph, MA’87, is manager of internal communications for Solenis LLC, a specialty chemical and water treatment provider. He manages the company intranet and other employee communications from a home office in the Columbus, Ohio, area. “I do not miss going to an office at all,” Joseph said. “The dog and cat are happy about it, and my wife is if I remember to start dinner.” Having begun his career working with glue pots and carbon paper at a newspaper, he says it’s remarkable now to work via Skype with someone in Shanghai. He also has worked recently for Ashland Inc. chemical company, producing a series of profiles of scientists for (August 2016)

Debbie Landers, BA’87, was hired as senior vice president for the health care communications firm Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock in September. She previously was chief innovation officer at hospital operator Community Health Systems in Chicago. (December 2015)

Scott Verschoor, BA’88, is managing director at KPMG, a network of professional firms providing audit, tax and advisory services. He previously was regional vice president of professional services at Model N. (February 2017)

Mark Canada, BA’89, is the executive vice chancellor for academic affairs and a professor of English at Indiana University Kokomo. Canada’s latest book, a college textbook called Introduction to Information Literacy for Students, co-authored with Michael C. Alewine, was published in spring 2017 by Wiley. (April 2017)

Nancy (Yoder) Giordano, BA’89, is a global account manager for Vodafone. She spent her career in the telecommunications field supporting the technical and business requirements of Fortune 500 clients. She says a career highlight was supporting the broadcast for nine Olympic events and a sports Emmy win for Outstanding Technical Team Studio for the 2012 Olympic games in London. (December 2016)

Paul Lester, PhD’89, is a clinical professor at the University of Texas at Dallas. Lester led the effort to place a plaque in Nipomo, California, to honor Dorthea Lange’s iconic Depression-era photograph, “Migrant Mother.” The plaque not only honored the photographer, but also was created in memory of the subject of the photo, Florence Owens Thompson. The dedication ceremony for the plaque was March 19, the anniversary of when the photograph was taken. (March 2016)

Robert Nigro, BA’89, is a proposal and surveys manager for Blank Rome LLP, a national law firm headquartered in Philadelphia. He has worked in development and communications in legal marketing since 2005 and was previously a managing editor in legal corporate communications. His first career after graduating from IU with a degree in telecommunications was as a journalist. (December 2015)

Stephanie (Davis) Sibal, BA’89, joined Ave Maria Press, a Catholic book publisher in Notre Dame, Indiana, as a publicist in July 2014. She is responsible for media, marketing copy and back cover copy for books. (August 2016)

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