Nena is the Director of Marketing and Communications for Invent Penn State, an initiative started by President Barron intended to drive job creation, economic development, and student career success. In her role she leads brand identity, website development, online technologies, print, media relations and social media strategy and execution for Invent Penn State, LaunchBox, and numerous programs that support student, faculty and community innovators, makers and doers in Penn State campus communities across Pennsylvania. She previously held similar brand, program, product and service building roles for the Sheetz Corporation (convenience restaurant) and AIRWALK International (snowboarding, skateboarding, active casual footwear and apparel).
Heather is, among many other wonderful things, a scholar, writer, blogger, wife, and mother of two girls. She graduated from the University of Virginia and then went on to finish her PhD in English Literature from the University of Michigan. She teaches college writing courses—both Freshman Composition and Advanced Writing—at Penn State. She serves on the staff of Cru with her husband, who is the Executive Director of Graduate Student Ministries at Penn State. She is also the author of six books that encourage writers and teachers to reflect on spiritual principles in everyday life: How to Write with Flair; Live with Flair: Seasons of Worship and Wonder; Seated with Christ; Guarded by Christ; Included in Christ; and Chosen for Christ. Additionally, Heather runs a vibrant, active blog titled Live with Flair (inspired by her first book How to Write with Flair), in which she explores the ways that we can make every day joyful and meaningful just as we can make a sentence beautiful with the right verb and punctuation. Heather would be delighted to talk with students about her writing habits, securing an agent and working with publishers, and marketing, among other topics.
Joe is the President/CEO of the Blair County Chamber of Commerce, an organization with 1,054 members. Apart from his administrative role, he is responsible for writing a column and a majority of the stories featured in the Blair Business Mirror, the Chamber’s print-newsletter that is published the second Tuesday of each month in the Altoona Mirror newspaper.
Joe has a B.A. Degree in Journalism from Shippensburg University and has a passion for writing. He has given presentations at both Penn State and Juniata College on the importance of writing to people in business, so he feels very comfortable speaking to students on any topic related to writing and communication.
Cody is a technical communicator and statistician who wants to help people collect the right data and analyze it to make informed decisions. His specialities include statistics, technical communication, statistical reliability, JMP, SAS, and writing for translation.
Andrew currently works for Parsons. He has held a number of roles in engineering and EPCM consulting companies over the last 30+ years; he credits clear and effective communication as the catalysts for his mobility, both horizontally and vertically. He has held both technical and business management roles, domestically and internationally, in the areas of engineering, contracts, finance, accounting, HR, safety, and quality.
As a guest speaker, Andrew is most interested in focusing on career communication topics related to job search, reading and interpreting position requests, resumes, cover letters, interview tips, and working in global teams. He is open to answering any questions from students and wandering in any of the directions toward which they are interested in steering the conversation. Because Andrew lives in South Carolina and works in North Carolina, he joins classes remotely via video conferencing.
Julie is the Manager of Internships for the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications. In this position, she serves the College’s some 2,700 students in all manners of career preparation, specifically focusing on internship placement as well as resume and cover letter writing. The office also conducts a number of career-related programs for students, including guest speakers, mock interviews, and internship and resume workshops; Julie has also helped to spearhead the latest addition to the career/internship fair offerings by launching COMM Careers in the Capital in 2018, held in Washington, D.C. This program will become another annual offering, joining JobExpo.COMM on campus and Success in the City, in New York City.
Julie previously served as Director of Communications for the State College Area School District. She was the primary point of contact for district and community relations, coordinating 10,000 parent contacts, communicating with 1,300 employees, and initiating and mapping all communications plans for district and building level projects. Julie was the district’s primary contact with the media and coordinated brand and logo use by district stakeholders.
Before that, Julie served as an Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator for Penn State’s women’s volleyball team. In that role, Julie also worked with event management, marketing, promotions, and served as the liaison with the team’s booster club. She previously served as an Assistant Coach at the University of Houston and William & Mary.
Julie earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Penn State and was a member of the women’s volleyball team.
Karen is a Professor in the School of Visual Arts and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department at Penn State. She has received a National Art Education Foundation grant (2017-2018), a National Science Foundation grant (2010-2012), and two Fulbright Faculty Scholar grants for research in Finland and Austria, as well as other grants for research in Uganda and Ecuador. Her work focuses on transdisciplinary creativity, inclusion, eco-social justice art education, feminist art pedagogy, data visualization, transcultural dialogue, and cyberart activism. She engages in feminist theory and methodologies and creates virtual spaces to raise issues of the politics of representation, identity, and social disparity. By problematizing cultural inscriptions and highlighting contextualized signifiers that people use to invest meaning in images, she explores social and personal transformative possibilities through virtual interactive environments and 360-degree video immersive experiences. Karen would be a fantastic candidate to speak on any topics related to strategies for transcultural web-based discourse, issues of diversity, and advocacy.