ComArtSci Virtual Talks

Join ComArtSci for our ongoing Talks series - exploring leadership and creativity in communication careers.

Register for an event or access recordings of past webinars below. Have a topic idea? Email us:

November 15 - Uphill: A Memoir Book Discussion

Take a behind-the-scenes look as author Jemele Hill discusses her newly published book, “Uphill: A Memoir.” Led by Dr. Christina Myers, assistant professor in MSU’s School of Journalism.

One of Oprah Daily’s Best Fall Nonfiction Books of 2022, “Uphill” is an empowering, unabashedly bold memoir by The Atlantic journalist and former ESPN “SportsCenter” co-anchor about overcoming a legacy of pain and forging a new path, no matter how uphill life’s battles might be.

December 14 - Human Resources

Take a behind-the-scenes look as Spartan alumni discuss how Human Resource communications are shifting and moving forward. Moderated by  Jim Dearing Ph.D., Brandt Endowed Professor Michigan State University.

  • Gary LaMonte - BA '81 Advertising, MA '83 Personnel-Human Relations
    Retired Vice President, Human Resources & Security, Raytheon Technologies
  • Laura Lawson - B.A. '99 Advertising 
    EVP Chief People Officer, United Wholesale Mortgage 
  • Ronald Moore - BA '75 Communication; MA '78 Education; MA ‘79 Labor and Industrial Relations
    Retired Vice President of Human Resources, Safe Horizon

December 13 - Innovations in the Gaming Industry

Take a behind-the-scenes look as Spartan alumni discuss innovations across disciplines within the Gaming Industry. Moderated by Andrew Dennis, Professor, Michigan State University.  

  • Eric Argel - BA ’01 Telecommunication 
    Senior Product Designer, PlayStation 
  • Dr. Carrie Heeter - BA ’74 Communication & Ph.D ‘86 Mass Media 
    Professor, Michigan State University    
  • Brian Murray - BA ‘06 Telecommunication, Information Studies and Media 
    Creative Director, Electronic Arts 

August 11 - Sales

Take a behind-the-scenes look as Spartan alumni discuss how sales communication moves forward. Moderated by Jennifer Rumler, Managing Director, Sales Leadership Minor, MSU. 


  • Brenda Cucci - B.A. ’88 & M.A. ’95 Telecommunication
    Managing Director, Accenture, Ltd.
  • Paul Jacobs - B.A. ’76 Advertising
    TVP/General Manager, Jacobs Media
  • Steve Squillace - B.A. ’85 Advertising
    BDM, NetApp

July 21 - Higher Education

Take a behind-the-scenes look as Spartan alumni discuss how institutions of higher education are navigating reopening and moving forward. Moderated by Dr. Monique Turner, Chair of the Department of Communication, Michigan State University.


  • Dr. Kimo Ah Yun - Ph.D. ’96 Communication
    Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Marquette University
  • Dr. Jeffrey Docking - B.A. ’83 Telecommunication
    President, Adrian College
  • Dr. Kristen Salomonson - B.A.'91; M.A. '95; and Ph.D. '02 Communication
    Dean of Enrollment Services, Ferris State University

November 4 - Political Coverage in the Pandemic

Take a behind-the-scenes look as Spartan alumni discuss the coverage of politics amidst the global pandemic. Moderated by Perry Parks, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, MSU School of Journalism.  


  • Annah Backstrom Aschbrenner - B.A. Journalism '06
    2020 Elections Editor, USA TODAY
  • Dante Chinni - B.A. Journalism '91
    Data Analyst and Reporter, Wall Street Journal
  • Steve Eder- B.A. James Madison - Political Theory & Constitutional Democracy '04
    Investigative Reporter,  The New York Times

October 6- Staying the Course


Take a behind-the-scenes look as Spartan alumni discuss trends in nonprofit management, caring for communities and fundraising during the global pandemic. Moderated by Floyd Akins Associate Vice President for Advancement at Michigan State University. Featuring: 

  • Lisa Dancsok - B.A. Advertising '83
    Chief Brand and Impact Officer, Arizona Community Foundation
  • Anne Ginn - B.A. Business Administration '97 
    Chief Public Policy Officer, Forgotten Harvest
  • Robyn Rosenthal - B.A. Journalism '93
    Communications Officer, W. K. Kellogg Foundation

September 23 - Technology & the Human Experience

Take a behind-the-scenes look as Spartan alumni discuss trends in events, entertainment, and hospitality amidst the global pandemic. Moderated by Kjerstin Thorson, Ph.D., Associate Professor in Advertising + Public Relations. Featuring: 

  • Crawford Del Prete - B.A. Communication '87
    President, IDC – The premier global market intelligence firm
  • Adam Fractenberg - B.A. Journalism '92
    Director of Sales, FCS - At the forefront of technology innovation in hospitality
  • Vanessa Shay - B.A. Communication '03
    Vice President, AEG Global Partnerships

August 26 - Leadership

Take a behind-the-scenes look as Dean Prabu David discusses leadership and communication during a global pandemic with two Spartans from the C-Suite. Featuring:

  • Prabu David, Ph.D - B.S. Physics '83 (Loyola College), M.A. Journalism '88 (OSU), Ph.D. Mass Communication '93 (UNC)
    Dean, MSU College of Communication Arts and Sciences
  • April M. Clobes- B.A. Marketing '94, M.A. Advertising '00
    President and CEO, MSU Federal Credit Union
  • Scott S. Weiss - B.A. Advertising '81
    CEO, Speakeasy, Inc.

August 12 - Corporate Communication


Take a behind-the-scenes look as Spartan alumni share how they have led communication strategies for highly impacted brands. Moderated by Shawn Turner, Professor of Strategic Communication, MSU; and Analyst, CNN. Featuring:

  • Jeff Lambert - B.A. Advertising '93
    CEO, Lambert & Co.
  • Brian O’Connor - B.A. Telecommunication '91
    Vice President, Brand and Corporate Communications, Princess Cruises
  • Terry Rhadigan - B.A. Communication '87
    Executive Director, Communications Operations & Corporate Giving, General Motors

July 15 - Healthcare

Spartan alumni share how critical an effective health communication strategy is during this time. Moderated by Bree E. Holtz Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Advertising + Public Relations and Director, Health and Risk Communication Masters program. Featuring:

  • Lois Bernstein - B.A. Communication ‘73
    Chief Community Executive, MultiCare Health Systems
  • Mary R. Grealy - B.A. Audiology & Speech Sciences ‘71
    President, Healthcare Leadership Council
  • Gail Whitelaw - M.A. Audiology & Speech Sciences '83
    Clinic Director, Audiologist, The Ohio State University

June 30 - Sports Today

Spartan alumni discuss how sports continues to adapt in a COVID-19 world. Moderated by Tim P. Vos, Ph.D., Director, School of Journalism. Featuring:

  • Jarrett Bell - B.A. Communication '81
    NFL Columnist, USA Today Sports
  • Kelley L. Carter - B.A. Journalism '07
    Sr. Entertainment Reporter - The Undefeated Host - Another Act, ESPN
  • Rick Gosselin - B.A. Journalism '72
    Radio Host & Writer, Talk Fame Network

June 16 - Automotive Industry

Take a behind-the-scenes look as Spartan alumni share how the automotive industry is adjusting in a COVID-19 world. Moderated by Rabindra (Robby) Ratan, Associate Professor and AT&T Scholar, Department of Media & Information. Featuring:

  • Andrea Brimmer - B.A. Advertising '87
    Chief Marketing and Public Relations Officer, Ally Financial
  • Jim Huston - B.A. Advertising '81
    Chief Revenue Officer, AutoAlert
  • Jeff Rachor - B.A. Communication '83
    Chief Executive Officer, Berkshire Hathaway Automotive

June 9 - Inside Production

Spartan alumni share how COVID-19 has affected the production of entertainment, news and sports programming. Moderated by Geri Alumit Zeldes, Ph.D., Professor, MSU School of Journalism. Featuring:

  • Catherine Brosseau - B.A. Communication '96
    Executive Producer, CNN
  • Greg Harrison - B.A. Telecommunication '91
    Chief Creative Officer, Agency, MOCEAN
  • Richard Isakow - B.A. TISM '05
    Senior Producer, NFL Network

June 4 - Beverage Industry

Spartan alumni share how COVID-19 has affected the beverage industry. Moderated by Andy Corner, APR - Professor of Practice, Department of Advertising + Public Relations. Featuring:

  • Jim Kanter - B.A. Advertising '92
    Chief Commercial Officer, Sprecher Brewing Co.
  • John Parks - B.A. Advertising '84
    Executive Vice President, Becharas Brothers Coffee Co.
  • Adam Warrington - B.A. History '98
    Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility - Better World, Anheuser-Busch

May 27 - Future of Sports

Take a behind-the-scenes look as Spartan alumni discuss the future of sports amidst the global pandemic. Moderated by Al Martin, WKAR. Featuring:

  • Jeff Genthner - B.A. Telecommunication '80
    Senior Vice President, General Manager FOX Sports South/Carolinas/Tennessee and Fox Sports Southeast
  • Jason Hillman - B.A. Journalism '94
    Basketball Chief of Staff/Team Counsel Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Matt McConnell - B.A. Telecommunication '85
    Play-By-Play Broadcaster Arizona Coyotes

May 15 - Broadcast News


Take a behind-the-scenes look at how Spartan alumni are working today in broadcast news. Moderated by Bob Gould, School of Journalism. Featuring:

  • Carolyn Clifford - B.A. Journalism '01
    Co-anchor Action News, WXYZ-TV (Detroit)
  • Aisha Howard - B.A. Journalism '07
    Evening Anchor, 11Alive Atlanta, NBC
  • Steve Patterson - B.A. Journalism '08
    Correspondent, NBC News.