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Counselors to Higher Education Section Leadership

Chair
John Morgan
Associate Vice President
Quinnipiac University
Hamden, CT
John.Morgan@qu.edu
John Morgan Bio

John-MorganJohn W. Morgan, associate vice president for public relations, has been at Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Conn., since 1996. In his position, he is responsible for the university’s media relations, issues management and crisis communications. He also is a member of Quinnipiac’s Emergency Management Team.

Morgan works closely with the Quinnipiac faculty to place them in the media to comment on their areas of expertise. He has been successful at placing Quinnipiac faculty members on several national cable television networks, including MSNBC, Fox News Channel, CNN, ABC News, CBS News and NBC News. He also has placed Quinnipiac faculty in several major national publications, including The New York Times, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and Dallas Morning News.

Morgan has been a member of the executive committee of the Counselors to Higher Education, a section of the Public Relations Society of America, since 2013. He currently serves as chair of the section and has served as chair-elect and communications chair. He also has served on the committee that plans the section’s Forum.

Morgan also is a former president of the Southern Connecticut Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. He was named the PRSA 2006 Practitioner of the Year by the three PRSA chapters in Connecticut. He also is a member of the Publicity Club of New York.

After 10 years as director of public relations at Quinnipiac, Morgan was promoted to associate vice president for public relations at Quinnipiac in 2006. Before coming to Quinnipiac, Morgan served as director of public relations at Waterbury Hospital from 1993 to 1996. Before that, he was the assistant director of public relations at Danbury Hospital from 1988-1993. Before entering the field of public relations, Morgan was a bureau chief and reporter for both The Telegram and Bridgeport Post in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Morgan holds a graduate degree in journalism from Quinnipiac University and a bachelor’s degree from Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, Conn., where he was named the university’s outstanding journalism student in 1983. He and his wife, Susan, live in Woodbury, Conn. with their twins, Anson and Olivia. 

Chair-Elect
Sheena McFarland
Director of Marketing + Communications
David Eccles School of Business
Salt Lake City, UT
sheena.mcfarland@eccles.utah.edu
Sheena McFarland Bio

Sheena-McFarlandSheena McFarland, Ed.D., is the Director of the Marketing + Communications team at the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah. Sheena brings more than 5 years of higher education communications and marketing experience, and more than a decade of experience working at a daily newspaper. During her 6 years at the Eccles School, Sheena has served as a Communications Specialist, Associate Director, and Director of Marketing + Communications. She also has spent the past 3 years serving as an Adjunct Instructor in the Department of Marketing at the Eccles School.

Sheena is passionate about equity, diversity, and inclusion in higher education spaces and beyond. She serves on the University of Utah’s MLK Week Organizing Committee and was the Morris Media & Society Lecture Keynote Speaker at Utah State University in 2019, addressing “Minoritized No More: Ending Marginalization in Marketing.”

Sheena joined the PRSA Counselors to Higher Education Executive Committee in 2019. She is serving as the chair-elect in 2021, and she hopes to serve as chair in 2022. Sheena previously served on her local Greater Salt Lake Chapter’s Board from 2016-2017.

Sheena earned her Master of Public Administration and Doctorate of Educational Leadership & Policy at the University of Utah in December 2019. Her doctoral research focused on which factors increase persistence of women students in STEM fields. She also holds a certificate in Integrated Marketing and Communications from the University of Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah with a B.A. in communication and minors in French and biology teaching.

Sheena is an avid traveler, having visited all 7 continents, and enjoys stargazing and spending time with her husband, James, and their Jack Russel terrier, Amber. Sheena is a rabid Real Salt Lake fan.

LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sheena-mcfarland/

Immediate Past Chair
Jeanette DeDiemar
Vice President for Advancement and External Relations
Texas A&M University – San Antonio
jdediemar@tamusa.edu
Jeanette DeDiemar Bio

Jeanette-DeDiemarDr. Jeanette De Diemar, an award-winning communications and creative strategist with international expertise in integrated marketing and communications, reputation management, brand development and crisis communications currently serves as vice president for University Advancement and External Relations at Texas A&M University-San Antonio, the youngest institution and fastest growing in the Texas A&M System. De Diemar oversees a newly restructured, dynamic team focused on advancing enrollment, fund raising and reputation management strategies and institutional initiatives and serves as the chief executive providing counsel and expertise. 

A past recipient of the American Marketing Association's Higher Education Marketer of the Year, Dr. De Diemar, is known for her creativity and innovation in building outcomes-focused higher education marketing and communications teams with a philosophy that "creativity takes courage." She previously served as vice president and chief marketing and communications officer at the University of Indianapolis, leading the institution through the creation of an award-winning, highly-successful integrated marketing and communications change process impacting admissions, advancement and institutional reputation influencing an enrollment strategy and record-breaking comprehensive fundraising campaign. Past leadership positions included serving as associate vice president for integrated marketing and communications at Florida State University where she launched an institution-wide “Communicators Network” creating a networked strategy providing counsel for executive leadership and 150 campus communicators. During her tenure, she led the successful navigation of several high-profile crisis management situations of national interest. Dr. De Diemar has extensive marketing and communications, media relations and digital media experience in the private and public sectors in the United States and internationally.

Dr. De Diemar has led the process of establishing communications infrastructures, services and brand development processes for several institutions. She is the immediate past chair for PRSA’s Counselors to Higher Education (CHE) as well as a frequent presenter at conferences and serves on the editorial board of the United Kingdom’s Journal of High Education Advancement and Marketing. As a consultant, she has guided universities in discovering their brand and change management processes to sustain and scale effective marketing and communications strategies using internal resources, collaborative networks and return on investments. For her change management, alumni relations, and brand development strategies at University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, she and her staff earned the inaugural Best Marketing Team in Higher Education Award from the American Marketing Association, as well as the CASE Region V Teresa Du Bois Exline Award for "Best Practices in Communications and Marketing." Her teams have received recognition from CASE, the American Marketing Association and American Advertising Federation. Past roles include establishing Wales' "first" business incubator dedicated to accelerating the growth of the country's digital media sector, supporting more than 500 startups providing business development support; military public affairs as a civilian contractor for the 1st Infantry Division during Operation Desert Storm; public relations for the Hoffman Agency's cornerstone account with Hewlett-Packard; and several positions in journalism and public relations. Dr. De Diemar holds a doctorate in education and a master's degree in mass communications from Kansas State University and a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

Secretary/Historian
Andrea Boyle Tippett
Director, External Relations
University of Delaware
Newark, DE
aboyle@udel.edu

Communications Chair
Michael Hagearty, APR
Director, Campus Communications & Events
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, GA
michael.hagearty@comm.gatech.edu


Programming Chair
April Kaull
Interim Executive Director of Communications
West Virginia University
Morgantown, WV
AKaull@mail.wvu.edu
April Kaull Bio
April-Kaull

April Kaull is the Executive Director of Communications for University Relations and Enrollment Management, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the unit, which is charged with telling West Virginia University’s story.  

Kaull joined WVU in January 2015 after spending more than 20 years as a broadcast journalist in West Virginia.

A two-time graduate from WVU, Kaull received her bachelor’s degree in broadcast news in 1995 and her master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communication in 2016. She also serves as an adjunct faculty member at the WVU Reed College of Media.

Kaull is an active member of PRSA Counselors to Higher Education (CHE). As the Programming Committee Co-Chair, she works to develop and present programming focused on the most pressing challenges facing higher education.

A native West Virginian, Kaull grew up in Harrison County and now calls Morgantown home with her husband where they enjoy exploring the natural wonders of the Mountain State and cheering on the Mountaineers in all sports.

Connect with Kaull via email at akaull@mail.wvu.edu, via Linkedin or Twitter.

Recruitment Chair
Brian Whitson
Chief Communications Officer
William & Mary
Williamsburg, VA
bwwhit@wm.edu
Brian Whitson Bio
Brian-Whitson

Brian Whitson leads University Communications at William & Mary.

As the Chief Communications Officer, Whitson serves as the university's senior communications strategist and is a member of the President's Cabinet and Executive Leadership Team. His responsibilities include university-wide media and public relations programs, issue management, crisis communications, the William & Mary News, research communications, national news, university web and design, social media, visual identity and online and print publications.

Whitson also chairs the university's Emergency Communications Team, as well as a coordinating committee of communications professionals from across campus. Since March 2020, he has led a university-wide Unified Communications Team that includes squads devoted to marketing and branding, internal and external communications, COVID response, and editorial, media and social media.

Whitson has been a part of the executive committee for PRSA’s Counselor’s to Higher Education since 2018 and currently serves as chair of the recruitment committee. He received his B.S. in Mass Communications from Virginia Commonwealth University where he completed the News Editorial track within Mass Communications. Before coming to W&M in 2003, Whitson worked as a daily newspaper reporter. His last journalism position was covering higher education for the Daily Press in Newport News.

Whitson and his wife, Monet, have two adult sons, Morgan and Garrett, and three spoiled Boston Terriers, Mo, Riley and Dexter.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brian-whitson-9642a89/

Sponsorship Chair
Sean Rossall
CEO & Managing Partner
RW Jones Agency
Pasadena, CA
Sean@rwjonesagency.com
Sean Rossall Bio

Sean-RossallAs CEO of RW Jones, Sean is our senior-most public relations counselor. During his nearly two-decade career, he has played an integral role in counseling clients and helping them to implement full-scale strategic communications programs and issues management initiatives. With a lifelong passion for education, Sean works closely with presidents and executive leaders to think strategically about their institutions and their role in both shaping institutional narratives and contributing to the public discourse in meaningful ways. 

Prior to joining RW Jones, Sean led the crisis and media relations practice at one of Los Angeles’ largest and oldest PR and public affairs firms. In this role, he connected clients’ PR and political strategies in ways that supported their sometimes-disparate demands.

www.rwjonesagency.com | O: 323.999.5201 | M: 310.210.7586 | sean@rwjonesagency.com 

https://www.linkedin.com/in/sean-rossall-89a4245/

Retention and Mentorship Chair
Renell Wynn
Vice President, Communications
Wesleyan University
Middletown, CT
renell.franklin@gmail.com
Renell Wynn Bio

Renell-M-Wynn headshotRenell Wynn has more than 15 years of substantial executive experience, driving the communications and marketing strategies of some of the most prestigious universities in the United States by helping research institutions advance the human condition through service, care, research, teaching and learning. Currently, she is vice president for Communications at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT 

Her passion for learning and service as a marketing executive has been extended to the support of community organizations that are dedicated to helping young people thrive. As a board member of many Boys and Girls Clubs, Girls Scouts of America, and Parent Teacher Association, Renell believes these groups builds young people’s character, confidence and positions them for successful lives.

Ms. Wynn received her master's degree in business administration from William Woods University and a bachelor's in English from Spelman College. She has one son who is living and thriving in the Washington, DC

CHEAG Chair
Michael Warden
Senior Counsel/Principal
Warden Public Relations
Brookhaven, GA
michael@wardenpr.com


Members-At-Large     

Tammy Demel
AVP, University Relations
Kennesaw State University
Marietta, GA
tdemel@kennesaw.edu

 

Pamela Ezell
Assistant Vice President for Communications
Chapman University
Orange, CA
pamelaezell@gmail.com

Pamela Ezell Bio

Pamela Ezell headshotPamela Ezell, Ph.D., is a strategic and innovative leader of high-performance, award-winning teams. She has extensive experience with multi-channel communications and integrated marketing, and an In-depth understanding of higher education.

A former faculty member and Governance Chair on the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, Dr. Ezell is seasoned at facilitating collaborative partnerships across the university to achieve institutional initiatives.

She is currently Assistant Vice President of Communications at Chapman University and lives close to the campus in Old Towne Orange, California. She is the mother of two adult children, a daughter about to embark on her MBA at UCLA, and a son finishing a degree in Film and Television at Chapman.

She earned three degrees at Chapman: a bachelor of arts in Communications and Public Relations, a master of fine arts in English and Creative Writing, and a doctorate in Education and Leadership Studies.

As a first-generation college student, Dr. Ezell is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and giving back.

 

Dana Fair, APR
Senior Marketing Communications Specialist
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI
danafair@umich.edu
Dana Fair Bio

Dana Fair headshot

Dana Fair has provided over 30 years of strategic communications leadership in the public and private sectors with experience in global and domestic matters. He holds a B.A. in English from the University of Michigan and a M.A. in higher education administration from Eastern Michigan University.

A chief communications officer, Dana has managed communications issues in areas such as automotive, civic engagement, counseling, disability services, fraternity and sorority life, health and human services, information assurance and privacy, international affairs, LGBTQ+ affairs, multi-ethnic affairs, sexual assault prevention and awareness, technology, university housing, and more. 

He has delivered on strategic communications outcomes involving climate for marginalized communities, people of color, and religious/spiritual communities; conflicts connected to hate/bias incidents and political polarization; social matters related to child abuse, drug abuse, fan behavior, and hazing; and administrative concerns around institutional budgets and investments, immigration, mental health, town-gown relations, and vendor engagement and labor practices. 

He has been recognized by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education with a Circle of Excellence bronze medal and the Association of College and University Housing Officers International with an award for communications planning. At the Voronezh Institute of High Technologies in Russia, he received an International Program of Academic Exchanges certificate for his presentations to leadership on the importance of diversity and co-curricular education in academia. 

 

An accredited (APR) member of the Public Relations Society of America, Dana has served on CHE’s executive committee for nearly seven years – returning in 2021 to collaborate with the multi-university team of executive leaders and to assist in delivering on the section’s mission and goals.

 

Andrea Gils Monzon
Marketing and Communications Manager
University of Kentucky: International Center
Lexington, KY
andrea.gils@uky.edu
Andrea Gils Monzon Bio

Andrea-GilsA native of Uruguay, Andrea is the international marketing and communications manager for the University of Kentucky, where she leads the global communications strategy for the University. In her role, she is responsible for guiding the PR, communications and marketing strategy for various International Center offices servicing a variety of publics including international and U.S. students, international alumni, foreign government officials and influencers, international faculty, staff and researchers, and others.

With 8+ years of experience in developing and implementing integrated strategic marketing and communications campaigns, Andrea’s areas of expertise include strategic planning, branding, multicultural marketing and communications, digital and traditional media relations, project management, website copy writing/design, research, analytics & measurement.

Her involvement with PRSA goes back to 2011 when she came to the U.S. as an international student. Throughout the years, she has served on various roles - from social media manager of the St. Louis Chapter and Midwest District Conference - to serving on various national executive committees including the PRSA New Professionals and the Counselors to Higher Education sections. 

A Champion for PRSSA, Andrea is passionate about international education, multiculturalism, diversity of thought, equity and inclusion.  

Since 2020, Andrea has been serving as PRSA’s Diversity & Inclusion National Committee Co-Chair. As co-chair, she has been responsible for developing and implementing PRSA’s first-ever three-year strategic plan, and launching PRSA’s new series Diverse Dialogues that brought together D&I leaders and experts to share insights and best practices, guiding 3,500+ communications professionals in having critical conversations that enable real change.

Lance Kisller
Associate Vice President of University Relations
Eastern Washington University
Cheney, WA
lkissler@ewu.edu
Lance Kisller Bio
Lance Kissler headshot

Lance Kissler is the Associate Vice President of University Relations at Eastern Washington University, overseeing marketing, communications, and alumni relations for the university. Lance brings more than 15 years of experience to this role, including prior experience at STCU and Pacific University. He earned his Masters of Science in Communications and BA in Graphic Communications from Eastern in 2010 and 2004, respectively. He also teaches classes on social media, digital marketing and PR at both EWU and Whitworth University as an adjunct instructor.

As a member of PRSA since 2005, his commitment to the public relations profession includes serving on the Counselors to Higher Education section executive committee, as well as former officer roles with the Greater Spokane PRSA and Portland chapters. 

Lance currently serves as the Chair of the City of Spokane Human Rights Commission. He formerly served on the boards of INBA (the regional LGBTQ+ and ally chamber of commerce), CASE District VIII, and Leadership Spokane, as well as gubernatorial appointments on the Governor’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS and the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board. He graduated with the Leadership Spokane Class of 2014 and has volunteered with the End the Violence campaign (a collaboration of domestic violence service organizations in the Spokane area), the Red Cross, SNAP, Spokane AIDS Network, and the Spokane Humane Society, amongst others. In 2012, EWU honored him with the inaugural Inspirational Young Alumnus Award, and in 2016 he received the Spirit of the Red Cross award for his service to the community.

www.linkedin.com/in/lkissler

Renea Morris, APR
Vice Chancellor for Marketing & Communications
University of Denver
Denver, CO
renea.morris@du.edu

 

Jonathan Riskind
Assistant Vice President, Public Affairs
American Council on Education
Washington, DC
JRiskind@ACENET.EDU
Jonathan Riskind Bio

headshot of Jonathan RiskindJonathan Riskind oversees ACE’s Office of Public Affairs, which works to maintain the Council’s presence as a top source for media on higher education issues and policy, enhance public understanding of a wide range of higher education topics, advocate on behalf of ACE membership on key issues, and promote the important work of ACE programs. He works closely with ACE’s Office of Government Relations to help communicate the Council’s public policy positions to policymakers and the media, and works with divisions across the Council to increase visibility and awareness of ACE programs and initiatives.

 

Riskind arrived at ACE in April 2012 after a career in journalism. He was a longtime reporter and Washington Bureau Chief for The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch, where he covered Congress, the White House, federal agencies and state and national political campaigns, and was the recipient of numerous journalism awards. Prior to joining the Council, he served as Washington Bureau Chief for a group of papers in Maine, including the Portland Press Herald.

 

He holds a bachelor’s degree from Macalester College (MN), and is a native of Chicago.

Russell Yost, APR
Senior Director, Marketing & Communications
University of Washington
Seattle, WA
ryost@uw.edu
Russell Yost Bio

Russel-YostRussell Yost, APR is Senior Director for Marketing and Communications at the University of Washington's College of Arts and Sciences, leading communications efforts for the UW's largest academic unit. Russell brings over 15 years of experience in higher education communications, has worked for PR and marketing agencies in Oregon, and has served as a legislative assistant in the Oregon State House and Senate. During his 14 year tenure at Willamette University, Russell served as a communications director, associate vice president and Chief Communications Officer for the university, reporting to the President.

Russell has presented at regional and national conferences, including the PRSA International Conference (2019) and CASE District VIII conference (2007, 2010 and 2020). He was a Contributing Assistant Professor at Willamette University, teaching integrated marketing communications at the graduate level from 2008-2014. Russell is a long-time member of PRSA, having served as President of the Oregon Capital Chapter and a member of the Board of PRSA Portland (both chapters are now part of PRSA Oregon). He is a member of the Executive Committee for PRSA’s Counselors to Higher Education section and co-chaired the group’s Senior Summit/Summer Symposium in 2020. He holds an Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) and has a bachelor’s degree from Gonzaga University and master’s degree from Willamette University.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/russyost/