2018 Alumni of Distinction Honorees Announced
Every year, the UW Department of Communication honors outstanding alumni who are making a difference in their careers and out in their communities by inducting them into the Department’s Alumni Hall of Fame. We also recognize the exceptional work of our recent graduates through the Outstanding Early Career Award, as well as celebrating the invaluable contributions of those who receive the Alumni Award for Excellence in Mentoring.
The Communication Leader Award recognizes a Communication Leadership alumni who embodies the program’s four core values: Creativity, Leadership, Story, and Community, and has made a significant contribution to our field in a unique, emergent way.
Learn more about this year’s honorees below:
2018 Alumni Hall of Fame
A lifelong resident of Washington state, Linda Breneman grew up in Eastern Washington before moving to beautiful Seattle to study at the University of Washington. After earning her BA in Communications in 1978, she worked as a technical editor and writer at Battelle, Boeing, and Weyerhaeuser. She then applied her skills to Seattle’s burgeoning software industry, transitioning eventually to focus on writing poetry, fiction, and essays. A long-time advocate and supporter of the literary arts and humanities, she co-founded Seattle’s literary center, Richard Hugo House, in 1996. In 2000, she received the Washington Humanities Award. She’s served on the boards of Hugo House, the UW Foundation, the Henry Art Gallery, Grantmakers in the Arts, and Town Hall. She is a decades-long member of two giving circles, the Washington Women’s Foundation and Social Venture Partners, and an advocate for thoughtful and creative philanthropy. Through her family foundation and the Ludus Project, she has supported the UW Communication Leadership program and the University’s epilepsy research efforts, as well as dozens of nonprofit organizations working in the arts, education, medical research, digital literacy, and environmental fields. She also publishes and writes for a website that reviews video games for families, Pixelkin.org.
Sheila Dean Brooks, Ph.D.
Sheila Dean Brooks, Ph.D. is an author, Emmy-award winning journalist, entrepreneur and advocate for minority, women and diversity issues and small businesses. Her 28-year-old company, SRB Communications, is a full-service advertising and marketing agency in Washington, D.C. that specializes in multicultural markets. The agency helps build brand awareness in outreach and public education campaigns for its clients’ programs and initiatives through media channels including radio and TV commercials, brand videos, outdoor, print, digital and social media.
Prior to starting her firm in 1990, Dr. Brooks built a distinguished television career as a news director, reporter, anchor and documentary producer at CBS, NBC, PBS, and Fox TV affiliates. She is a sought-after speaker and author, releasing her first book, “Lucile H. Bluford and the Kansas City Call: Activist Voice for Social Justice,” in spring 2018.
Dr. Brooks has spent 40 years working in media and communications. She serves on numerous boards and has received more than 150 awards for her accomplishments. She teaches multicultural marketing in her role as adjunct faculty in the graduate school’s Strategic Public Relations program at The George Washington University.
Dr. Brooks received a Ph.D. in Communication, Culture and Media Studies in May 2015 from Howard University. She has a Master of Arts degree in Political Science from Howard and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington in Seattle.
Shelley Morrison was one of the first female announcers and reporters on network radio in the United States. She worked for NBC radio as a sportscaster, reporter and correspondent based in New York, London and Harare, Zimbabwe. She also covered the Olympics in ’84 & ’88 for ABC Sports. Her skills in public relations were valuable as Promotion Director and Announcer for KZAM FM in Seattle; Marketing & PR Director for One Reel, and Marketing Director for the Seattle SuperSonics. She was VP of Advertising for Starwave/Disney, launching many of the first websites, including ESPN.com, on the public internet. Morrison returned to radio in the virtual world, as VP of Media and Distribution sales for RealNetworks, the creator of streaming media.
In 2008, she founded Shelley Morrison Associates, which provides consulting and training in communication, negotiation, and intercultural relations for corporate, non-profit and higher education clients. Morrison uses her background and skills to help global teams and other trainers improve their virtual communication and teaching.
Morrison has a B.A. in Communication from the University of Washington, a Masters in Teaching from Seattle University, and a Master in Intercultural Relations from the University of the Pacific and the Intercultural Communication Institute. Her thesis on “US Corporate Internships for Students from Africa” was published in 2015.
Alumni Award for Excellence in Mentoring
Driving forward with agility, enthusiasm, and a sense of discovery as Uber’s Marketing Program Lead for the Pacific Northwest, Alexander Diaz does more than wrangle together new and creative marketing campaigns. Throughout his career, Alex (as he is known to his friends and colleagues) has worked across a wide range of industries — from startups to Fortune 500s — focused on go-to-market strategies and tactics for products and brands. Past projects have included Xbox One’s platform launch, Twitter‘s Ad Suite growth, and launching Uber in over 25+ cities. No matter which hat he is wearing, Diaz’s goal is simple: drive brand and product growth, success, and results through compelling, actionable marketing.
With a passion for community contribution, Diaz has been a member of the organizing committees for numerous TEDx and Startup Weekend events, as well as having served on the board for the Puget Sound American Marketing Association. Currently, Diaz is a mentor for students within the Minds Matter Seattle chapter, and as a member of the UW Communication Department’s alumni board. Not one to sit still — you’d be hard pressed not to find Diaz without a smile, a cup of coffee, and another adventure on the horizon.
Outstanding Early Career Award
(B.A. 2009, Communication and Comparative History of Ideas)
As a strategist and community builder, Camille Elmore-Trummer is committed to improving the lives of underserved communities. Elmore-Trummer’s professional background spans several industries including education management, public policy, and multimedia communications. Using a toolbox filled with a broad mix of strategies to advance social equity, she uses storytelling to help amplify voices, messages, and untold stories.
Currently, Elmore-Trummer works as an Account Manager at Brink Communications, a woman-owned communications and marketing firm based in Portland, Oregon. In her role at Brink, she provides strategic counsel and develops tailored tactics to help organizations meet their communications and policy goals.
Previously, Elmore-Trummer worked as a Communications Strategist for the City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, where she created communications products and strategies for climate action programs, including Portland’s first Home Energy Score program. Prior to that, she served as a senior policy advisor for Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, and had a track record of effectively negotiating with elected officials to develop progressive urban planning and sustainability policies. Before returning home to Portland, OR in 2015, Elmore-Trummer worked in education management and advanced a $4M federal grant directed by President Obama to implement post-secondary curriculums and retention strategies to underserved students of color in the south and west side of Chicago.
Elmore-Trummer received Bachelor of Art degrees in Communication and Comparative History of Ideas from the University of Washington in 2009. She received a Master of Science degree in Strategic Communication from Northwestern University in 2012.
The Communication Leader Award
Adriana Gil Miner
(M.C. 2009, Communication)
Adriana Gil Miner heads up the global Corporate Communications department at Tableau Software. In this role she is responsible for cultivating relationships with industry experts, media, academia and NGOs to advance the mission of Tableau of helping people see and understand their data.
With over 18 years of technology marketing experience, Gil Miner brings together the art of storytelling, technology, and marketing to create breakthrough campaigns that build up brands. Gil Miner thrives on bringing new technologies to market and has worked on an array of projects, from launching Samsung 3D TVs, to building digital platforms at American Express, to managing a top company growth program called Recurring Payments; and as CMO of Artefact, helped to put the product innovation firm on the map and launch their first spinoff company, 10,000ft.
Adriana Gil Miner studied Mass Communication in her native hometown of Venezuela and obtained a Master’s degree in Digital Communication at the University of Washington. She loves to travel and prides herself on discovering and nurturing up-and-coming marketer rock stars.