The Communication Alumni Board is a vibrant and engaged group of alumni dedicated to the goals of mentoring students, providing lifelong learning experiences for alumni and friends, creating opportunities for alumni to network with one another, and contributing to community service, outreach and collaboration.
The group works closely with Department of Communication faculty and staff to provide opportunities to students and alumni through career workshops and other events.
Anna is a Senior Account Executive at Colehour+Cohen, a full service PR and marketing agency with an emphasis on companies that make people’s lives better. She coordinates, writes, produces, researches…you name it she’ll get it done. In 2012, she was named Outstanding Young Professional by the Puget Sound chapter of PRSA and received an Emmy for her work on BECU’s Bow Down to Washington video.
“While in the undergrad program, I frequently attended the Communication Department networking lunches. It was an incredible experience to meet people in the industry and not feel overwhelmed about networking. I want to make sure students feel comfortable going into the workforce and are setup for success.”
Phyllis Fletcher (M.C., 2011)
Phyllis Fletcher is Managing Editor of the Northwest News Network, a news service to public radio stations in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. She manages the award-winning “N3″ as a collaboration of thirteen broadcasters and edits the work of five journalists in Salem, Coeur D’Alene, Tri-Cities and Olympia. Their stories are heard in Seattle on KPLU and KUOW.
“I want help undergraduate students in the Department learn that public radio isn’t just for their parents. For those who grew up listening to it, I want them to see themselves as someone who can be on the other end, producing it. For those who’ve never heard it, I want them to hear it with a critical ear, and envision making radio they would listen to. I want Com students to know about opportunities at the beginning of the public media career path. And I want public broadcasters to know about the great Com students at UW.”
By day, Alex Diaz is an account coordinator at Twitter, working on the advertising + sales team within the Tech vertical. Alex leverages Twitter’s Promoted Products for marketers to drive revenue through creative partnerships with brands and agencies. He’s also active in the community — having organized two TED talk events, and four Startup Weekend events. When he’s not at Twitter, Alex is on a new adventure to help people in the community find work through his passion-project, HR Tech startup: MyUnfold.
“All in all, ‘be the person you needed when you were younger’, is what drives me to be on this board. My mission on the board is to offer opportunities and insight that will provide the most value to those in my alma mater. There are many opportunities that I had to fight for and these are the type of opportunities that can be a benefit for all students—if even one student can gain something from what I went through and have to offer, that’s a major win and an incredible honor.”
Ali brings a valuable perspective to the board as a junior communication student, who is also working toward a sales certificate. She was the Director of Formal Recruitment at her sorority Alpha Phi this fall, and is serving as Director of Member Services for the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) this year. While keeping an open mind and taking in advice from experienced professionals, Ali hopes to land a career in event planning, PR, or marketing after graduation.
Taylor Soper (B.A., 2012) – New Alumni Engagement
Taylor Soper is a Staff Reporter at GeekWire, a national technology news website based in Seattle. He writes, takes photos, produces video, handles social media and has a ton of fun working with the GeekWire team to help strengthen the local tech community. Taylor has degrees in Business Administration and Journalism from the UW, where he worked all four years at The Daily.
“I was honored when asked to be on this board and am looking forward to connecting with alumni and students. As the youngest member and a recent grad, I hope to provide insight from a student perspective in today’s world. I’m confident this will help the board become more in touch with the current students and ultimately help improve their college experience.”
Amy Rolph is a news editor at Microsoft, working on MSN News and Bing News apps. She’s worked as a Seattle-based journalist since graduating from the University of Washington in 2006, most notably at the Everett Herald and the Seattle PI. Amy earned a masters degree in digital communication strategy from the UW’s Communication Leadership program in 2011 — and she’s currently a Comm Lead Fellow, assisting with teaching efforts and mentoring students.
“The relationships you cultivate as a student lay the groundwork for your career after school — I was lucky to meet a number of journalism professionals who believed in me and helped me learn when I was still a student. Serving on the alumni board is one way I can pay that kindness forward.”
Kaci Aitchison (B.A., 2001)
Kaci Aitchison is a Seattle native and 2001 alumna of the Comm Department. She got her start in radio as a sophomore reporting traffic for KISS-FM, and later joined The Bob Rivers Show at KZOK. Currently, Kaci is a Features Reporter at Q13 FOX News. In 2013, she was voted Best Local TV Personality in the KING 5 Best of Western Washington contest and she was nominated in 2014 for a Northwest Regional Emmy Award for her special “The Road to We Day” about local youth community involvement. Kaci credits her ability to think quick-on-her-feet in front of the camera to being an accomplished improv comedian.
“I took a less-than-traditional path to have the career I have today, and I feel my experience as an undergrad in the Comm Department is what gave me the foundation I needed to be successful. I want to give back by helping guide current students in the transition from classroom to career, and contribute to the continued success of the department and its students any way I can!”
Lauren is a Seattle native and fourth generation Husky. She graduated from the UW in 2012 with a B.A. in Communications and a Minor in International Studies. As an Account Executive at the Seattle CBS affiliate, KIRO-TV, Lauren works directly with advertisers and advertising agencies to develop integrated marketing solutions. In 2013, she launched Sound Startups, a campaign sponsored by the University of Washington, to celebrate the thriving and innovative community of local startups.
“I was thrilled to be invited as one of the newest members of the Alumni Board this past year. My rewarding experience as a public speaking tutor during my time as a student has motivated me to give back again, this time as an alum. Having recently graduated, my goal is to foster a supportive and valuable connection to the fantastic alumni community!”
Stacey Engle (B.A., 2008)
Stacey is the Director of Marketing at Fierce Inc., a global leadership development and training company. She works collaboratively across all business functions to develop and implement a multi-tiered global marketing strategy for Fierce and Fierce programs. Her professional background includes nonprofit and corporate work including public relations, B2B and B2C marketing and communication as well as leadership development and professional training.
“My mission on the board is to help fuel and support the relationships between current UW Communications students and the community. My hope is to approach current students’ challenges with new and innovative ways to help them follow their passions after graduation. As a board member, it is my goal to make sure we, and everyone we touch, have a great time and lots of laughs while doing this important work.”