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Jan. 25, 2021

  • Frances Blount
    Bread & Butter

After graduating from the University of Alabama with a degree in public relations and experience as the communications director for the Alabama Panhellenic Association, Frances moved to Nashville and spent time as a consultant for a media software company, learning the industry ropes by solving logistical PR issues and evolving press strategies for other practitioners, from 1-man shops to Fortune 500 companies. From that experience, she was drawn to the fast-paced agency life and continued her career in Music City at Marbaloo Marketing, working with entertainment clients like Luke Bryan and Dolly Parton, and lifestyle brands like ORLY Nail Polish. Now, Frances is an Account Director at bread & Butter, a restaurant and hospitality focused agency, leading campaigns for clients ranging from George Strait's tequila company Codigo 1530 to celebrity chef Maneet Chauhan. Her favorite part of PR is developing creative plans & pitch angles and executing buzzworthy partnerships & stunts.

Sept. 24, 2020

  • Valerie Lopez

  • Suresh Raj
    Vision7 International

  • Tashia DeVeaux
    Viacom CBS and Black Public Relations Society of L.A.

February 25, 2019


 The University of Alabama, College of Communication and Information Sciences


 Birmingham Public Library


 The University of Alabama, College of Communication and Information Sciences


 Buffalo Rock Company


Five Horizons Health Services


Lilia UA.jpg

January 28, 2019


Customer Experience Communications Specialist at The Home Depot

Lilia joined The Home Depot in 2015 as a customer service representative within the Customer Appointment Center (CAC). While at the Company, she has held multiple roles of responsibility due to her performance. Five months after joining the Company, she accepted the role as supervisor for the CAC, where she focused on coaching, teaching and training associates on how to excel in their careers with The Home Depot.

Lilia earned her bachelor’s degree in mass media arts from Clark Atlanta University and earned her master’s degree from The University of Alabama in public relations and advertising.


November 5, 2018


Account Coordinator at Arketi Group

Jennifer Hester is currently an Account Coordinator at Arketi Group, an integrated digital agency specializing in B2B technology. She specializes in SEO, working in a client-facing role to conduct audits and providing strategic recommendations to clients in various verticals. Previously, she served as a media specialist at KEF Media, a media firm specializing in SMTs and RMTs. She has a passion for analytics and figuring out how to best quantify public relations efforts for clients.

Jennifer is also a proud graduate of The University of Alabama, where she earned her B.A. in Communications in 2016. 

October 1, 2018


 Jackson Spalding


 Jackson Spalding


 Jackson Spalding

Linda Bonnin Head Shot AUG 2015.jpg

September 10, 2018


Vice President for Strategic Communications at The University of Alabama

Linda Bonnin was named Vice President for Strategic Communications at The University of Alabama in October 2015. She leads the areas of internal and external communications, media relations, web and social media, graphic design, photography, videography, marketing and brand strategy, as well as University ceremonies. Less than a year after her arrival at Alabama, she created the University’s first branding campaign, Where Legends Are Made. The campaign has won numerous regional and national awards, and has been widely embraced by students, staff, alumni and fans. Previously, Linda served as Vice President for Strategic Communications at LSU and Vice President for Communications and Marketing at the University of Memphis. In addition to her 22 years of experience in higher education, she has worked in the non-profit and private sector, government and news media. She has won 63 awards from professional associations for her creative work, including two Emmy awards.

April 16, 2018


 TotalCom Marketing


 The Lollar Group



April 16, 2018


Dean and Director of the University of Georgia

College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Dr. Angle joined the University of Georgia in 2005. He has served as acting Executive Director of the Northeast Research Association, which promotes regional cooperation in agricultural research, and has also been Chair of both the national and Northeast Regional Organizations of Experiment Station Directors. Dr. Angle has been a Fulbright Scholar and is a fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and the Soil Science Society of America. He received the agronomy society's environmental research award in 1998 and the education award in 2003.

April 16, 2018


Director of Public Affairs and Chief Communications Officer for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Faith Peppers joined the University of Georgia in 1993. She manages strategic communications, issues management, executive reputation management, crisis communication and legislative communication for the college, agricultural experiment stations and Cooperative Extension. She is known across North America for her work in agricultural issues management, impact storytelling and crisis communication.

February 5, 2018


Director of Public Relations at The Lollar Group

Sara Franklin is the director of public relations at The Lollar Group in Birmingham. As a UA alumna, she majored in public relations and communications and was an active member in PRSSA. With a wealth of experience, Sara is a board member of PRSA and our very own PRSA liaison.

January 22, 2018


Director of Marketing for The University of Alabama

Division of Strategic Communications

Jimmy Hart has served as Director of Marketing for The University of Alabama Division of Strategic Communications since February of 2017. After beginning his career as a newspaper journalist, he transitioned into public relations as Communications Director for an NHRA drag racing team. For the last ten years, he has worked in Marketing & PR for institutions of higher education, primarily focused on analytical reporting and data-driven decision making. Jimmy has a bachelor’s degree in Management with a minor in Marketing from The University of Tulsa. He’s been married to Shanda Hart for seven and a half years and they have a 5-year-old daughter, Harper Hart.

November 14, 2017


Former Vice President of Communications for

IBM Global Business Services

Mark Harris joined the University's Advertising and Public Relations faculty this fall after concluding a three-decade career with IBM as vice president of Communications for IBM Global Business Services, the $17 billion unit that provides business consulting and applications management services to clients around the world. In that role, Harris led executive support, media relations and communications to a workforce of more than 100,000 across 90 countries. Harris holds BA and MA degrees in journalism from the University of Alabama. He is a member of the Board of Advisors at the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations.

October 17, 2017


Shelley Spector is one of the leading professionals in the public relations field today. She serves as president of Spector & Associates and the founder and director of the Museum of Public Relations.  Shelley has had years of experience by working at Hill & Knowlton, RuderFinn and the American Stock Exchange. Among her many achievements, Shelley has won more than four dozen awards, including the Silver Anvil and Gold SABRE.

September 5, 2017


PRSA National Chair

Jane Dvorak, APR, Fellow PRSA and PRSA National Chair, is energetic and driven. With nearly 30 years of experience in owning her own integrated communications firm, JKD & Company, Inc. her expertise and passion do not stop short. She has a background in working with nonprofit, technology, healthcare, education and youth initiatives. Dvorak was an active member in PRSSA throughout college and has been a PRSA member for 33 years. She is a recipient of a 2016 and 2011 PRSA Silver Anvil, 2015 and 2010 Small Business Award, awarded the 2012 Swede Johnson Lifetime Achievement Award and the Colorado Chapter 2013 Mentor of the Year.

April 17, 2017


 Account Representative at Peritus PR


 Digital and Content Marketing Manager at TekLinks


 Direct Contact Coordinator at Strong Automotive Merchandising

March 20, 2017


Six Foot Five Productions

​Ryan is the director and producer of Six Foot Five Productions and the Visual Archivist for Arc Stories. Whaley developed his love for visual storytelling upon graduating at The University of Alabama. Whaley has worked as a director, writer, production manager and editor all on his own and joined the Six Foot Five team in October 2015. Fun fact: Whaley just so happens to be six foot five.

February 27, 2017


Chief Communications Officer at Children's of Alabama

​Garland Stansell has been with Children's of Alabama in Birmingham since 1994, serving as Chief Communications Officer. In 2010, Stansell earned his Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) and has been played an active role on the state and national level with PRSA. Stansell currently serves on the PRSA National Board of Directors.

January 30, 2017


 Sports Marketing Coordinator at SEC Network


 Vice President of Marketing at Taco Casa


 Executive Director at Temporary Emergency Services


 Director of Sports at Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sport

January 23,2017


Management Supervisor at 22squared Atlanta

January 23, 2017


Account Executive at 22squared Atlanta

November 29, 2016


Account Coordinator at Porter Novelli Atlanta

A May 2015 UA graduate, Siarra started as a Porter Novelli intern for both the health and social impact and consumer practices. She is now an account coordinator in Porter Novelli’s Atlanta office. During her time at UA, she served as the firm director of Capstone Agency, as an active PRSSA board member, had multiple internships and so much more!

November 29, 2016 


Account Coordinator at Porter Novelli Atlanta

A May 2016 UA graduate, Kristen was a Porter Novelli intern this summer. She gained experience with both corporate and consumer clients. Now, she is an account coordinator also in Porter Novelli’s Atlanta office. During her time at UA she was an account executive in Capstone Agency, president of C&IS ambassadors and had many internships! ​​

September 27, 2016 


Owner of Tate & Associates LLC

​Melva Tate is the owner of an award winning company, Tate & Associates LLC, and a human capital strategist. She manages three unique divisions: Strategic HR Partnerships, Career Touchdown and Melva Tate Speaks. These firms offer specialized services in executive talent search, human resource consulting, training & development and career coaching to top companies, universities and nonprofit organizations. She is a best-selling author, radio co-host, credible activist, serial entrepreneur and networking "Diva." With 20 plus years of solid industry experience, Melva has established creative ways to infuse her enthusiasm for the field of human resources and career development with her desire to help organizations succeed and employees to land and enjoy the job of their dreams. ​​

August 30, 2016


Director of Public Relations at The Lollar Group

​Sara Franklin is the director of public relations at The Lollar Group in Birmingham. As a UA alumna, she majored in public relations and communications and was an active member in PRSSA. With a wealth of experience, Sara is a board member of PRSA and our very own PRSA liaison.

April 25, 2016


Director of Communications & Digital Strategy for


  • Sara Franklin, Director of Public Relations at the Lollar Group

  • Sam Nathews, Director of Communications & Digital Strategy for

  • Jacquie McMahon, Assistant Account Executive at Ketchum

  • Rachel Uniatowski, Account Coordinator at Ketchum

  • Diversity Panel

    • Mark Mayfield, Editorial Advisor for UA Office of Student Media

    • Vel Lewis, Director of Multicultural Affairs at The University of Alabama Student Government Association

  • Internship Panel

    • Micheal Anastasia, Eclipse (LA)

    • Tori Vines, Whole Foods

    • Abigail Gwarjanski, Indianapolis Colts

    • Taylor Shelnutt, Compassion International (Colorado)   

    • Kaitlin Goins, Ketchum New York

    • Blair Martin, Weber Shandwick Dallas

    • Sarah Dougherty, Southwest Airlines

  • Amanda Coppock, Senior Account Executive at Porter Novelli

  • Alison Kapp, Global Brand Manager at Newell Rubbermaid

  • Jennifer Jaquess, Managing Director for Red Mountain Theatre Company

  • Chris Mainz, Senior Advisor of Executive & Strategic Communications at Southwest Airlines

  • Grace Roberts, Account Executive at o2ideas

  • Melissa Stewart, Account Executive at o2ideas

  • Yvonne Taunton, Account Coordinator at o2ideas

  • Jessica Paré, Athletics Communications at The University of Alabama

  • Christy M. Evans, Markstein Consulting

  • Lyndsey Lewis, Markstein Consulting

  • Greg Wagner, Honors College at The University of Alabama

  • David Majors, State Farm Insurance

  • Jessika White, The Plank Center

  • Louise Crow, Peritus

  • Brian Price, 2013-2014 PRSSA National President

  • Brian Keenan, Global Creative Initiatives Manager of Ketchum

  • Rick Looser, COO of The Cirlot Agency

  • Lindsey Roberts, Assistant Account Executive for GolinHarris

  • Alyssa Howard, Media Associate for GolinHarris

  • Leighton Brown, Press Assistant for The U.S. House of Representatives

  • Brian Easter, CEO of Nebo

  • Laura Rabushka, Digital PR Lead for Nebo

  • Brandon Wilson, CEO of Wilbron Institute

  • Heather Harder, 2014-2015 PRSSA National President

  • Anna Ruth Williams, Founder of AR|PR

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