Meet the Plank Fellows


An important initiative in furthering our mission of helping bridge the gap between the practice and education is our Educator Fellowship Program. Since the program’s existence, approximately 50 educators have been selected. Here are our Plank Fellows and their host organizations:

Nine educators were hosted in world-class agencies and organizations during the summer of 2016. The educators and their hosts were:

  • Dr. Shelley Aylesworth-Spink, University of West London, hosted by Burson-Marsteller (New York)
  • Dr. Donna Elkins, Spalding University, hosted by Darden Restaurants (Orlando)
  • Dr. Melissa Janoske, University of Memphis, hosted by General Motors (Detroit)
  • Dr. YoungAh Lee, Ball State University, hosted by Weber Shandwick (New York)
  • Dr. Vanessa Murphree, University of Southern Mississippi, hosted by Home Depot (Atlanta)
  • Dr. Brittany Rowe-Cernevicius, Westminster College, hosted by Deveney Communications (New Orleans)
  • Dr. Stephanie Smith, Virginia Tech University, hosted by Cox Communications (Atlanta)
  • Dr. Nur Uysal, Marquette University, hosted by Ketchum (Chicago)
  • Dr. Chris Wilson, Brigham Young University, hosted by American Airlines (Fort Worth)

The 2015 educator fellows and their hosts were:

  • Dr. Suzanne Boys, University of Cincinnati, hosted by Ketchum (Atlanta)
  • Dr. Vanessa Bravo, Elon University, hosted by Hill+Knowlton Strategies (Tampa)
  • Dr. Maria De Moya, DePaul University, hosted by Florida Power & Light (Juno Beach)
  • Dr. Elina Erzikova, Central Michigan University, hosted by Edelman (Chicago)
  • Dr. Karen Freberg, University of Louisville, hosted by General Motors (Detroit)
  • Dr. Jie Xu, Villanova University, hosted by Deveney Communication (New Orleans)
  • Dr. Laura Young, Butler University, hosted by Burson-Marsteller (New York & Washington, D.C.)

In the summer of 2014, the following 10 educators were hosted by corporations and public relations agencies across the country for two to four weeks:

The 2013 educator fellows and their hosts were:

  • Dr. Cathy Rogers, Loyola University, hosted by General Motors
  • Dr. Dana Janbek, Lasell College, hosted by Johnson & Johnson
  • Prisca Ngondo, California State University- Chico, hosted by McDonald’s Corporation
  • Dr. Lois Foreman-Wernet, Capital University, hosted by Northwestern Mutual
  • Dr. David Remund, Drake University, hosted by Regions Financial Corporation
  • Dr. Ming (Bryan) Wang, University of Nebraska- Lincoln, hosted by Tesoro Companies
  • Dr. Brigitta Brunner-Johnson, Auburn University, hosted by USAA

In the summer of 2012, the following 15 educators were hosted by corporations and public relations agencies across the country for two weeks:

  • Debra Johnson, Cal State University-Chico, hosted by Arizona Public Service
  • Dr. Ann Jabro, Robert Morris University, hosted by BMW North America
  • Dr. Judy VanSlyke Turk, Virginia Commonwealth University, hosted by Baltimore Gas & Electric
  • Dr. Matt Ragas, DePaul University, hosted by Discover Financial Services
  • Dr. Cynthia Nichols, Oklahoma State University, hosted by Edelman
  • Dr. Astrid Sheil, Cal State-San Bernardino, hosted by Harley-Davidson
  • Debra Carpenter, Webster University, hosted by Insidedge
  • Dr. Dana Janbek, Lasell College, hosted by JetBlue Airways
  • Dr. Michel Haigh, Penn State, hosted by Ketchum
  • Dr. Katerina Tsetsura, Oklahoma University, hosted by Navistar
  • Dr. Alex Laskin, Quinnipiac University, hosted by Praxair
  • Dr. Simone Byrd, Alabama State University, hosted by Regionals Financial Corp.
  • Rebecca Deemer, University of Indianapolis, hosted by Sprint Nextel
  • Dr. Amiso George, Texas Christian University, hosted by USAA
  • Dr. Natalie Tindall, Georgia State University, hosted by Wisconsin Energy

The 2011 educators and their hosts were:

  • Carolyn White Bartoo, University of Delaware, hosted by  Ketchum (Chicago)
  • Dr. Sonya DiPalma, University of North Carolina at Asheville, hosted by American Red Cross
  • Robin Orvino, Murray State University, hosted by Ketchum (Chicago)
  • Dr. Natalie Redcross, Iona College, hosted by Ketchum (New York)
  • Dr. Shelley Wigley, Texas Tech University, hosted by Southern Company

In 2010, the first year of the Plank Center’s Fellowship for Educators program, five educators spent two weeks during the summer in an agency or corporate setting. Meet our educators and their hosts:

  • Bojinka Bishop, Ohio University, hosted by GolinHarris (Chicago)
  • Dr. Eyun-Jung Ki, University of Alabama, hosted by Home Depot (Atlanta)
  • Dr. Teresa Mastin, DePaul University, hosted by Ketchum Midwest (Chicago)
  • Dr. Brenda Wrigley, Syracuse University, hosted by Insidedge/GolinHarris (Chicago)


Resources of Interest

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