Department of Communication Studies
Dr. Kathleen M. Golden
On Oct. 27, 2016, the Communication Studies Department hosted a panel presentation "Alumni Speak: Careers in Nonprofits". The panel presentation included alumni who work in nonprofits including the YMCA, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Make-A-Wish, and Sarah A. Reed Children's Center.
Brenda Bidwell graduated in May 2006 from Edinboro with a degree in Graphic Design. She worked as a graphic designer for 4 years before returning to Edinboro to complete her Master’s degree in Communication Studies in 2011. She is currently a Campaign Manager for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. She manages the Student Series programs. She has the perks of influencing young minds to think about others through assemblies, student meetings and fundraising. Before working on the Student Series programs, she was the Campaign Coordinator for the Erie Light the Night Walk for 3 years. Light the Night takes place every September in downtown Erie. For the past 4 years she has had the privilege to meet some of the strongest people fighting the toughest battle, blood cancer.
Megan Grochulski was born and raised in Erie and graduated from Edinboro University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication. She started with the Muscular Dystrophy Association in 2011 as a Fundraising Coordinator and is currently the Area Director. She lives in Erie with her husband Dan, son Maddox and pug Tucker.
Alyssa Luke is an Edinboro native currently residing in Pittsburgh. Alyssa graduated from Edinboro University in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies. As a part of the Communication Studies department, she was involved in fundraising and volunteerism through ACE: Applied Communicators of Edinboro, and was selected as the 2016 Communication Studies Departmental Senior. During her studies, Alyssa completed an internship at the Erie Make-A-Wish office, which led to her current position as a Program Services Assistant at the regional office of Make-A-Wish Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia in Pittsburgh, Pa. Alyssa is also a Make-A-Wish volunteer and a member of the National Communication Association.
Tammy Roche is a 1996 graduate of the Speech Communications Department at Edinboro University. Roche began her career as the volunteer coordinator for First Night Erie, a large-scale public New Year’s Eve festival and served as the event’s producer from 1997-2000. In this role, Roche was responsible for all event coordination, funding and marketing communications. In its millennium year, First Night Erie attracted 45,000 people into downtown Erie. Her career path led her to hold various positions in marketing communications at Hamot Medical Center and Erie Insurance during which time she served as a volunteer on the Fish Commish! (large scale public art projects) and the inaugural Celebrate Erie committee (large scale community festival). It was a combination of her vast event planning experience and high community visibility that led her to serve Mayor Rick Filippi and the City of Erie as the first Manager of the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. In this role, she created and executed the Mayor’s Signature Series of Events and Festivals; these initiatives earned the City of Erie a prestigious award from the US Conference of Mayors for economic impact and downtown revitalization. Following Filippi’s tenure as Mayor, Roche transitioned into private consulting which led her to positions as Director of Financial Development and Marketing at the Erie Art Museum and Communications Director for Congresswoman-elect Kathy Dahlkemper and eventually to her current role as Vice President of Financial Development, Marketing and Membership for the YMCA of Greater Erie. Roche lives in Erie with her husband Matthew and their two daughters Sydney (12) and Delaney (10). In her free time, Roche enjoys fitness, camping, reading and cooking.
Dennis Williams is a lifetime resident of Erie, Pennsylvania. He received a Bachelor's degree in Communication at Edinboro University in 1993. During his last year of undergraduate studies, he took a position at the Sarah A. Reed Children's Center (SARCC) as a counselor at the residential treatment unit working with children who had various mental health needs and who were victims of extensive trauma. Once he graduated from Edinboro, he worked as a production technician at WSEE-TV 35, and continued to work for SARCC at General McLane High in the Emotional Support Classroom. Shortly into his time at WSEE, he had to make a career decision, so he chose working for SARCC. Twenty-three years later, he continues his employment at SARCC, advancing from direct care to case management to community support to his current position as supervisor. He currently supervises the Bayfront Alternative Education Program, a collaborative program between Sarah Reed, the Bayfront Maritime Center, and Erie's Public Schools. He works with a dedicated team of professionals to provide education, counseling, hands-on STEM-based learning, and many other enriching life lessons within a therapeutic learning environment.