Department of Communication Studies
Dr. Kathleen M. Golden
Upon graduation from Edinboro University, Tammy 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. Roche explained "My career has taken me in many different directions, but I have always been a story-teller and convener of community – using a vast network of public and private sector to bring the right parties together to 'get it done'. I have been fortunate to have wonderful mentors in my life – strong women – that taught me to not let my career get ahead of my family – and that it’s more than okay to be a human being and make mistakes."
John Evans is a two-time graduate of the Communication Studies department at Edinboro University. Evans earned a bachelor’s degree in Speech Communication and a master’s degree in Communication Studies. His career began in television broadcasting, working 20 years with WJET-TV in Erie, PA. Evans then worked for Erie Insurance as a communication specialist before running for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He successfully won re-election six times representing the 5th Legislative District from 2001 through 2012. During his tenure, Evans was the majority chairman of the House Game and Fisheries Committee. Prior to his committee chairmanship, he served on the House Transportation and Appropriations committees. He also was a member of the Consumer Affairs committee, and has participated in hearings on numerous utility issues. Evans became the Commonwealth’s third Small Business Advocate on March 25th, 2013 after being nominated by Governor Tom Corbett and later confirmed by the Pennsylvania State Senate. He leads a group of attorneys at the Pennsylvania Office of Small Business Advocate (OSBA) who litigate utility cases that come before the Public Utility Commission on behalf of small business customers. Evans also is an adjunct professor at Penn State University. He is a member of the Tuition Account Program’s Advisory Board, a Past trustee at Edinboro University, and a past member of the Board of Directors for the Pennsylvania Special Olympics. Evans lives in Hershey, PA and enjoys traveling with his family and playing golf.
“I don’t think I ever saw myself in the insurance field – I mean doesn’t working at Google or Nike sound a lot more glamorous? But living in Erie, Pennsylvania, Erie Insurance is truly one of the best places to work. As a supervisor in Content Development, my team of five is responsible for all content for customer- and consumer-facing materials. That includes all marketing collateral, content for the public website, including the blog, and numerous other publications. Earning my degree at Edinboro University afforded me an opportunity to get a local internship, which I completed at UPMC Hamot in Erie. I think school is an important foundation that helps to prepare you for whatever you choose to do with your degree. Shortly after graduating in 1992, I landed a job at Erie Insurance in the Corporate Communications Department. Several years later, I returned to Edinboro to obtain my master’s degree in Communication Studies, while working full time. Over the years, I transitioned from doing mostly employee communications to a career in marketing, which I find fascinating. Thanks to the Edinboro staff for making my college experience not only fun, but definitely worthwhile!”
“After working in corporate America for many years, I’m now the Principal at Pixels and Bricks, a practice dedicated to connecting businesses to technology and partners to help close the gaps while collaborating with them to create go-to-market strategies. In addition I’m the head of Global Strategy for Cloud Tags, a New York-based company that focuses on engaging shoppers digitally in-store to increase identification prior to checkout. Receiving a degree in Communication Studies is very different from other majors where there is a hard focus, like nursing or teaching. With our degree, you’re taught a set of skills and behaviors that are going to enable you to build a career in a number of incredibly interesting spaces from working at the White House to your favorite sports team. Edinboro University and especially the Communication Studies faculty were vital in helping us, as students, understand the opportunities and take the necessary steps to prepare ourselves. It’s been great to re-engage with the university and to learn how the Communication Studies Department has evolved.”
“I recently accepted a new position at UPMC Hamot in the Continuing Medical Education Department. I am working with the hospital’s resident physicians and fellows. From recruitment to graduation, my department administers the residency and fellowship experience. My particular area of responsibility is the Neurology group. I am responsible for the administrative oversight of regulatory, compliance, and accreditation activities. There is also relationship management and liaison duties amongst various program audiences as well as audit readiness, curriculum support, and event planning. It is challenging and I am loving it. My studies at Edinboro prepared me well for my new position and every position leading up to it. This is why today I can develop, execute, and present an action plan with second-nature confidence. I have always felt I had an advantage over non-communication scholars in the workplace because I had been highly trained in my classes to represent myself and my ideas. The emphases on technology, culture, organizations, public relations, ethics, conflict, critical thinking, writing and more have also resonated deeply with my professional experiences. I would not be exaggerating to say there are key concepts firing in my mind daily that first came into my view at Edinboro.”