Nominations for 2016 Hall of Fame Due April 30
The Manship School of Mass Communication Hall of Fame Committee is accepting applications for nominees. 
The Manship Hall of Fame honors alumni, faculty and friends whose distinguished careers have contributed to or reflect credit on the various academic programs in the School.
Candidates, living or deceased may be nominated by alumni, faculty or friends of the school.  The nomination should demonstrate the criteria mentioned above in the form of a written nomination with biographical data and other supporting documentation. 
Send or email your nomination by April 30, 2016 to: Dean Jerry Ceppos, 221 Journalism Building, LSU Manship School of Mass Communication, Baton Rouge, LA 70803
You're invited to the 2016 Breaux Symposium April 10-12
This Great Experiment in Human Progress:  Race, Voting and Communication a Half Century After the Voting Rights Act hosted by the Reilly Center for Media and Public Affairs and Race in the Americas (RITA)  Louisiana State University, April 10-12, 2016

Manship School Alumni Loyalty Campaign 

Fellow Manship graduate,

When my class graduated in 2011, we were excited about the future. Not just ours, but the school's as well.
We started the Senior Class Gift Fund, a first-of-its-kind campaign that raised approximately $10,000. We wanted to make sure that generations of students would have the same amazing opportunities we had such as covering the Iowa caucuses, attending industry-related conventions and receiving financial support while interning around the country.

Now that we're settled into our careers all across the country -- I've landed at CBS News in New York -- it seems like the perfect time for us to make a more substantial commitment and begin a culture of giving. Dean Ceppos and I have evolved the Senior Class Gift Fund into a new endeavor that we are calling the Manship School Loyalty Campaign.

I can't think of a better time to do this. In the last year alone, Manship has further bolstered its standing as a leader in media and public affairs education by launching its Washington program, building a state-of-the-art social media lab and establishing a statehouse program that immerses our students in the study and practice of covering state government. An accrediting team of outside experts described our school as being in "the ranks of the country's strongest programs."

We need you to be a part of the Loyalty Campaign. 

Let's invest today in the Manship students of tomorrow. There's no better way for us to demonstrate our commitment to the Manship School than by supporting it financially. Join me in showing our #ManshipLoyalty, and let's be in touch as this important campaign continues. Geaux Tigers!

Lance Frank
Class of 2011


Todd Schexnayder (1981)retired in December as senior vice president of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana. He and his wife, Valerie, established the Todd & Valerie Schexnayder Endowed Scholarship with matching contributions from Blue Cross and Pan-American Life.
William J. Doran III (1982) was appointed federal coordinating officer by the President for Oklahoma's recent floods and winter storms.

Michelle Perron (1985) was recently named editorial director for ADVANCE Healthcare Network, a national medical media company based outside Philadelphia.  She has been employed with the company for 26 years. 
Dawn with Manship Professor Jinx Broussard

Dawn Buckley  (1984) is a solutions executive at NOLA Media Group in New Orleans.  She is also an adjunct instructor at Loyola University. 


Katrice Hardy (1995) is digital senior leader at The Virginia-Pilot and PilotOnline in Norfolk, Va.
Tommy Santora (2001) joined the law firm of Taylor, Porter, Brooks & Phillips in Baton Rouge as marketing director.  He is married to Whitney Pierce Santora, who he met when they were both working at the Reveille.
Lanaea Parker Featherstone  (2002) Maryland Governor Larry Hogan bestowed an official citation to the William & Lanaea C. Featherston Foundation for its signature workforce development program, Reaching New Heights.  The citation applauds the Foundation's placement and training for promoting economic growth across the state.
Walter Gabriel (2006) is an adjunct professor at Clark Atlanta University's Department of Mass Media Arts.  He teaches communication law.
Marissa Frayer (2006) freelances for IKEA in Malmo, Sweden.  She has voiced and appeared in some of their ads.
Liz Wilks Van Dervort (2007) was selected as a 2016 Power Broker by Risk & Insurance magazine. Awards are made annually for the most effective and influential commercial insurance brokers.  She works at Gillis, Ellis & Baker in New Orleans.
Kelly Landry DeRossette (2007) is director of donor relations and stewardship in the Development Department at the Tiger Athletic Foundation.  Kelly got married in 2011, and was just named a 2016 NAADD Diversity Initiative stipend recipient.
Jessica Perez (2007) is an attorney in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.  She graduated in 2015 from Harvard Law School.
Laura Bratcher Esfeller (2009) was recently promoted by Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas to property marketing manager for The Cromwell, Flamingo Las Vegas, and the LINQ Hotel and Casino.  She has been with the company since 2013.
Alexandra "Ali" Castillo (2009) joined the LSU E.J. Ourso College of Business as its newest director of development.  Prior to joining the College of Business, she served as the associate director of development for the LSU College of Science.

Mark Landry  (2001)  His post-Katrina graphic novel, "Bloodthirsty: One Nation Under Water" is being serialized by Titan Comics. The (collected) graphic novel will be released in June by Titan Comics/Random House.  Previously, he co-created the Disney Channel franchise, "Teen Beach Movie" - its sequel aired last  summer.   
Alyson Neel (2010) was awarded the prestigious Luce Scholarship, a national competitive fellowship program sponsored by the Luce Foundation.  She currently works as a legislative fellow on gender policy in the office of Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and as an adviser on global civil society engagement to the United Nation's Foundation's policy team.  She earned a Masters of Public Relations degree at Princeton last year.
Katherine "Katie" Cicardo (MMC, 2010; JD, DCL 2013) is an associate attorney with Baker Donelson in Baton Rouge.
Drew Prestridge (2010) has been organizing and fundraising for Democratic political campaigns in several states, including Louisiana, since graduation. He is currently the campaign manager for a competitive congressional race in Northern New York State.
Lance Frank (2011), who has worked at CBS since graduation, has received another promotion.  He is now executive director of communications at CBS News in New York.
Lauren K. Rivera (2012; JD 2015) has joined Taylor Porter in Baton Rouge as an associate in the areas of employment, labor and benefits and products liability law.
Lindsay Nunez (2012 ) is a community organizer for Tech Talent South in New Orleans.
Karsten Davis (2012) earned an M.A. in Arts and Technology from the University of Texas at Dallas in December.  He is the producer/co-founder of Last Minute Games in Dallas.
Ashley Kirzinger (Ph.D., 2012)  has a new job as senior survey analyst at the Kaiser Family Foundation in Menlo Park, Calif.
Jonathan Ferrante  (MMC 2012) manages client marketing for the largest media group in Oklahoma, is director of communications for PMIT Board and teaches as an adjunct in journalism at Oklahoma State University.
Christine Derbins Graham ( 2013)  is the new technology manager for the Manship School's Reilly Center Public Policy Research Lab.
Mary Catherine Iles (2013) was hired as an assistant account executive-corporate at Edelman-Atlanta after interning with Edelman-Houston.
Rachael Stanton (2013) is an assistant account executive at the Ehrhardt Group in New Orleans.
Julia McGowen (2013)  works as a scheduler and community outreach coordinator for a mayoral campaign in her hometown of Houston.  She also serves as chair of PRSA's Houston's new professionals committee.
Palmer Black (2013), after working last year's Super Bowl, moved to Arizona to work on a masters in Sports Law and Business at Arizona State.  He is serving as a teaching assistant and also has a full-season internship with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Gabriela Smith (2014) works in Baton Rouge and New Orleans as a producer and social media coordinator for Catholic Community Radio.  She travels to cover events and has interviewed presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson.
Josh Naquin (2014) is a copywriter at BLT Communications, an entertainment advertising firm in Hollywood.  Recently he wrote the tagline for the Oscar-nominated film, Spotlight.
Marie-Therese Yokum (2015) is a consultant for Protiviti, an internal audit and consulting firm in Dallas.  She was a double major in public relations and finance.
Tori Ward (2015) is a marketing and public relations assistant at the Ruston Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau and attending Louisiana Tech pursuing a master's degree in business administration.
Francesca Brewer (2015) is a media buyer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana in Baton Rouge.
Ashley Joseph (2015) is a site communications specialist at BASF in Beaumont, Texas.
Kelli Griffin (2015) is on the tax staff at Ernst & Young in Houston.
Gordon Brillon (2015) is a reporter for LA Politics/Tracker, a weekly report from the Statehouse published by Jeremy Alford.

Xerxes Wilson (2014), Adam Duvernay (2010) and Mathew Albrigh t (2011) are working on the News Journal in Wilmington, Del., the statewide paper in Delaware.  Wilson is the county reporter, Duvernay is an investigative reporter and Albright is a statehouse reporter.
Bradley with actor Justin Bartha

Bradley Williams ( 2015) is traveling the country working for the Bernie Sanders campaign for President. 

Melissa Hart (2011) married Cameron Dean on March 5, 2016.  Melissa has worked as an LSU admissions counselor since August 2012.
Cody Wells ( 2013) will marry Tori Laborde in April 2016.  He recently was named communication manager for the Louisiana Division of Administation in the Office of the Commissioner.
Danielle Kelley (MMC 2016 )  is engaged to Grant Tolbird and plans a Jan. 14 wedding.   They are moving to Monroe after her December graduation.
Ashton White (2010 ) is recently engaged to Mathew Guidry of New Orleans.  She works for the National MS Society, Louisiana, in Metairie. 
Latest additions


Kelli Eason Brignac (2009) and husband Blake Brignac welcomed their first child, Cecilia Michelle, on Nov. 16, 2015.  They live in Nashville.

Mo Isom Aiken (2011) and husband Jeremiah welcomed a daughter, Auden Noelle, on December 12, 2015.  Mo is an author and inspirational speaker for BOLDLIFE, LLC, based in Atlanta.
Richard Tucker Sr., whom we reported as deceased in the last Alumni Updates, was not the Richard Tucker Sr. who is a 1976 Mass Comm graduate.  Our Richard Tucker Sr. is alive and well.  Apologies-
Cami Dinkel Geisman (2007) is assistant vice president for communications at the University of Louisiana System in Baton Rouge.

Let's stay in touch!

Have you moved? Changed jobs? Updated your e-mail address or phone number? Received an award?

If there's anything you'd like us to know, send an alumni update to Linda Rewerts. We'd be happy to post internships or job openings, too.

We also encourage you to visit the Manship School website - there is so much happening, you won't want to miss a thing.