EXPERIENCE AND WORK PHILOSOPHY
We are inundated with information. It's a blessing and a curse. I suggest to my students, mostly seniors majoring in journalism, their success isn't in acquiring information, but learning effective ways how to share what they know.
We need to find ways to cut through the noise and get readers' attention. That's what I've done with my career in print and digital technologies. I know how to create and present information in compelling ways to increasingly-distracted online audiences.
Specialties: Communications, Digital Content, Teaching, Online Journalism, Digital Marketing, Social Media Strategy, Research, and Writing.
I hold a B.A. in Political Science from the State University of New York at Geneseo and a M.A. in History from the University at Albany. I'm currently the communications/marketing manager at the NYS Writers Institute based at UAlbany, and since 2008, I have been an adjunct professor teaching journalism and digital content courses.
Before joining the NYS Writers Institute in 2017, I held many newsroom positions at the Albany Times Union, including community publishing editor and interactive audience manager. I was on the team of four producers that built the timesunion.com website and I led the newspaper's efforts to develop content marketing initiatives and digital communication plans -- including email marketing, social media management -- to drive engagement to the website from audiences, bloggers, community leaders, and other stakeholders.
In my role as marketing/communications manager with the NYS Writers Institute, I craft and implement public relations, communications and social media strategies across a variety of platforms, manage our digital assets, and coordinate efforts for community and student engagement.
What do I do when I'm not working? I avoid computers like the plague. You'll find me somewhere drinking coffee and reading a book. Ink on paper, still.
ABOUT MY DOG
Sunny -- a great dog, a fantastic listener, and an all-around superb four-legged friend -- led a wonderful life before going to doggie heaven in the summer of 2019. There's a cute story about how Sunny came to become part of our family.
I saw an "golden doodles for sale" ad in the Times Union -- back when newspapers still had classifieds. It was a fair price, but way out of my range. I offered a barter with the breeder: I'd build him a website in exchange for a puppy.
Our handshake agreement began a friendship that lasted until they retired.
Trolley began with an idea from Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Writers Institute founder William Kennedy, who envisioned an online literary journal published free of charge in which each issue's words and images related to a single theme.
I serve as managing editor, site producer and contributing writer for the literary journal.
Since 2008, I've proudly served as an adjunct professor teaching journalism at the University at Albany.
My "Digital Journalism 490" class serves as the capstone course for journalism majors. I teach digital content creation and hold students to the highest standards. They leave my 490 course well-equipped with digital skills to succeed in journalism, marketing and other careers.
My writing has been published on various platforms, including the newspaper, marketing materials and social media, documentation on digital technologies and UAlbany course syllabi. Samples:
"Deli visits offer sense of place" published in Best of the Capital Region
"Sunny's Greatest Escape" published in Great Dogs of Albany and Beyond
I also post occasionally on my Times Union blog. Not so much anymore.
EMAIL DESIGN AND MARKETING
I designed email templates and served as quality control and technical support for all newsroom-generated email newsletters, including Capitol Confidential.
In any given week, I sent more than 40,000 email newsletters to various database lists.
I managed the WhatCounts email publishing system for the Times Union, balancing the competing forces of quantity of email vs. quality. I often kicked back email content to improve its clarity of messages.
Building the timesunion.com blog portal, including Capitol Confidential and Table Hopping, using WordPress generated a new level of reader engagement for the Times Union. I served as technical support and knowledge base for all Times Union blogs, which generated 3.8 million page views per month during the past five years.
I've been teaching video production at UAlbany for years. Many of my students never produced a video before taking my class. It's a required element for their online portfolio and final projects.
I show them how to break down the process into manageable (and learnable) steps.
I produced this 'Colonie Center and Michael Huber' video in about three hours with the assistance of two cups of coffee.
I collaborated with staff writers and bloggers to produce a number of events, including panel discussions at The College of Saint Rose and the SUNY College of Nano Science and Engineering, and networking events at local restaurants.
I used the Eventbrite platform to create event registration forms and to generate new email distribution lists.
When I needed to promote a special section, event or program for the Times Union, I could choose to wait for a graphic artist, or when deadline was a factor, I'd create my own marketing materials.
Using Adobe Photoshop and pagination programs, I created graphics, house ads published in the Times Union, web site icons and logos, and online ads.
Screenshot shows a tri-fold brochure I created to promote the Times Union Communities program. I wrote the copy, obtained rights for the images and designed the layout.
SURVEYS AND CONTESTS
I managed databases and tabulated winners for notable Times Union promotions such as the annual Best of the Capital Region readers survey and the Capital Region Gives' "Big $100,000 Giveaway" as well as timesunionPLUS giveaways in partnership with Proctors in Schenectady and the Palace Theatre in Albany.
In most cases, I used the SurveyMonkey product or the suite of tools provided by the Second Street Media platform.
Websites are best designed when they're clean and clutter-free. Each site listed below was created, designed, or redesigned, keeping in mind the end user. Each image and every word needs to point to the message and mission of the organization.
GRAPHICS JUST FOR FUN
When I learned longtime Times Union reporter Marv Cermak left a sizable sum in his will to the Albany Newspaper Guild, I designed and printed a stack of (not legal tender) 'Marv Bucks' for the announcement party.
Teaching - Advanced
Multimedia journalism - Advanced
Editing - Advanced
Media relations - Advanced
Event planning - Advanced
Adobe - Proficient
Web site management - Advanced
Email management - Advanced
Italian - Conversant
Digital strategy - Advanced