Nebraska's College of Journalism and Mass Communications announces Dean's Advisory Board members

Thursday, August 17, 2023 - 2:00pm

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications launched a dean’s advisory board that will help the college reach their strategic goals and stay informed on trends in the media and communications world. The 16 board members are experts in their industries and many are members of our alumni family.

"I'm so excited to bring these industry juggernauts together to lead our college into the future," said Dean Shari Veil. "They are all high performers with high expectations of their alma mater. I am confident that they will keep us accountable to the lofty goals we set in our strategic plan."

The first two board meetings were held virtually in April and August 2023. The board will be coming to campus the week of UNL’s Homecoming in October for the first in-person meeting. 

At the August meeting, members elected board leadership and discussed recruiting, curriculum and career development opportunties for both students and alumni. 

Board members were also eager to discuss how the college is ethically leveraging artificial intelligence programs like ChatGPT in the classroom and AI’s impact on journalism and the creative industry.

Board member Jenna Johnson (‘07) is the deputy democracy editor at The Washington Post where she challenges her team to think about how AI might impact the future of politics, culture, democracy and even reality in order to find how best to cover machine learning.

“We’re talking a lot about AI in the newsroom,” Johnson said. “Lately, we’ve been strategizing how to avoid being duped, how to protect our intellectual property and how to communicate to readers how our coverage is authentic.”

Another board member, Emily Doskow (‘02) chief marketing officer at Leo Burnett, sees how generative AI is already impacting the creative industry. She’s also curious how students are preparing for their post-grad careers and encourages current students to study their own generation (Gen Z) when prepping for job interviews, developing portfolios of work and networking.

“This can be a huge leg up for young people entering the workforce, as many of our brands' briefs focus on this target,” Doskow said. “If they can show a strong point of view and an understanding of Gen Z’s motivations and behaviors (beyond just their personal experiences) they will bring immense value.”

To further share board members' expertise, the college developed “Campus Voices: Futures Series” to profile each member and allow listeners to learn about the future of the media and communications industry from alumni who have their fingers on the pulse of where our professions are going next.

So far, associate professor and 90.3 KRNU general manager Rick Alloway has interviewed Josh Planos, Brittany Jones-Cooper, Tia Newcomer, Emily Doskow, Juan Perez, Jr. and Dionne Searcey.

See the CoJMC dean’s advisory board members below.

LaSharah Bunting Headshot

LaSharah Bunting, Vice Chair

LaSharah S. Bunting is CEO and Executive Director of the Online News Association, a nonprofit membership organization advancing digital journalism, technology and innovation. She most recently served as Vice President and Executive Editor at Simon & Schuster, where she acquired and edited nonfiction projects. She previously served as the Director/Journalism at Knight Foundation, where she managed a portfolio of grants and initiatives focused on accelerating digital and cultural transformation in newsrooms and advancing equity and inclusion in journalism.

Prior to joining Knight, Bunting spent nearly 14 years at The New York Times, where she led digital transformation across the newsroom and served in various editing roles. She began her career as an editor at The Dallas Morning News.

Bunting is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is also an alumna of Sulzberger Executive Leadership Program at Columbia University; Diverse Future Executive Program; and the Maynard Media Academy at Harvard University. She serves on the board of directors of Outlier Media, Open Campus and Dow Jones News Fund.

Paige Dimakos Headshot

Paige Dimakos

Paige Dimakos is the Chief Executive Officer of The Draft Network. She comes from a diverse background including stops at Big 10 Network, ESPN Phoenix, Fanrag Sports & CBS Sports. As the Chief Executive Officer of The Draft Network and the mother of #NFLTwitter, Paige Dimakos has repeatedly proven that manning the front lines of sports media is a task that should be left to the ladies more often. Since she was 19, Dimakos has pursued multiple successful entrepreneurial endeavors, launching two companies and selling one, all before turning 25. Leveraging the knowledge she gained along the way to refine her talent for social media advertising and content strategy, she earned coveted positions at several big-name sports media companies.

Since 2020 she’s operated as the CEO of The Draft Network and has worked with brands including Anheuser-Busch, Ford, Panini-America, Bose and Dick’s Sporting Goods. As the youngest female CEO in sports media, Dimakos is doing much more than chasing her dream of building innovative online communities for football fans. Between running daily business operations and proudly rooting for her teams online, she is determined to help other women in sports media continue moving their goalposts forward toward success.

Emily Doskow Headshot

Emily Doskow

Win or lose, Emily Doskow is that rare agency person whose first question after an intense pitch is: “What’s next?” She has had a lot of what’s nexts in her career.

Charged with leading Leo Burnett's new-business, growth and reputation efforts, Doskow has architected teams and processes that have led to client wins ranging from Jim Beam and Walgreens to Champion and Dunkin'. In 2022, Doskow led the agency to a 90% win rate and helped earn Leo Burnett the title of second-most-winning agency in the world and placement on Ad Age’s coveted A-List.

Prior to her current role at Leo Burnett, Doskow held business leadership and growth positions at BBDO, VSA Partners and JWT, and began her career at Swanson Russell in Lincoln. Whether she’s pitching a new client or helping build and market new capabilities, Doskow brings to her work a growth mentality, the right amount of competitiveness and a whole lot of humanity. She also dedicates her time to female mentorship; is engaged in the broader business community through organizations such as Chief, World 50 and She Runs It; and sits on the board of the Chicago Advertising Federation.

Ericka Galbraith Headshot

Ericka Galbraith

Ericka (Hascall) Galbraith is a coordinating producer overseeing production for a number of ESPN properties including men’s and women’s lacrosse and volleyball. She has been integral in the growth of ESPN’s lacrosse coverage including two professional leagues - PLL, NLL, World Lacrosse, NCAA, High School and Youth Lacrosse. Volleyball coverage saw immediate year over year growth in 2022 as she brought in new faces and adopted fresh ideas to ESPN’s coverage. Galbraith spearheaded the first ever dedicated volleyball whip-around show, The Fifth Set, with coverage from every match site during the NCAA Tournament.

Galbraith previously served as the liaison between production, marketing and sales departments for in-show sponsorships on many of the company’s marquee properties. Her 23-year career at ESPN began as a production assistant before being elevated to associate producer. In these roles she worked across multiple sports producing in-game graphics, replays, and features.

A Valley, Nebraska native, Galbraith graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelor of Journalism, majoring in broadcasting in 2000. She remains actively involved with her alma mater and is also a Women in Cable & Telecommunications (WICT) Rising Leaders Program Fellow.

Angel Jennings Headshot

Angel Jennings, Chair

As assistant managing editor for culture and talent, Angel Jennings oversees the Los Angeles Times Metpro and internship programs as well as works closely with HR and department heads to help manage a broad range of responsibilities, including tracking, recruiting, interviewing and selecting diverse candidates for job opportunities and advancing the company’s efforts to promote diversity, equity, inclusion and access. She also works across the newsroom on retention, training and career development efforts. Jennings previously worked as a reporter in Metro. She got her start in the Metpro program in 2011 and has since worked on assignments with many departments in the newsroom, including Metro, National, Calendar, Business and podcasts.

Jenna Johnson Headshot

Jenna Johnson

Jenna Johnson is the deputy democracy editor at The Washington Post. Johnson manages reporters in Washington and around the country who chronicle the impact of voting laws, political pressure on election administrators and attempts to undermine the public will. She previously worked as a national politics reporter, covering the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, the White House and political movements. Johnson started at the Post in 2007 as a summer intern and has since written about crime, county government, local elections, higher education and the Maryland statehouse. She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2007.

Brittany Jones-Cooper Headshot

Brittany Jones-Cooper

Brittany Jones-Cooper is a journalist and producer with experience in television, digital media and podcasting. As the host of Unmuted on Yahoo Lifestyle, Jones-Cooper gives a platform to voices from underrepresented communities. Formerly a host at BUILD Series, she has interviewed some of the biggest names in entertainment, news, activism and literature. She traveled the world as an editor for Yahoo Travel and helped readers manage their money as a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Before Yahoo, Jones-Cooper was a producer at CBS and ABC.

Ben Lupo Headshot

Ben Lupo

Ben “DrLupo” Lupo is a YouTube streamer with almost 2 million subscribers (about the population of Nebraska) on the platform. He used to stream on Twitch but switched to YouTube in Aug. 2021 after signing a deal with Google.

Before full-time streaming, Lupo worked as a systems engineer for an Omaha-based insurance firm where he wrote code in the basement of a 13-floor building for hours each day. In 2013, he started streaming Diablo III on Twitch so he could keep an eye on his character’s progress from inside the office; this decision ultimately led Lupo to a full-time streaming career. He started streaming Destiny in his free time and quickly became one of the most feared PvP players in the game due to his skills. Lupo went on to secure a partnership with Twitch in 2016 after streaming games like Overwatch and PUGN and in 2017 he went full-time in streaming—the same year Fortnite was released, which became Lupo’s main game to stream. His popularity continued to climb, playing Fortnite with other major battle royale streamers Tyler “Ninja” Blevins and Timothy “TimTheTatman” Betar. Lupo uses his platform to raise money for charities like St. Jude’s Research Hospital. In 2020, he raised $2.3 million and in 2021, he raised $10 million.

Tia Newcomer Headshot

Tia Newcomer

Tia Newcomer is an experienced board member and health technology leader known for building cultures that create enterprise value through customer experience excellence and purpose driven brands supported by scalable technology platforms.

She joined CaringBridge as the CEO in 2021, ensuring all operations contribute toward the CaringBridge vision – a world where no one goes through a health journey alone.

Prior to joining CaringBridge, Newcomer was the Chief Commercial Officer at Generate Life Sciences and has spent the last 20 years in executive roles with a foundation in blue chip technology and consumer packaged goods companies. She has led commercial value creation, creating successful go to market strategies in Global Fortune 100, Private Equity and VC backed companies primarily in the health tech industry.

Newcomer is an independent board member for Inherent BioSciences, a biotechnology company pioneering epigenetic medicine for complex diseases. She also serves Workgroup Chair for the American Cancer Society National Breast Cancer Roundtable Support Services and Wellness Priority Workgroup.

Once a Husker, always a Husker. Newcomer holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Nebraska.

Ronald Ng Headshot

Ronald Ng

Ronald Ng leads the MRM creative charge of helping businesses build meaningful relationships with people. A firm believer of creativity being a collaborative 'team sport', he partners with MRM’s leaders and client partners to connect the dots between strategy, technology, data, commerce and creativity.

Across leadership roles, Ng has a unique record of transforming networks into world-class creative brands. As Chief Creative Officer of BBDO/Proximity Malaysia and Singapore, both offices made it into the Global Won and WARC (previously Gunn) Reports’ World’s Top 15 agencies lists three times and produced work that ranked No.1 globally twice. As Digitas Global CCO, he led the network to winning Grand Prix in the WARC Marketing Effectiveness Awards, two Cannes Lions Grands Prix and a ranking of No.1 Digital Agency in the World in the WARC 100 report. Ng's work has also been inducted into the Clio Awards Hall of Fame and included in the permanent archives of the Museum of Modern Art.

Ng has served as Jury President at Cannes Lions, Clios, D&AD, Adfest, AICP and London International Awards. He is a forever Malaysian but currently lives in New Jersey with his wife, Carmen, and his toughest clients ever, Jonah and Noah Ng.

Juan Perez Jr. Headshot

Juan Perez Jr.

Juan Perez Jr. serves as a reporter for POLITICO in Washington, D.C. He started his journalism career as a writer for the Daily Nebraskan, Des Moines Register and Omaha World-Herald – and later covered urban affairs, education and politics for the Chicago Tribune.

Josh Planos Headshot

Josh Planos

Josh Planos, APR is an award-winning public speaker, scam prevention leader and an internationally recognized sportswriter for publications including New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post. Planos is a frequent contributor to CNN Philippines, where he contributes sports analysis. Planos serves as the VP of Communications & Public Relations for the Better Business Bureau and as the spokesperson of the International Association of Better Business Bureau's International Investigations Initiative. He was recognized among Midlands Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Class in 2022 and has spoken at businesses, conferences and schools around the country on a variety of topics.

Courtney Rodgers Headshot

Courtney Rodgers

Courtney Rodgers graduated from CoJMC with a degree in advertising. She started her career working in an agency as a project manager and digital strategist. She left the agency world to found a tech startup that built marketing-automation software for small retailers. After her company was acquired, she moved on to Hudl, where she currently serves as the SVP Business Operations.

Tony Sattler Headshot

Tony Sattler

Tony serves as Executive VP, Director of Experience & Insight at Swanson Russell, leading a team dedicated to leveraging data and insights to craft amazing brand experiences. With over 20 years in digital marketing, advertising, and branding, he has been instrumental in accelerating business growth and building trust in clients' brands.

Since joining Swanson Russell in 2006, Sattler has played a key role in establishing the core digital services offered by the company. He oversees the management and professional development of the digital strategy, project management, trends, data and analytics teams. Specializing in digital and experience strategy development, Sattler has worked with various industry verticals, creating exceptional experiences for brands such as the University of Nebraska, University of Southern California, Arctic Cat, Badlands, JLG, Pepsi, Leupold, SiteOne, Purina, Merck Animal Health and the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). His leadership and expertise continue to contribute to the success and innovation of Swanson Russell and its key clients.

Dionne Searcey Headshot

Dionne Searcey, Secretary

Dionne Searcey has worked as a reporter for The New York Times since 2014. In 2020, she won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting as part of a team that documented Russia's shadow wars across the world. She is author of the book, "In Pursuit of Disobedient Women" and formerly worked as the West and Central Africa bureau chief for The Times. Searcey spent nine years at The Wall Street Journal and prior to that worked at Newsday, The Seattle Times, The Chicago Tribune and the City News Bureau of Chicago. She was raised in Wymore, Nebraska, and is a 1993 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with majors in journalism and French.

Collette Stallbaumer Headshot

Colette Stallbaumer

Colette Stallbaumer is the general manager of Microsoft 365 & Future of Work at Microsoft. Before Microsoft, Stallbaumer spent seven years leading employee communications and investor relations for Satya Nadella in the Office of the CEO. She's interested in the ways human behavior, culture and technology intersect and encourages Microsoft users to use the tools that enable people to make a positive impact every single day. Off-the-clock, Stallbaumer enjoys reading, writing and trampolining with her two kids. She’s also working on writing a children’s book. Stallbaumer grew up on a large farm in Nebraska and as the oldest of six children, her first jobs were looking after her siblings and herding cattle. "It was good preparation for corporate life.”