John S. Kiralla

Vice President of Marketing and Communications

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John S. Kiralla has 20 years experience in marketing, digital strategy, communications and strategic planning, primarily focused in higher education. He was appointed the university’s first vice president for Marketing and Communications on September 1, 2016. Reporting to the president, Kiralla is the university’s chief marketing and communications officer, as well as the university spokesperson. Kiralla is responsible for the university’s communications, marketing, branding, and public relations strategies. He leads the MarComm team, responsible for elevating the university’s reputation, advancing the university’s visibility efforts, and positioning its brand for global impact, including: communications, marketing, media, and public relations, crisis communications, internal communications, web and digital solutions, and creative and design. Kiralla and the MarComm team have been honored for their work on, LMU Magazine, and other productions by the Webbys, CASE, Graphis, W3, AMA, SPD, UCDA, and other international awarding bodies.

Prior to this post, Kiralla served as LMU’s executive director for marketing and communications and led several major initiatives: the comprehensive redesign of, the LMYOU internal communications campaign, The University of Silicon Beach™ marketing campaign, and the public dimensions of hosting world leaders on LMU’s campus. Kiralla also led the university’s centennial communications and marketing efforts from 2010-2012, the most significant promotional campaign in the university’s history. Prior to that, he held marketing and communications positions at Collegis Eduprise, Sungard Higher Education, and Apple. At Sungard, Kiralla served as a regional director, overseeing the operational aspects and strategic planning for communications and web teams at 22 client universities and colleges. Kiralla is active in various professional organizations and speaks on topics related to brand development, change management, leadership and perception management, and technology policy.

Contact John’s Assistant, Dawn Yoshinaga (310.338.3063 or


Melissa Abraham

Director, Marketing and Communications, Loyola Law School

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With more than 20 years of public relations experience, Melissa oversees strategic marketing and communications efforts for Loyola Law School, encompassing marketing, media, the web and social media outreach, among other responsibilities. She previously worked for the MIT Energy Initiative as Director of Communications. During her time at MIT, she launched a ground-breaking study on The Future of Solar Energy at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. For many years, she led media and communications efforts for The Getty Foundation and The Getty Conservation Institute, the philanthropic and academic science/conservation arms of the J. Paul Getty Trust, driving the development and implementation of strategic communications efforts, shaping, writing and pitching news, as well as developing communications and events for high-profile initiatives. She also has directed strategic public relations efforts for the top-ranked UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, managed media relations efforts across campus for Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and handled the media strategy for the launch of the $22.2 million Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Chicago’s Navy Pier. Melissa holds a B.S. in Journalism from Boston University and a Master’s Degree from Columbia College.


Kristin Agostoni

Assistant Director, Media Relations & Communications

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Kristin Agostoni joined LMU in 2015 after working for nearly two years with the K-12 Inglewood Unified School District, where she handled communications and media relations in the Office of the State Trustee. She wrote and edited stories about students, faculty and staff members in IUSD’s 18 schools for the website and a print newspaper. Prior to that, Agostoni worked as a staff writer at the Daily Breeze, a Los Angeles News Group publication in Torrance. She joined the Breeze newsroom in 2004 after earning her master’s degree in journalism with an emphasis on public affairs reporting from the University of Maryland, College Park. Agostoni was raised in Maryland. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in art history from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh..

Office: 310.338.2389
Cell: 424.789.2515

Nicklos Bristol

Marketing and Promotions Specialist

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Nicklos has been with LMU Athletics as a Marketing and Promotions Specialist since September 2017. In his current role he is responsible for planning, coordinating, and implementing all digital marketing and advertising efforts for the intercollegiate athletics department. He also oversees marketing and promotional efforts for men’s basketball, softball, men’s soccer, and women’s soccer, which includes ticket sales, in-game promotions, social media content, and special events.

Since graduating from the University of San Diego with a B.A. in Communication Studies and History, Nicklos has worked with UC Irvine Athletics and the Farmers Insurance Open. He is a native of Los Angeles and enjoys spending time with his girlfriend and parrotlet Lilo (follow her on Instagram at Little.Bird.Lilo), as well as playing golf and going to Disneyland.



Marissa Contreras

Associate Director, Digital Production

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Marissa Contreras came to LMU in 2006 with a background in journalism and literature, and experience in communications, branding, project management and teaching. Her clients include Admission, Financial Aid, Bellarmine College, and various offices under Academic Affairs. Off campus she is an avid flamenco aficionado and dancer (although she can often be caught stomping in the Marketing & Communications kitchen as well).



Brian Costello

Associate Director, Marketing and Communications, Loyola Law School

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Brian Costello handles media relations, communications and publicity for Loyola Law School. Prior to joining the LLS as deputy director of communications in June 2006, Costello worked as a reporter, editor and producer at an array of media outlets. He spent five years as a talk-show producer for Telepictures Productions, focusing on single-topic programs drawn from news headlines. He was an overnight assignment editor at WBBM-TV/CBS 2 Chicago, where he was responsible for prioritizing story coverage and directing news crews. Before that, he was a writer, producer and editor for a variety of news and magazine websites including, the online home of a media group that includes WPTV-TV/NBC 5 West Palm Beach. There, he wrote a weekly technology column that appeared in E.W. Scripps newspapers. Costello has a B.S. in journalism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was managing editor of The Daily Illini. Costello holds a J.D. from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, where he earned a certificate in the Criminal Justice Concentration. He is a member of the State Bar of California and a volunteer at the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law and Yes I Can: Unity Through Music.



Eileen De Alva-Gonzalez

Communications Manager

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Eileen De Alva-Gonzalez has been at LMU since 2007. Her current responsibilities include project-managing the university’s advertising and banner campaigns. In January 2015, De Alva-Gonzalez was one of 11 LMU community members selected to go to the first faculty/staff immersion trip to El Salvador. She was also a member of the 2015-16 cohort of Companions in Mission, and is currently an advisory board member for LMU’s Center for Ignatian Spirituality. Between work and a little sleep, De Alva-Gonzalez enjoys an active and (relatively) healthy lifestyle with her two daughters and husband.


Nicole Gebriel

Marketing Associate, Loyola Law School

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Nicole Gebriel coordinates social media communications, publicity and marketing for the Law School. Prior to joining the law school, she worked for start-ups in the Silicon Valley and Los Angeles in a variety of areas ranging from prototype development to market research. She holds a B.A. from Wellesley College in Media Arts and Sciences with a focus on front-end developing and graphic design.



Tyler Geivett

Assistant Athletic Director, External Relations

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Tyler Geivett began his career at LMU in 2007 following a year in the public relations department with the Oakland Athletics. He oversees the LMU Athletics Media Relations team and serves as the primary sport contact for the LMU baseball, volleyball, swimming, tennis and rowing programs. In addition to his duties as a media relations contact, the life-long baseball card collector also travels with the LMU baseball program and serves as the radio broadcaster for all road games. A native of West Sacramento, CA, he earned a master’s degree in education from LMU in 2012, and currently resides in Playa del Rey with his wife, Lesley Ann, and daughter, Peyton.



Jasmin Gomez

Administrative Coordinator, Marketing and Brand Management

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Jasmin Gómez, ’16, was an intern and university tour guide in the Office of Undergraduate Admission before entering Enrollment Management in June 2016, full-time as Administrative Coordinator, Marketing and Brand Management. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing, as well as a Studio Arts minor with an emphasis in Graphic Design. Jasmin serves as Enrollment Management’s primary in house Graphic Designer.



Michael Harris

Associate Athletic Director, Community Engagement

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Michael has been with LMU Athletics since June 2017 as the Associate Athletics Director, Community Engagement. He is responsible for directing, planning, coordinating and implementing all external relations aspects of the intercollegiate athletics department which includes marketing/promotions, digital media, licensing, tickets, corporate relations, camps, fundraising, and special events. Michael has worked at the University of Alabama, Radford, Tennessee, Tiger Woods Foundation and received his M.A. in Sports Management from Cal State Long Beach. Michael is a native of Salt Lake City where he graduated from the University of Utah with a B.S. in Parks, Recreation and Tourism. Michael enjoys spending time with his fiance, his dog Cooper, going on hikes and distance running.



Katie Jones

Brand Manager

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Katie Jones joined LMU’s MarComm team as the university’s inaugural brand manager in July 2017. She comes to MarComm from LMU’s Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts, where she served as their first communications manager. In her two years at BCLA, Katie developed and implemented the college’s voice and messaging strategy across web, email, print, social, and advertising platforms. She also drove BCLA’s marketing efforts for major events and initiatives, managed the college’s website redesign to a successful launch, and built consensus and strong relationships with faculty and staff. Her reputation as a professional and collaborator earned her BCLA’s Outstanding Staff Award. Prior to LMU, Katie cut her teeth in mission-driven marketing communications for a homeless services agency, an order of Catholic sisters, and a public radio show. She earned a B.A. in religious studies from Pomona College and is completing a master’s degree in human-computer interaction and design at UC Irvine. In her free time, Katie explores L.A.’s hiking trails, cheap eats, and concert venues. She also volunteers as the chaplain for the Ignatians Service Organization at LMU.

Tiffany Jonick

Communications Manager, Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering

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Tiffany Jonick joined LMU in 2014, bringing more than a decade of private sector communications experience to the university. She is responsible for the Frank R. Seaver College of Science and Engineering’s strategic communications, crafting the stories of Seaver College, as well as managing email marketing, collateral development, the college’s website and social media channels. Prior to LMU, Tiffany managed the public outreach component for USEPA’s largest underwater-contaminated sediment superfund site. Under her management, the project won a PRSA Silver Anvil Award along with two national awards for environmental justice and community involvement.



Matthew Lerman

Assistant Sports Media Relations Manager

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Matthew Lerman joined the university in 2016 as Assistant Sports Media Relations Manager. His education and experiences have allowed him to follow his passion and work as a communications professional in the sports industry and return to Southern California where he was born and raised. In addition to degrees in both Journalism (University of Oregon) and Sports Management (Missouri State University), Lerman has experience working seasons at the professional level, NCAA Division I and Division II levels, and in the sports department of a Los Angeles news station.

Lerman works with the men’s basketball, women’s soccer, men’s and women’s water polo, and men’s golf teams, handling public relations, communications, and media relation efforts for those teams. He is known around campus for his inability to pick between sandwiches or tacos and deciding to go with both, being a “not as bad as I expected” pick when jumping into a game of ball, and his interest in getting the perfect Instagram pictures, no matter what.



John Kissell


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Writer/editor John Kissell joined LMU in 2009 after 25 years on the news desks of the L.A. Times and The Daily Breeze. He puts his experience as a writer, copy editor, news editor and production editor to work on a variety of tasks as part of the marketing and communications team, shaping the university message to be as sharp, vibrant and accurate as possible. Kissell has been the fulcrum for the annual Fact Card, the official statistical look at LMU, and has spearheaded the university’s annual presence at the L.A. Times Festival of Books and the Leimert Park Village Book Fair. He also teaches news writing and editing for the Journalism Program in LMU’s Department of English.


Alexis Melnikov

Marketing and Promotions Specialist – Camps

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Alexis has been with the LMU Athletics Marketing and Ticketing department since October 2017. A Sacramento native, she committed to Fresno State on a Division 1 swimming scholarship and graduated with her BS in Business Administration with a Sports Marketing Emphasis. Alexis started her sports career with the San Francisco Giants and after a few seasons moved to the University of Alabama where she worked in their Athletics Marketing department. Her role at LMU is to oversee the marketing and promotions for Women’s Basketball, Baseball, and Volleyball, as well as being the Summer Camp Director and overseeing community outreach initiatives for the athletic department. Alexis’ favorite part of her job is creating a great experience for the student-athletes and fans who interact with LMU at games and in the community.



Alison Mullin

Academic Affairs Associate, Communications, Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts

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Alison Mullin, ’07, began her career at a boutique wine and hospitality firm in Culver City and has been working in public relations and communications ever since. Her love for writing and a passion for mission-driven work eventually led to a position with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles. There she orchestrated many aspects of communications, including website content management, external and internal facing newsletters, and public relations campaigns for organizational programs, as well as high profile fundraising events. A sucker for inspirational stories, Alison also worked for several years at a local communications agency crafting student perspective and success stories for a public education foundation and community college. Alison loves spending time enjoying the good things in life with friends and family, especially her husband (also an LMU alum) and young son.



Maureen Pacino

Senior Director Communications and Creative Services

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Maureen Pacino graduated from LMU in 1993 with an English degree and briefly left both her senses and this campus to try on the lives of glamorous trade magazine managing editor and high-rolling corporate communications executive. In 1997, she came back home to the bluff and started getting dangerous with Quark Xpress and other sundry Adobe products. Things really took off in 2003 when Pacino was integrally involved in the major institutional initiative to redesign LMU’s graphic identity and, to this day, she guides the program from a set of rules and standards that are often both uninteresting and incomprehensible to other human beings. The love of her professional life is unquestionably LMU Magazine. She is a striving digital immigrant with a respect for good design, special paper and inks, and extremely small type.


Christine Palau


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Christine Palau joined LMU in 2017 as the university’s inaugural executive speechwriter. For nearly two decades, Christine has been the chief speechwriter and director of communications for the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Los Angeles, where she developed messaging strategies to convey the position of the South Korean government to American audiences.  Christine earned her B.A. in world literature and cultural studies, with an emphasis on francophone literature and film theory. She is proficient in French, conversant in Korean and Spanish, and dabbles in Hungarian, Catalan, and Italian. Christine also plays the accordion, is learning flamenco, enjoys literature in translation, opera, and running with her chocolate lab, Watson.



Taylor Polk

Web and Design Media Manager

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Taylor Polk joined our team in February 2016. Prior to LMU, Taylor worked on major web projects for DIRECTV before moving to Excela Creative. There he led a team of designers, developers and content managers in producing more than 1,000 promotional websites that were featured on “The View,” “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America,” “Wendy Williams,” “EXTRA TV,” “E! News” and more. He worked with our team for four years as an undergraduate in the College of Communication and Fine Arts and earned his bachelor’s degree in studio arts.


Fred Puza

Graduate Communications and Recruitment Specialist

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Fred Puza has worked at LMU since 2005. He currently serves as Graduate Communications and Recruitment Specialist. Previously, he worked as a writer/editor and social media coordinator for the university. Fred is also a committee member of the California Forum for Diversity in Higher Education, which provides resources to first generation, low-income and students of color to pursue graduate education. In his free time, Fred enjoys spending time with his three godchildren, cycling, tennis, hot sauce and horror movies.



Rob Raichlen

Director of Internal Communications

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Bringing 25 years of communications experience, Rob Raichlen joined LMU in 2017 as the university’s inaugural director of internal communications. Rob leads the strategic internal communications efforts for the university, including all activities that support a culture of community awareness, transparency, and constituent engagement at every organizational level. He comes to LMU after spending the last four years in HR Communications for Mattel, where he developed a variety of strategic communications initiatives. Rob served as director of communications for the Los Angeles Clippers from 1999-2012, leading the organization’s internal/external communications areas, including public relations, media relations, publications, and web site content. He was in the midst of his 20th overall season with the team when he decided to leave professional sports for the world of toys in 2012. Higher education is in Rob’s blood, as his father was a professor of civil engineering at Caltech for more than 40 years while his brother is a professor of anthropology at the University of Arizona. Additionally, Rob’s wife works in marketing for the USC Alumni Association.

Rob, who earned his Bachelor of Science in business administration/marketing from USC, resides in Westchester with his wife Amy, their two sons Cody and Jake and their 100-pound dog Roscoe.



Sheila Rodriguez

Communications Manager, School of Education

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Sheila Rodriguez is the Communications Manager for the School of Education. Sheila oversees development, execution and monitoring of internal and external communications for SOE. This includes producing the internal weekly “SOE This Week” e-newsletter, external Edvision blog, the SOE Annual Impact Report, the SOE website and social media. Prior to LMU, Sheila worked as a Communications Officer at First 5 LA, a leading children’s advocacy organization for Los Angeles County, where she developed and supported communications and marketing activities for its signature investments aimed at improving outcomes for families with children prenatal to five years old. Sheila has also worked in the Los Angeles office of Finn Partners, a national public relations firm, and has also served as Communication Specialist for the Department of Education Hispanic-Serving Institution Title V Grant, leading campaigns to encourage student retention rates at Cal State University, Northridge. She graduated with honors from Cal State University, Northridge with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a minor in Chicano Studies.



Jon Rou

Assistant Director for Photo and Video

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Jon Rou has been at LMU since 2009. Prior to joining the LMU Marketing & Communications Department as the university photographer, he was the assistant director of photography at Emory University in Atlanta. Rou has photographed everyone from heads of state and high profile actors to athletes and musicians. He’s been recognized for his work with numerous awards including both Gold and Silver in the Graphis Design Annual, as well as Silver in the CASE Circle of Excellence Photographer of the Year.


Justine Saquilayan

Marketing & Communications Associate – Email Marketing

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Justine Saquilayan is a new addition to LMU, joining the Marketing and Communications team in 2017. She oversees all things email and works with the university’s divisions, schools, and departments on email marketing strategy, implementation, and analysis. A native of Phoenix, Arizona, she moved to Los Angeles to complete her graduate degree in Strategic Public Relations at USC and has since worked in various marketing and communications capacities across several industries. She received her undergraduate degree in music education from the University of Arizona, where she studied classical clarinet. In her free time, she enjoys cheering on her beloved Arizona Diamondbacks, riding her yellow beach cruiser along the coast (and at CicLAvia), and slowly eating her way through L.A.’s restaurants.



Mason Stockstill

Assistant Director, Media Relations & Communications

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Mason Stockstill has worked in public relations and news media for 20 years. Since joining LMU in 2009, he has overseen media and public relations for a variety of campus constituents, mainly the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts, the School of Film and Television, and the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles. He led communications outreach for the opening of the $50 million William H. Hannon Library and the $110 million Life Sciences Building. He also manages the university’s Newsroom and Experts Guide. As a journalist, Mason won national awards for his series of stories on immigration and the California prison system, and covered the Golden Globes, Grammys and Academy Awards. While working at SEIU, he marched with striking hospital workers, helped launch new organizing campaigns, and developed communications strategies at the union’s international convention in Puerto Rico. A native of Southern California, he lives in Westchester with his wife, son, and dog.
Office: 310.338.5133
Cell: 310.426.0878

Ben Sullivan

Director, Communication Services and Digital Solutions

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Ben Sullivan directs the university’s Communication Services and Digital Solutions team. CSDS oversees the channels LMU uses to tell its story, including Web, mobile, OOH, digital and print advertising. In his spare time Ben runs the science blogging network, is a Saturday crew member at the L.A. Catholic Worker soup kitchen, and co-pilots a dirigible with his wife Soomi.



Joseph Wakelee-Lynch

Editor, LMU Magazine

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Joseph Wakelee-Lynch began working at LMU in 2006 and is editor of both the print and online versions of LMU Magazine. He has worked on university magazines for almost 20 years at three higher education institutions. His freelance book reviews have appeared in the Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Jose Mercury News, and in Commonweal and Sojourners magazines. He has loved magazines ever since he appeared in Sports Illustrated at the age of 10.


Chad Wellinger

Senior Administrative Coordinator, Enrollment Management

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Chad Wellinger serves as Senior Administrative Coordinator in Enrollment Management. Since joining the Enrollment Management communications team in early 2014, he has helped advance prospective and current student engagement by lending his editorial talents as a writer and editor. Chad’s responsibilities include work on successful marketing campaigns for the division, including the Admission Blog, Student and Faculty Profile Gateways, Summer Programs and our social media presence. Wellinger earned his B.A. in Journalism and Creative Writing from Miami University (Oxford, OH), and recently received his MFA in Screenwriting from LMU. He began his career as a freelance journalist, snagging interviews with such notable figures as best-selling author Susan Orlean and famed criminal pathologist Robert Ressler, and went on to spend a brief time in the prestigious graduate fiction-writing program at Emerson College in Boston, MA. Most recently, he had a short story appear in the world-famous Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine..



Dawn Yoshinaga

Administrative Specialist

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Dawn Yoshinaga came to LMU in 2010 as an administrative specialist for the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts. She made her move across University Hall to join the Marketing & Communications team in 2014. In her free time, Yoshinaga enjoys gardening, baking, and spending time with her family.


Yoshikazu Ysa

Video Production Associate

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Yoshi Ysa joined LMU MarComm in April 2016. Originally from Peru, Yoshi attended Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri, as an NCAA scholar-athlete in tennis. Before coming to LMU, Yoshi was the freelance director of photography at Praetorian Digital in St. Louis and also worked as an editing lab tutor and camera operator for Lindenwood University TV. Yoshi has directed a short piece featuring St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny and was the Spanish supervisor for 2014’s “Sleep with Me,” directed by Sundance award-winning director Brian Jun. Yoshi’s films have appeared in festivals across the country including the St. Louis Film Festival Showcase. Yoshi graduated with double major in digital cinema arts and advertising/PR/corporate communications from Lindenwood University. In his spare time, Yoshi likes to coach tennis and dance; salsa and bachata are his favorites.



Joelle Zarcone

Senior Manager, Enrollment Management

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Joelle Zarcone, ’08, joined the staff in 2017 as Senior Manager of Enrollment Communications for the Enrollment Management division. She manages and develops marketing communications strategy for the department, encompassing all communication supporting student recruitment, retention, enrollment goals, orientation, commencement and career and professional development. Joelle leads communication efforts, including content development, digital outreach and engagement. Prior to LMU, Joelle earned a M.A. in journalism from New York University and has spent most of her career in communication strategy and community outreach, supporting the federal government and nonprofit organizations. Most recently, she led content development efforts as primary writer and editor for the Real Warriors Campaign, a U.S. Department of Defense multimedia outreach campaign.



Xiaoyan Zhang

Web Manager

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Xiaoyan Zhang joined LMU in the summer of 2015 as our web manager for systems and development. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, she lived in Philadelphia while completing her M.S. in computer science at St. Joseph’s University. Her main responsibilities at LMU include developing websites and maintaining the various systems that power, including the SiteManager CMS, Google Search appliance and more. Born in Shanghai, China, Xiaoyan previously worked at the Shanghai International Airport and for the technology company Insigma. In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching movies and playing badminton.