Kevin Jakubowski ’01 CLAS
Film and television producer
Kevin Jakubowski is a film and television writer and producer. His credits include the Sundance Film Festival selection Assassination of a High School President and the Comedy Central series Brickleberry. He created the Nickelodeon series Legendary Dudas, the Verizon go90 series Play By Play and is currently adapting his novel 8-Bit Christmas for HBO Max.
"The first screenwriting course I ever took was Dr. O'Leary's class at Villanova. It met at night in a windowless room in the basement of Falvey Library. We sat on the floor for some reason. It was dark and uncomfortable—and, looking back, perhaps the perfect training for a screenwriter. I learned a lot in that class. But I think what prepared me the most for the entertainment industry was my senior project with Dr. Rose. It was a study of humor in advertising. It helped me understand that comedy must be concise to be effective. It's a lesson I use every day."
Kristina Ruiz-Mesa ’05 CLAS
Associate Professor & Basic Course Director, Department of Communication Studies, California State University Los Angeles
Dr. Ruiz-Mesa directs one of the largest oral communication programs in the nation with more than 130 sections and serving up to 4,000 students annually. She supervises a teaching team of 25 instructors and teaches a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses including Instructional Communication, Qualitative and Rhetorical Research Methods, Humanities Approaches to Race, Sex Roles in Communication, Feminism and Communication, Communication Capstone, and Oral Communication. Her recently published textbook, Inclusive Public Speaking: Communicating in a Diverse World, utilizes the critical and social justice frameworks she first learned at Villanova to teach contemporary approaches to message design, research, and delivery.
“Being a Communication major at Villanova helped me to develop an understanding of the power of communication to change the world. Studying in a department with faculty committed to social justice provided me with the communication tools to critically reflect, analyze, and design messages to create more inclusive and just organizations. As a Communication professor in Los Angeles, I carry with me and pay forward the amazing teaching practices, mentoring, and support I received and learned from the faculty in the Department of Communication at Villanova University.”
Janeale Gottlieb-George ’11 CLAS
Director of Upward Bound at George Washington University's School of Medicine & Health Sciences.
Upward Bound is a federally funded college-prep program serving populations of low-income and first-generation college students in Washington, D.C. We provide year-round academic and socio-emotional support. Gottlieb-George sits on the board of Washington's Consolidation of Education Services (DCCES) and is currently a candidate for a master’s in interdisciplinary business studies from George Washington University's School of Business.
“I remain grateful for my years as a student in Villanova's Department of Communication. I received unwavering support from faculty that extended far beyond the classroom. Our professors encouraged thinking about the world through a prism of possibilities and evoking positive change. This laid the foundation for my career in education equity, policy and student advocacy. Though I ultimately decided to specialize in Public Relations, my learning within the department was varied and diverse in required coursework, but also in off-campus spaces. I secured unique internship positions in the Communication Department at Main Line Health, the investigative journalism unit of NBC 10 Philadelphia and in the marketing department at The Arden Theatre in Old City. I even spent a summer in Greece studying rhetoric and performance studies with a group of peers and Communication faculty.”
“After graduating from Villanova, I began working as a social media manager and college admissions recruiter at St. John's University in New York City. Enrollment management became the perfect real-world space for me to apply theoretical frameworks in public relations and marketing that I had studied as a Communication major. Engaging with families and working closely with incoming freshmen was an immediately rewarding experience and led me to pursue a graduate degree in Higher Education Administration from Northeastern University. I developed a passion for working with underrepresented student groups and invested personal time in nonprofit organizations focused on providing career and college readiness services. In 2014, I returned to Villanova and spent four years as an Assistant Director in the Office of Undergraduate Admission. I was grateful to have the opportunity to help welcome thousands of new students to a campus so near to my heart.”
Emily Hughes ’11 CLAS ’12 MA
Head of Marketing at Mobilize
Mobilize is the events management and volunteer recruitment platform for progressive political campaigns (including Biden/Harris), advocacy groups (Human Rights Campaign, Planned Parenthood, etc.), nonprofits (When We All Vote, No Vet Alone, etc.), and unions (NEA, SEIU, etc.). As Head of Marketing, Hughes oversees client acquisition and retention through email marketing, social media, content creation, SEO, branding and design, advertising, events, press, and more.
“The Communication Department served as the crux of my Villanova experience. Among the many valuable skills my professors and advisors taught me—strong writing, qualitative and quantitative research practices, public speaking, etc.—the most beneficial has been the ability to think critically about the world and communicate those thoughts clearly and powerfully. My career in marketing and public relations has spanned across industries: lifestyle media, ecommerce, entrepreneurship, and social impact technology. In every stage, I’ve referred back to my rigorous education with the Communication Department, the relationships I built there, and the examples of leadership from my professors.”
Katarina Mayers ’11 CLAS
Director of Strategic Planning & Executive Affairs, New York Mayor’s Office in charge of 2020 Census
“The beauty of the Communication major is all the ways in which it can positively impact every part of your life. While I started my training in broadcast journalism, my love of strategic communication led me to a White House internship and ultimately to become a political appointee in the Obama Administration, serving as a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Commerce, a federal agency of over 40,000 employees. With my Communication major, I was able to take all the hard and soft skills I attained and apply them to my work, from qualitative research to active listening. Perhaps one of the best attributes of this major are the professors who not only became mentors but great cheerleaders even after I left campus. I want to use the power of communication to serve and help those who usually don't have a voice, and it's my solid communication training that is the backbone of everything that I do.”
Rosalina Jowers ’15 CLAS
Social Impact Communications Manager, Participant
Jowers is the point person for the creation and execution for communications efforts around the impact campaigns developed alongside the content produced. This involves serving as both the partner and media contact for social impact campaigns, growing the impact press relationships and developing communication strategies around key impact screenings, events and activations.
“The Communication program at Villanova provided me the opportunity to pursue both public relations as a core skill set while continuing to develop my interest in communication theory and research. Through the program, I was able to strengthen my writing and media relations skills, which helped me secure various internships and the opportunity to pursue a graduate education in Public Relations and International Relations.”
Casey Berner ’16 CLAS
Project Coordinator, Wilma Theater; and PhD student in Theatre and Performance, CUNY Graduate Center.
Responsibilities straddle fundraising and marketing for an arts nonprofit, including news release writing, photo editing, social media communication, and both public and interpersonal communication in project management.
“I’ve been so grateful for the strong foundation that my Communication degree and coursework laid. Communication has remained fundamental to my scholarship. Rhetoric taught me the lasting societal power and role of language and text, and I continue to draw on rhetorical scholarship and methodologies in my own research on commercial musical theatre. My time as a Communication major gave me the interest, drive and confidence to pursue a PhD, and I’m grateful for the opportunities my time at Villanova afforded me.”
Adam Vincent ’16 CLAS
Program Officer, Institute of International Education’s Scholar Rescue Fund
The Scholar Rescue Fund is a competitive fellowship program that enables scholars whose lives and careers are in danger to undertake visiting appointments at host institutions around the world. Vincent works with candidates to vet and develop their applications for presentation to the Selection Committee and then, for awarded scholars, helps organize university appointments and administer the fellowship.
Prior to this position, Vincent worked as a consultant writer/editor for the UN’s International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)—where he interned through the Communication Department’s WFI Rome program—and as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Brazil.
"In the Communication Department I found the two programs that most shaped my understanding of the world. Through Intergroup Relations (IGR) classes, I developed a new awareness of my own identity and honed my ability to support critical self-reflection and dialogue across difference. My courses in Rhetorical Studies provided me with a framework for thinking through the central role that meaning and making plays in our lives. In each of my professional positions I’ve relied on the intercultural communication skills and critical eye that I developed through my Communication classes."