Communication Alumni Council Profiles

Read about and connect with our undergraduate alumni through our student-alumni UCSB Department of Communication group on LinkedIn. You will discover the wide variety of careers chosen by our alumni. For some undergraduate alumni profiles, see the programs and lists of participants for past Communication Career Days

Alumni Council Profiles

Tina Benevento McGinnis, Class of 2007

Tina is an Academic Training Solutions Advisor for, a Santa Barbara based company that is a recognized leader in software training. Tina works with Colleges and Universities in the Midwest, Canada, and Australia to see how the Online Training Library can assist with their challenges of digital literacy. In this sales role, she maintains relationships with current and new clients, attends Trade Shows, creates marketing campaigns, and works to find new accounts that will translate into ongoing business for Previously Tina worked as an Account Executive at Paychex and in the Corporate Sales Department of Citrix Online. 

Denny Directo, Class of 2010

Denny is currently a Supervising Producer/Host for, the digital leg of Entertainment Tonight and CBS Television Distribution. This includes producing original content for the web such as major red carpet events, hosted celebrity interviews, feature packages and brand integrations. While most kids were reading comic books at 10-years-old, Denny was flipping the pages of an Entertainment Weekly. He eventually focused that absurd passion for entertainment and media toward a B.A. in Communication and Film & Media Studies at UCSB. During his time as a gaucho, he was an active member of AS Program Board, IV Tenants Union and served as the social media intern for the UCSB Alumni Association.

Francesco (Fran) D. Mancia, Class of 1980

Fran is the Director of Government Relations for Muniservices, LLC. and is responsible for overseeing company legislative, regulatory, and government relations activity throughout the country. With a focus on fiscal impacts to local districts, Fran monitors, analyzes and leads company lobbying efforts related to legislation, state mandates, and regulatory changes and policies that affect client revenue streams and special district tax allocation. Over the past 12 years, Fran has spent a significant portion of his time interacting with mayors and council members, members of the State Board of Equalization, county assessors and tax collectors, state legislators, and state agency directors. He recently completed a two-year term as President of the League of California Cities’ Partner Program. Fran earned a B.A. in Communication from the UCSB and an M.B.A. from the University of San Francisco.  

Laura C. McHugh, Class of 1989 - Friend of the Council

Laura is a founding partner of the law firm Rediger, McHugh & Hubbert, LLP in Sacramento. The firm represents employers in labor and employment law matters. She also counsels with employers on employment practices and policies and other workplace issues. She is a graduate of Santa Clara University School of Law, where she was an editor for the Law Review and she is a member of the Labor and Employment Law and Litigation Sections of the American Bar Association and the California State and Sacramento County Bar Associations. Previously, she worked in corporate human resources for a large bank and graduated magna cum laude from UCSB. 

Leslie Solomon Klonoff, Class of 1980

Leslie graduated from UCSB with a BA in Communications Studies. While at UCSB, she worked at Ortega Dining Commons, was an active member of Alpha Phi Sorority, and was on yearbook staff as Greek Section Editor. She was a founding member of Cameron-Brooks, Inc., the nation’s leading placement firm that specializes in recruiting junior military officers as they transition to the corporate workforce. Much of Leslie’s life has been devoted to giving back to her community. She has created and executed admission campaigns for children’s private schools in addition to running the major fundraisers at her synagogue and her children’s schools. As a lifelong believer in the importance of education, Leslie volunteers on a regular basis as a reading tutor for at risk kids. Leslie is an active volunteer with the UCSB Alumni Association and currently chairs the GreekFest at All Gaucho Reunion Committee, charged with the responsibility of reconnecting UCSB fraternity and sorority alumni with the university. She and her husband Jeff are members of the UCSB Alumni Founders Circle and are active participants in events for UCSB alumni and supporters. Leslie’s two children, Joel and Jennifer Klonoff, currently attend UCSB. She looks forward to the day when her grandchildren attend UCSB!

Robert McCann, Class of 2003

Robert M. (Bob) McCann, PhD. at UCSB, is the Associate Dean for Global Initiatives at the Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles and the Chair for the UCLA Thailand Executive Committee.  Bob teaches courses in Global Leadership, Persuasion & Leadership, Doing Business in Thailand, and Doing Business in Southeast Asia in MBA and Executive Education programs.  In addition to these UCLA roles , Dr. McCann is the President of the McCann Group, Incorporated, a consulting firm that specializes in the training of executives and professionals in strategic communication, leadership, and workplace age diversity.   Dr. McCann is the author of Ageism at work: The role of communication in a changing workplace, published in Spanish, Catalan, and English.

Justine Miller, Class of 2009

Justine graduated with a B.A. in Communication and in Slavic Languages and Literature and a minor in French. She has always been an avid traveler and after graduation, moved to Thailand and taught English to fourth graders. She then traveled throughout Asia and Europe for the rest of the year before returning to California, packing up, and moving across the country to New York City. She also has a background in event planning, working for clients such as Versace, Goldman Sachs and Verizon. More recently, she was a writer and photographer for a website about New York City. She was also a Production Coordinator for TV commercials, with clients including Jaguar, Intel, Nickelodeon and Beyonce. She is currently a strategy and social media consultant for a Greenwich Village-based company.  She also is a freelance journalist/writer and will be attending Columbia University in the fall to earn a master’s degree in journalism.  She has traveled to over 60 countries and has lived in Moscow, Paris and Bangkok. Justine is passionate about traveling and encouraging other people to get out and experience the world.

Vicki Prentice Rubin, Class of 1980

Vicki, a MA, MATS, TLC, and Global Ph.D. (Year 4 at, is a nationally recognized artist representative, creativity coach, and visual arts consultant. She is President of Vicki Prentice Associates Inc. in New York City, with her office in the International Building overlooking Rockefeller Center. Her clients include Top 50 advertising agencies, book publishers, graphic design firms, magazines, and Fortune 500 companies. She is one of the first 3 graduate students in the UCSB Department of Communication, receiving her first Master's Degree in 1980 and Bachelor of Arts in 1977. Her advisor was Dr. John Wiemann, who became Vice Chancellor at UCSB. Her current doctoral work is in transpersonal psychology and spirituality, with a specialization in creative expression and being with art in the unique context of museums worldwide.

Mary Shirley, Class of 2007

Mary has 8 years of marketing and sales experience in the tech sector. She currently works at AdRoll, where she is a Sr. Product Marketing Manager, focusing on company positioning, product launches, and global strategy. Prior to this, Mary worked at Google for 7 years as a salesperson and marketer. Mary is also one of the co-founders of Phynder, a new social app for buying and selling locally. She attended UCSB, and is a founding member of the Communication Dept. Alumni Council, an organization which helps graduating students prep for job opportunities. She loves traveling, running, and most recently, skiing. She lives in San Francisco with her fiancé, Patrick.

Ken Sterling, Class of 2012

Ken graduated from UCSB with a B.A. in Communication and a minor in Applied Psychology. He is Executive Vice President at Valiant Group, managing a real estate portfolio in excess of $300 million. Ken is also a partner at BigSpeak, the leading business speakers’ bureau, serving Fortune 1000 companies. Ken's background includes co-founding a technology company (cloud computing), co-founding BigSpeak and co-founding an international manufacturing company. Ken earned his MBA from Babson College and is currently pursuing his PhD in Education at UCSB with an emphasis in technology and organizational leadership. Ken has participated in several research projects in the areas of technology, psychology, communication, leadership, mentorship and online education. Ken is passionately involved in instruction, mentoring and enriching student experiences at UCSB.

Rebecca Law Stone, Class of 2002

Rebecca is a marketing professional with 15 years of experience in marketing communications, brand identity, and social media. She is currently the Sr. Director of Marketing for LiveRamp, an advertising technology company based in San Francisco, where she is responsible for digital marketing, demand gen and marketing operations. Outside of the office, she enjoys spending time with her 2-year-old daughter and husband. She currently resides in Mill Valley, CA.

Heather Wilburn, Class of 1998

Heather is a Global Solutions Lead for Channel Sales at Google. She joined Google in 2002 as one of the founding members of the AdWords online advertising program, developing advanced online strategies for small to medium-sized businesses. During her tenure at Google, she has sold Google TV Ads to the Travel and Retail verticals, managed SMB relationships for Google Offers in the Denver and Phoenix markets, and most recently was a Strategic Partner Manager managing relationships with top tier agency partners helping them take full advantage of Google’s ever-growing suite of products. As Global Solutions Lead she provides business critical insights using analytics, ensures cross functional alignment of goals and execution, and helps the global Channel Sales team drive strategic partnerships and new initiatives forward. Areas of expertise include AdWords Express and Google My Business.