The Communication Alumni Council is made up of department graduates who are passionate about Communication and supporting the work of the department, its students, and alumni. Below are bios of current Alumni Council Members -- feel free to reach out to them on LinkedIn at any time.

To read about and connect with other Communication alumni, please visit our student-alumni UCSB Department of Communication group on LinkedIn, or check out the list of participants at past Communication Career Days events.

Please stay in contact! Send us or update your contact information so we may update our alumni directory and include you in future newsletters. Just click on this link:  Or, contact Leslie Klonoff, Chair of the Alumni Council's Engagement Team, at

David Bellinger, Class of 1994

David brings with him over 27 years of sales, marketing, and business management experience across a broad range of industries including retail, manufacturing, and financial services. With over 17 years in the financial services industry, he has witnessed first-hand how severe economic cycles and fiscal policies affect the financial decisions of individuals. David works as Private Mortgage Banker at Wells Fargo and provides residential financing and mortgage strategy for his clients across the country. David graduated from UCSB with his BA in Communication and earned an MBA from Chapman University. While at UCSB, David was an active member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity and served as the Inter-Fraternity Council Recruitment Chair. LinkedIn:

Carol Pfiffner Bridgeman, Class of 1979

Bridgeman Carol

Carol received her BA in communication from UCSB. As a community organizer with a passion for team-building and mentorship, she has spent more than 30 years working in education, HR/administration, and project-and-event management. She spent over a decade as the Director of Children’s Ministries at a church in Southern California, and currently works for the regional office of the PCUSA in Orange County. In addition to her professional pursuits, she has been deeply involved in several local non-profits and theater companies. While at UCSB, she was an active member of Delta Gamma. LinkedIn:

Shamara Carney, Class of 2018

Shamara Carney is currently the Head of Brand at Altro. She has experience in Marketing and Public Relations for multicultural audiences, previously representing companies like Nike and Blue Cross Blue Shield California. Shamara’s experience in entertainment publicity adds a unique voice to the fintech space. Shamara received her Masters in Strategic Public Relations from the University of Southern California after receiving her Bachelors in Communication at UCSB. Shamara strongly believes that without the support and motivation she received at UCSB, she would not be where she is today and she wants to do her part in providing the same experience for other UCSB students and alumni. LinkedIn:

Nikki Calderon, Class of 2016

Nikki is currently a publicist at Amazon Studios, working across multiple Prime Video titles on a local and global scale. Before joining the Amazon Prime Video team, she worked her way up from an intern to studio publicist at Warner Bros. Television. During undergrad, Nikki served two terms as an on-campus senator in the Associated Student Senate and was the first woman of color to serve as the Residence Hall Association President. Nikki graduated from UCSB with a double major in Communication and Political Science in 2016. She currently lives in Los Angeles, where you can find her reading comic books or baking pastries in her free time. Linkedin:

Dylan Casey, Class of 1995

Dylan is the Chief Product Officer at REEF Technology and leads the Product, Engineering and Design teams to focus on Product Development for REEF's proximity platform. Prior to joining Reef, Dylan has held Product Management executive roles at Goldman Sachs, Fair, Yahoo, Path and Google. Dylan is also a retired professional cyclist, who rode for The US Postal Service Cycling Team alongside Lance Armstrong. He is an Olympian from the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and is a 4 time national champion. While attending the University of California at Santa Barbara he earned a degree in Communication. He recently moved from Menlo Park, CA and now lives in Ridgewood, NJ and is married to Jessica Grieco-Casey with two children. LinkedIn:

Nick Duggan, Class of 2000

Nick has been developing people and organizations for more than 20 years, and is passionate about making work more meaningful for all. Nick currently serves as Senior Director, Inclusion & Development, at Santa Barbara-based software company AppFolio, leading the organization’s diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI), learning & development, and talent management functions. He also offers leadership development resources and coaching through his Deeper Work business, which he founded in 2017. Nick previously led global employee and executive communications for Citrix GetGo (now LogMeIn), makers of GoToMeeting software. Prior to this, he founded QuestSpace Coaching, where he innovated a soul-centered coaching model to help clients find solutions to their life and business challenges. He began his career in the healthcare industry with event planning and corporate training roles at companies including DaVita, the American Heart Association, Prometheus Laboratories, and The Zitter Group (now Zitter Insights). In addition to his communication degree from UCSB, Nick also holds a master's in organizational psychology from William James College, with a thesis on “Engaging the Soul within Organizations: Practical Implications of Workplace Spirituality Research.” LinkedIn:

Desiree Flores, Class of 2013

Desiree is the Director of Employee Social Impact of the UTA Foundation, UTA's philanthropic arm. UTA is a global entertainment and media company representing some of the most acclaimed figures in film, television, news, music, sports, theater, fine art, and more. Desiree oversees employee volunteerism initiatives and community partnerships for the agency globally. She leads the UTA Foundation’s Employee Social Impact team, with a focus on year-round volunteerism, youth mentorship, climate focused initiatives, and civic engagement. Desiree joined UTA as an intern in the summer of 2012, and directly after graduating from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2013, joined the entertainment company as a full-time employee in the UTA Mailroom and worked her way up the ranks to her current position. While a student at UCSB, Desiree was a Communication major and Spanish minor. She joined Alpha Phi and served as the President and VP Recruitment of the chapter. Desiree lives in Los Angeles with her husband, James. LinkedIn:

Patrick Foo, Class of 1989


Patrick currently serves as Product Counsel at eBay where he partners closely with Product and Technology teams, providing legal support on the roll out of new features and functionality, categories and products in support of creating the best user experience. He is privileged to have previously held in-house legal positions with financial industry leaders including Bank of America, Hyundai Capital and New Century Mortgage. A passionate believer in pro bono commitment to help improve the lives of others, he has dedicated countless hours through the Southern California Association of Corporate Counsel and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. While a UCSB undergraduate, he was an active member of the Sigma Chi fraternity. He graduated with a double major in Communication and in Business Economics. LinkedIn:

Wendy Garcia, Class of 1990

Wendy lives in Irvine and works as a Human Resources Consultant at Enlightened HR Services. Extensive background in employee relations, as well as workers’ compensation and unemployment claims management. Development and delivery of training on a variety of topics, including Sexual Harassment Prevention (AB1825), Recruiting & Hiring, Performance Management and Disciplinary Action. She co-founded Ole' Orange County and is an active Mother and Community Leader. She is joining the Events Team. LinkedIn:

Jeanette Gibson, Class of 1992

Gibson Jeanette

Jeanette graduated with a BA in Communication and has more than 20 years of experience in communication and digital marketing.  She is currently advising startups and companies in the high tech sector on social media strategy and customer advocacy.  Previously, she served as VP of Community at Hootsuite, a leading social media company, where she was responsible for creating vibrant online communities for Hootsuite’s 12M+ users.  Prior to Hootsuite, Jeanette was Sr. Director of Social Media and Digital Strategy at Cisco Systems where she championed B2B social media engagement and led social media, digital and PR teams during her 15 year tenure.  She is passionate about communication and serves as a keynote speaker at industry conferences, hosts webinars and corporate training sessions and enjoys mentoring and sharing her experience with others.  While at USCB, Jeanette was a member of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority and worked at KCSB radio station, LaCumbre yearbook, and interned at KSBY-TV and KTMS Newstalk Radio. LinkedIn:

Jordan Gomez, Class of 2013


Jordan Gomez serves as a first vice president within Kidder Mathews’ San Diego office. Jordan is a proud member of the retail investment sales group, where he specializes in the sale of net leased investments nationwide and shopping centers across Southern California. He is a relationship-driven advisor that acts with integrity, professionalism, and the utmost care in all his commercial real estate dealings. Jordan recognizes that all investors have varying wealth targets and risk levels as it pertains to their real estate needs. This is why he has dedicated his professional career to cultivating a customer-centric, customizable approach that is tailored to meet each of his client’s unique real estate investment requirements. LinkedIn:

Jonathan Gruber, Class of 2017

Jonathan Gruber is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and Managing Director for Capstone Partners based in Los Angeles, CA. He brings 5 years of experience in the areas of personal financial planning and wealth management since graduating from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Communications Studies in March, 2017. He is also currently pursuing his Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation and Series 24 qualification. During his undergrad, Jonathan volunteered as the Marketing Director for an on-campus non-profit organization called Swipes for the Houseless, as well as fundraising for the Special Olympics. LinkedIn:

Genelle Heim, Class of 1991


Genelle is the Senior Director of Cybersecurity Communications, Phishing, and Training at a global healthcare company. She is also the Founder of Grayson Hayden Group, a strategic communications agency. With extensive experience in high-tech marketing and communications, she has held key roles at Xilinx, Cisco, VMware, and Cadence. In 2014 she founded Curchew, a social media start-up whose clients included Genentech, Adobe, and Plantronics. Genelle brings a global perspective to the art of communication, having lived in Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and India. A seasoned public speaker, she has presented at industry events and corporate seminars as well as been a guest lecturer at Stanford, Harvard, and other universities. She holds an MPA from Harvard University and a BA in Communication and in Japanese from UC Santa Barbara. Genelle is looking forward to deepening her connection with the students, staff, and alumni of UCSB through the Communication Alumni Council. When she is not working she can be found with her husband and two sons in their hometown of Santa Cruz, CA where she enjoys where she enjoys hiking, swimming, and mountain biking near her home. LinkedIn:

Renée Houston, Class of 1991


Renée is a Communication teacher/scholar, experienced higher education administrator, and organizational consultant with an extensive background in mentoring, program development, education technology, communication (speaking and writing) coach, and lifelong champion of wholistic approaches to work/life. Renee is the Founder of Level Up Pro Consulting, which helps leaders develop human-centered organizations by focusing on communication, purpose, belonging, retention, and productivity. Renée (Ph.D, Florida State University 1996) is also a Professor and Associate Dean at the University of Puget Sound in Washington State. Her classes explore the intersection of organizational communication, technology, diversity and gender. Her research focuses on the study of organizing that creates opportunities for people to build healthy work lives and equitable organizations. In particular, she addresses inequities centered on issues of gender, social class and race. LinkedIn:

Lilliana Karadavoukian, Class of 2014


Lilliana is a seasoned branding and marketing strategist with over 10 years of experience in both B2B and B2C industries. As the Content Marketing Manager at a manufacturing company, she drives brand enhancement through compelling digital and print media content across multiple communication channels. Her expertise lies in crafting effective campaign strategies that resonate with the target audience. Lilliana earned her B.A. in Communication in 2014 and holds certifications in Leadership Facilitation and Sports Management. During her time at UCSB, she founded the Alpha Gamma Alpha sorority Iota Chapter, served on the executive board of the Armenian Students Association, managed fundraising for the UCSB-founded Non-Profit 'The Hidden Road Initiative,' coordinated the Middle Eastern Awareness Week, and was a member of the Lambda Pi ETA Communication Honor Society. Additionally, she interned with the UCSB Division I Soccer Team. LinkedIn:

Jason Kearnaghan, Class of 1995

Jason Kearnaghan

Jason Kearnaghan is a Labor & Employment Partner in the downtown Los Angeles office of Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton, LLP, an AmLaw 100 international law firm.  Jason represents employers in state and federal courts with respect to all facets of employment law including wrongful discharge, employment discrimination, retaliation, sexual harassment, and hostile work environment. He also has substantial experience representing employers in union negotiations, organizing campaigns, elections, union grievance proceedings and unfair labor proceedings. Prior to joining Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, Jason practiced business litigation in the healthcare context. His practice included contractual disputes and managed care liability for Fortune 500 healthcare service providers and subsidiaries. He also served in the United States Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps as a trial attorney in criminal prosecution. While at UCSB, Jason was an active member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. LinkedIn:

Meghan Killian, Class of 2010


Meghan double majored in Communication and Psychology at UCSB. While at UCSB, she served as treasurer for the Lambda Pi Eta Communication Honor Society and was a research assistant for a graduate student researching communication accommodation within law enforcement-civilian interactions.  Meghan received her law degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law, where she specialized in Intellectual Property Law. She currently lives in San Francisco and works as an Associate Attorney at Duane Morris LLP where she specializes in trademarks, copyrights, and brand protection. LinkedIn:

Leslie Solomon Klonoff, Class of 1980

Klonoff Leslie

With her BA in Communication Studies, Leslie's background is in recruiting, event planning, and community organizing. She was a founding member of Cameron-Brooks, Inc., the most respected Junior Military Officer recruiting firm in the world, helping Corporate America find its future leaders from the military's top Junior Officers. While at UCSB she served as Panhellenic Chair for Alpha Phi, worked at Ortega Dining Commons, and was a Section Editor for the La Cumbre. She currently focuses most of her volunteer time at UCSB. In addition to Chairing our Dept. of Communication Alumni Council Alumni Engagement Committee, she is an active member on the UCSB Alumni Board of Directors. She Co-Founded All Gaucho Reunion GreekFest, serves on the UCSB Greek Interconnect committee, and is a mentor for many of the greek chapters desiring stronger alumni engagement. She and her husband, Jeff, are proud members of the UCSB Alumni Founders Circle. LinkedIn:

Annie Ly, Class of 2001

Annie brings over fifteen years of diverse marketing experience and her business acumen to help companies build brand value. She has worked on global projects for Alere Health, Samsung, NXP, Kia Motors, ADP, Novartis Diagnostics, Pearson, The College Board and LG. As a strategist at BrandingBusiness, a B2B brand consultancy, she helps companies unlock their competitive advantage, find their greatness, and tell their story. Annie is responsible for managing research and strategy projects for companies and products ranging from digital technologies to healthcare. Annie played an integral role at Sega to bring one of the company's biggest franchise brands to market. She started her career at Goodby, Silverstein and Partners implementing digital campaigns for Wall Street Journal and Hewlett-Packard. Annie holds an MBA in Marketing from University of California Davis and a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from University of California, Santa Barbara.

Francesco (Fran) D. Mancia, Class of 1980


Fran earned a B.A. in Communication from the University of California, Santa Barbara and an M.B.A. from the University of San Francisco.  He is the Vice President 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 twelve 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 was recently elected to serve as one of four Regents for the University of California system. He also served a two year term as President of the League of California Cities’ Partner Program. LinkedIn:

Taylor Owens, Class of 2016

Taylor double majored in Communication and in Film & Media Studies at UCSB. She was also very involved on campus as she was a board member of the Communication Association and worked at the Pollock Theater as an assistant to the Theater Director. After graduating, Taylor began reading scripts for a producer and working on set as a production assistant. Taylor also volunteered yearly for the San Diego Latino Film Festival and San Diego International Film Festival. As Taylor’s passion for working in the film industry was very strong, she also wanted to tap into her love for event planning and, for this reason, got a job working as an event planner at Omni La Costa Resort & Spa. Taylor immensely enjoyed this job and coordinating various events, from corporate meetings to social events. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the events industry shut down, and Taylor began pursuing a marketing certification. After receiving the marketing certificate, Taylor got a job working at her current company PHD - a global media and marketing communications agency. Taylor enjoys working with other members of the strategy team to implement and oversee the entire campaign process for the client. She has learned many new skills working in the media world and looks forward to continuing to grow her career in marketing. In her spare time, Taylor loves reading, walking with her dogs, soaking up the San Diego sun, and spending time with family and friends. Taylor is also involved in PHD's women's association and writes for PHD's culture club newsletter Taylor is grateful for all her professional and volunteer experiences because they allowed her to tap into her interests and pursue a career path where she feels most fulfilled and happy! LinkedIn:

Stacy Rackusin, Class of 2002


Stacy Rackusin, a fourth-generation San Franciscan, is the Deputy Director of Development at Jewish Family and Children’s Services of San Francisco, The Peninsula, Marin, and Sonoma Counties (JFCS). Stacy has over 20 years of non-profit fundraising experience, including developing better practices for data mining and analysis for increased fundraising success, community engagement, relationship-building, and nonprofit management. Recent prior roles include Director of Development at The Contemporary Jewish Museum and Membership/Annual Giving Manager at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. Stacy majored at UCSB in Communication with a minor in Professional Writing. Linkedin:

Amy Blunden Ruegg, Class of 1990


Amy is the Managing Director of Retail Client Experience and Integration Management for Charles Schwab. She has spent to majority of her career in financial services managing large-scale, complex, disruptive innovative programs. She works to create a culture of inclusion and collaboration while empowering people to embrace divergent thinking through the lens of the customer experience. She is proud to be an approachable mentor and champion of team members, providing opportunities for growth and professional development that empower people at their highest levels. She received her BA in Communication Studies and in Political Science from UCSB in 1990. While at UCSB, she was an active member of Delta Gamma and served as the President of the Panhellenic Council. LinkedIn:

Alejandra Saragoza, Class of 2012

Alejandra is a content strategist and digital marketer with a decade of experience across various industries. Currently, she's the managing editor for Zendesk, spearheading the daily editorial operations and overseeing content production for the award-winning SaaS company. Prior to this role, she was the managing editor for, where she helped build a media site from the ground up, grew its audience, and led an editorial team. She's also worked as an editor for Diablo magazine, Healthline, and other media companies. While she's a California girl at heart, she now resides in Spokane, Washington, with her husband (also a UCSB grad) and portly cat (affectionately named Biggie). She enjoys hiking, brewery hopping, reading novels, and writing about food and travel in her spare time. Her writing has been published in The Huffington Post, Fast Company, Via, and SFGate. She also serves on the board of directors for Local News Matters, a nonprofit site bringing community coverage to the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Linkedin:

Matt Schermerhorn, Class of 2009

Matt Schermerhorn

Matt graduated from UCSB with a B.A. in Communication and a minor in Sport Management. He currently serves as a Professional Services Consultant for He focuses on implementing the Workday Student platform for Colleges and Universities throughout the U.S., helping to design and customize the product to meet their institutions’ needs and to help support administration and students. Prior to that, Matt worked for four years in the Oakland Athletics baseball organization where he specialized in promotional marketing and special events. Ultimately, Matt hopes to one day transition back into collegiate athletics by sharing his current and past professional experiences, to bring added stability to an organization that is the NCAA, which constantly affects and shapes the lives of young athletes each day. LinkedIn:

Eric Zackrison, Class of 2017

Zackrison Eric

Eric is the President and CEO of IDI.US Inc. which controls the rights to the Interpersonal Dynamics Inventory, a powerful multi-rater personality/behavioral styles measurement tool. After 25 years as a manager and entrepreneur and completing his MA, MBA, and PhD, Eric has taken up the mantle of his father both in furthering the awareness and use of IDI through training and licensing others, as well as adopting the name of his father’s consulting firm, Effectiveness Consultants. He focuses heavily on relationships as key to success and integrates this into his consulting and into his role in the community. Eric received his PhD from the Department of Communication at UCSB in 2017. Most importantly, though, he is the father of two amazing children. LinkedIn: