The JMU School for Communication Studies Alumni Advisory Council (AAC), launched in 2006, provides career development training, job and internship placement and scholarships for students, as well as recruiting and networking resources for alumni.
The AAC Board of Directors is comprised of elected positions. Each member must be a JMU graduate and work closely with the Director of the School of Communication Studies.
Board members are:
Michael Wissot, AAC Chairman
Wissot has transformed political and corporate communication platforms for many Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, CEOs and public officials.
He conducts market research and develops communication campaigns for clients that include Coca-Cola, Miller Brewing, Kroger, Comcast, Los Angeles Dodgers, the National Football League, FOX Sports, Paramount Pictures, Universal, 20th Century FOX, the Motion Pictures Association of America, MGM Mirage and Starwood Hotels among many others.Wissot received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication from James Madison University, has a Master of Business Administration degree from The University of Arizona, and a Master of International Management degree from Thunderbird Graduate School of Global Management.
Tracy Weise, AAC Board Member
As the president and co-founder of Denver-based Weise Communications, Tracy Weise helps her clients achieve success through integrated marketing -- including advertising, public relations, branding, strategic planning, social media and online programs.
She brings strategic counsel to national and international sales programs, implements marketing and online sales campaigns, and provides media coaching for executives. Weise has developed award-winning international, national and local communications programs for her clients.
Weise received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Political Science from James Madison University and a Master of Arts degree in Communications from The University of Alabama.
Rob Leavitt, AAC Board Member
Rob Leavitt has built a career out of riding the wave of emerging technologies with the foundation established while studying communications at JMU. Currently with Microsoft's Xbox LIVE group, Leavitt is responsible for managing business operations for Inside Xbox, the premiere TV channel for LIVE subscribers. As the resident performance analyst, advertising liaison, and global subsidiary coordinator, he ensures that the video programming is measured, attracting sponsors, and is being utilized by 22 countries using Inside Xbox.
He also managed the programming and product development of Microsoft.com's Home Page and Download Center for several years.
Leavitt has led Web initiatives as an executive officer at USAA, Sallie Mae, National Association of Realtors and American Council of Life Insurers. He received a Bachelor’s degree from James Madison University in 1986.
Andy Perrine, AAC Board Member
Andy Perrine serves as Associate Vice President for Communications and Marketing in the division of Advancement at James Madison University. He has been with the university since 1998 in the areas of marketing and public relations and served for three years as principal university spokesperson.
Perrine spent the first half of his career at various advertising agencies in New York and a media production company as creative director.
Perrine received a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts from James Madison University in 1986
“The AAC aims to achieve the following:
• Cultivate relationships among students, faculty and alumni that will advance career placement opportunities, networking resources and JMU-related growth opportunities. These relationships are developed through networking events, in-person and virtual lectures, social media and interviews.
• Demonstrate measurable improvements in student preparedness for professional opportunities (jobs, internships, fellowships) – all of which will measured through academy certification, placement rates, and improvements in School’s recruitment/retention. AAC seeks to improve these areas through ongoing resume building, interview training, networking tips and professional communication workshops.
• Strengthen the fiduciary base of the JMU School of Communication Studies by tapping JMU alumni and corporations for direct financial contributions to the School.
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