WRTC Alumni Council Executive Board

To be an eligible candidate for an Executive Board position, a WRTC alumnus must be a member of the WRTC Alumni Council and must have attended at least half of the WRTC Alumni Council meetings and events for the previous academic year, according to the records of the Secretary. The candidate must be an active member who contributes to the purpose and goals of the organization.

Paige Lobuts

Chair
Paige Lobuts
WRTC '16

Raphael Perrino

Vice Chair
Raphael Perrino
TSC '07, '09

Brooke Covington

Secretary
Brooke Covington
WRTC '13, '15

Alexa Senio

Communications Coordinator
Alexa Senio
WRTC '16
WRTC Alumni Council

Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication established its Alumni Council in fall 2013 to provide service and support to the School of Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication in areas such as current issues and practices; employment trends; tools and technologies; internship opportunities; and networking. Alumni Council members are nominated for membership by the Director and faculty of WRTC. 

The WRTC Alumni Council has the following goals:

  • to provide WRTC faculty and staff with information regarding contemporary issues and directions in the field
  • to offer WRTC faculty and staff advice on such topics as employment trends, advancement in technologies, or to suggest how to improve the competitiveness of majors to employers
  • to assist with the recruiting and hiring of current majors for internship and employment positions 
  • to connect past and recent graduates of WRTC with each other for mentorship and networking opportunities
  • to interact with WRTC faculty, staff and students by visiting the campus or guest lecturing in-person or via teleconference

image coming soon

Melody Behnam
WRTC '05

Melissa Boyer

Melissa Boyer
TSC '08
WRTC '10

Image coming soon

Lindsay Canaday
TSC '09
WRTC '11

Image coming soon

Christy Chilton
WRTC '10, '12

Cindy Chiarello

Cindy Chiarello
WRTC '12

Lindsey Campbell

Lindsey Campbell
WRTC '16

Allison Capley

Allison Capley
WRTC '16

Carrie Combs

Carrie Combs
TSC '07, '09

rosemary girard

Rosemary Girard
WRTC '15

Justin Grandinetti

Justin Grandinetti
WRTC '13, '15

tiffany griffin

Tiffany Griffin
TSC '06, '08

Brandi Harrigan

Brandi Harrigan
WRTC '11

Megan Healy

Megan Healy
TSC '06

Image coming soon

Garrett Hooe
WR '06

Telmyr McCoy

Telmyr McCoy
WRTC '10

Toni Ressaire

Toni Ressaire
TSC '08
Kristi Shackelford
Kristi Shackelford
WRTC '00

Image coming soon

Elizabeth Sonnenberg 
TSC '07, '09

Keitha Truong

Keitha Truong
TSC '07
WRTC '09
WRTC Alumni Council biographies
Melody Behnam

B.B.A., Economics, WRTC minor, James Madison University, 2005
J.D., New York Law School, 2011

Melody Behnam is a Compliance Attorney for J.P. Morgan's futures, options on futures and over the counter derivatives clearing business. She is active in her legal community as a member of the Futures Industry Association, Iranian American Bar Association and is licensed in the state of New York. Prior to J.P. Morgan, Melody assessed broker dealers for sales practice compliance with securities regulations for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Melody earned her J.D. from New York Law School where she was a member of the school's Securities Arbitration Clinic and studied with a concentration in Financial Services Law. Before law school she worked as a consultatnt for BearingPoint's Finance, Risk and Compliance group. Melody was in the first graduating class of the WRTC minor at James Madison in 2005.

Melissa Boyer

B.A., Technical and Scientific Communication, Creative Writing minor, James Madison University, 2008
M.S., Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, James Madison University, 2010

Melissa (Pfau) Boyer is a Double Duke who earned the Outstanding Student Award at the completion of both degrees. She was a member of the JMU Student Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication for five years, serving as the Public Relations Manager during her first year in graduate school. Melissa continues to support the School of Writing, Rhetoric & Technical Communication (WRTC) by serving as the WRTC Alumni Council Vice Chair.

After obtaining her degrees, Melissa has pursued a career as a Defense Contractor for the United States Government. She was a summer intern with Poole & Associates, Inc. while in graduate school, and became a full-time technical writer with Poole in May 2010. In October 2012, Poole was acquired by KeyW Corporation, where she continued in her role as a technical writer/project manager until March 2016. 

Melissa is now a Vice President of LORO Corporation, a Veteran Woman-Owned Small Business (VWOSB) that believes in being better everyday - "everyday" in the sense that their desire to be better people, team members, and a company as a whole cannot be defined by a time frame, nor measured by just one day's goals. Rather, the people of LORO embody an everyday motivation and willingness to design, build, implement, and communicate the most exceptional solutions for their clients, while understanding the "why" throughout every step of the process.

Melissa lives near Baltimore, Maryland with her husband, daughter and Maltese-Poodle.

Lindsay Canaday

B.A., Technical and Scientific Communication, James Madison University, 2009
M.A., Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, James Madison University, 2011

Christy Chilton

B.A., Technical and Scientific Communication, Writing and Rhetoric minor, James Madison University, 2010
M.A., Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, James Madison University, 2012

Cindy Chiarello

M.A., Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, James Madison University, 2012

Lindsey Campbell

B.A., Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, James Madison University, 2016

Lindsey is currently a General Manager at The Secret Garden Cafe in Occoquan, Virginia. In this role, she helps direct the servers (who work in a team service concept), ensure that no part of the restaurant experience is overlooked for guests, coordinate with the kitchen to prepare orders in a timely manner, and assist with any tasks of servers, hosts, or kitchen staff as needed. She enjoys the fast pace of the restaurant environment and the high-pressure problem solving that is required of a restaurant manager. What she finds most rewarding is helping her team of 20+ people operate smoothly to give guests a great dining experience from start to finish. 

Allison Capley

B.S., Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, James Madison University, 2016

Allison graduated out of the Technical and Scientific Communication concentration, with a minor in Health Communication. Her current job is a Scientific Writer and Editor for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID). At NIAID, she revises departmental communication materials and consults with National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists to update lab pages. She is also in pursuit of attending the Johns Hopkins University Science Writing Program. Allison aspires to maintain a career in simplifying complex health information into comprehensible language within the pharmaceutical industry. 

Cindy Chiarello

M.A., Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, James Madison University, 2012

Cindy graduated from the WRTC graduate program in May 2012 with a Master of Arts. She currently works as the Coordinator of University Planning and Engagement to support various departments, committees, and individuals involved with the university planning process, engagement endeavors, and demonstrating compliance with SACSCOC accreditation standards. Her office is now focused on supporting JMU's vision to be the national model for the engaged university: engaged with ideas and with the world. 

Carrie Combs

B.S., Technical and Scientific Communication, Writing and Rhetoric minor, James Madison University, 2007
M.S., Technical and Scientific Communication, James Madison University, 2009

After earning her B.S. ('07) and M.S. ('09) in Technical and Scientific Communication, Carrie spent two years in the private sector. In 2011, she returned to JMU to serve as the inaugural University Marketing Content Strategist. In 2013, she joined the Advancement Planning and Operations team as the first Director of Advancement Relations. Carrie focuses on building collaborative relationships with campus partners to support the university's comprehensive campaign efforts. Additionally, she serves as the Program Director for Madison Trust, a JMU fundraising program that supports faculty and staff innovations across campus. The applied learning and diverse curriculum offered through WRTC allowed Carrie to develop a skillset that opened doors in professional settings that otherwise would not have been possible.

Brooke Covington

B.A., English, Writing and Rhetoric minor, James Madison University, 2013
M.A., Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, James Madison University, 2015
Ph.D., Rhetoric and Writing, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, (expected 2019)

Brooke Covington is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Writing at Virginia Tech. While at JMU, Brooke received the Outstanding Student Award at the completion of her minor and her master’s degree. During her time at JMU, Brooke worked as a peer tutor in the University Writing Center, she acted as the assistant to the Communications Director for the College of Business, and she taught freshman composition. Brooke continues to work part-time as the Communications Coordinator for Facilities Management at JMU.

At Virginia Tech, Brooke acts as the Assistant Director to the Writing Center and she teaches undergraduate courses on technical writing and medical humanities. Her dissertation examines the rhetoric of memorial spaces, particularly in relation to the commemoration of traumatic events. 

Rosemary Girard

B.A., Communications Studies; Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, James Madison University, 2015
M.P.S., Public Relations & Corporate Communications, Georgetown University, 2017

Rosemary works in communications at NPR in Washington, DC. In this role, she supports the Marketing, Branding, & Communications division to promote NPR's journalism, initiatives, public engagement, and brand. Her position covers a wide swath of the organization, between writing content and managing an editorial calendar for corporate communications and announcements; facilitating booking requests for NPR talents' speaking engagements and public appearances; responding to public inquiries on behalf of management, news, and programming; supporting on-site events and community relations efforts; and giving public and special tours of NPR headquarters.

Overlapping her work at NPR, Rosemary went on to earn a Master of Professional Studies in Public Relations & Corporate Communications at Georgetown University in 2017. 

Justin Grandinetti

B.S., Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, James Madison University, 2013
M.A., Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, James Madison University, 2015
Ph.D., Communications, Rhetoric, and Digital Media, North Carolina State University, (expected)

Justin Grandinetti is a “Double Duke” who earned the Outstanding Student Award at the completion of his undergraduate degree. While at James Madison University, his work appeared in the WRTC undergraduate journal Lexia.

Justin is currently working toward a PhD at North Carolina State University. His dissertation project is focused on streaming media and the impacts of increasingly mobile entertainment production and consumption to questions of control, engagement, surveillance, and commodification. As a critical media studies scholar, he is interested in networks and mobility, media archeology, assemblage theory, and infrastructure. Justin currently teaches courses in media history and theory, communication, and writing. 

Tiffany Griffin

B.S., Technical and Scientific Communication; Media Arts and Design, James Madison University, 2006
M.A., Technical and Scientific Communication, James Madison University, 2008

Tiffany Griffin is a "Double Duke" who received a Bachelor of Science degree at James Madison University in 2006 with a double major in Media Arts & Design and Technical & Scientific Communication. She went on to receive a Master of Arts degree in Technical & Scientific Communication in 2008, earning the Outstanding Graduate Student Award. At JMU, Tiffany was an active participant in the Society for Technical Communication, serving as Public Relations Manager during her first year in graduate school, and president during her second.

Tiffany currently works for the Department of the Navy in Washington, DC as a portfolio manager in the Executive Program Management Office (EPMO).  In this position, she is responsible for managing the organization's portfolio management process to include the analysis of budgets, acquisitions, and communication strategy to support corporate governance practices.  Most recently she has been charged with leading the organization’s Managers’ Internal Control Program (MICP), a Department of Defense initiative to identify, prioritize, report, and mitigate risk through internal controls before it negatively impacts the organization’s mission. As a new initiative for the organization, she is responsible for the full implementation of the program to include writing policies and procedures; developing training and communication; and working with assessable unit managers to assess appropriate risk levels and execute corrective action plans.

Brandi Harrigan

B.A., International Affairs, James Madison University, 2009
M.S., Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, James Madison University, 2011

Brandi (Mooring) Harrigan is a "Double Duke" who graduated from James Madison University (JMU) in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in International Affairs with a concentration in Middle Eastern and African Studies and minor in Writing and Rhetoric. She graduated in 2011 with a Master of Science in Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication (WRTC) with a concentration in health studies. During her graduate program, she volunteered as a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters, served as the Graduate Student Coordinator for WRTC Communication Symposium, and worked on the advertising planning committee for the Harrisonburg Autism 5k Race. She also served as the graduate assistant supporting public affairs for JMU's College of Business. 

Since receiving her Master's degree, Brandi began working as a technical writer for Manufacturing Techniques (MTEQ), a woman-owned small business, that provides technical services and rapid prototyping solutions to U.S. Government. Key roles included proposal manager, proposal coordinator, technical writer, technical editor, compliance manager, and volume lead. During her time at MTEQ, she was promoted to senior business development specialist where she supported the development, refinement, and execution
of corporate business development plan, roadmaps, systems manual, and metrics and reports.

Brandi currently works for the Armed Forces Services Corporation as a communications analyst.  She provides on-site strategic communication support to the Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment (WWR) as a part of the Future Initiatives and Transition Team (FITT). The FITT engages the WWR command in the following elements: government, communication, assessment, strategic initiatives, and external research. Specific roles include: publication design, development, and management; development of internal staff training; graphic design; and website management. 

Megan Healy

B.S., Technical and Scientific Communication, Evironmental Studies minor, James Madison University, 2006
M.A., Environmental and Resource Policy, George Washington University, 2009

Megan (Wertz) Healy currently works as a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Specialist for the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) in Washington, D.C. She has worked for the USFS since 2007 in a few different positions, including as a Policy Analyst, Appeals and Litigation Specialist, and Planning Specialist. In her current position, Megan provides guidance and oversight in implementation of NEPA on our national forests and grasslands. In this role, she facilitates communication between the national office and field units, coordinates national initiatives, and works to identify best management practices. Megan enjoys the opportunities her job provides to enhance internal and external communication, facilitate peer-to-peer learning, and be active in mentoring and employee development.  Her job also provides her a lot of opportunity to travel across the country. As a secondary job duty during the summer, she frequently goes out on assignments as a wildland firefighter.

While at JMU, Megan was a member of the Society for Technical Communication, serving as Treasurer during her senior year. She earned the Outstanding Student Award at the completion of her undergraduate degree. After graduating from JMU, Megan pursued her master’s degree in environmental and resource policy, seeking to combine her interests in communication, policy, and natural resource management.

Megan currently resides in Alexandria, VA with her husband and their English bulldog, Gus.

Garett Hooe

B.A., Political Science, Writing and Rhetoric minor, James Madison University, 2006
J.D. (magna cum laude), University of Richmond, School of Law, 2012

Paige Lobuts

B.A., Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, James Madison University, 2016

Paige currently resides in Arlington, V.A., working as a content specialist at Laughlin, Marinaccio & Owens (LMO), a northern-Virginia based marketing communications agency. She works with a variety of clients in the building industry and government/military associations. She's responsible for overall support to the content team by writing, editing, proofreading and researching; managing several projects; contributing to monthly/quarterly results reporting and various tracking and analytic projects.

Paige enjoys her job because she gets to write about new and exciting technology every day, and she's able to interact with clients and fulfill their needs to be successful. Through her academic experience in WRTC, Paige is able to provide technical and creative writing skills to ensure each of her clients can communicate effectively to their customers. 

Telmyr McCoy

B.A., Media, Arts and Design, Writing and Rhetoric minor, James Madison University, 2010

Telmyr (Lee) McCoy graduated with a journalism concentration in Media Arts and Design with a minor in Writing and Rhetoric. She works as a Content Manager/Technical Writer for Capitol One. At Capitol One the front line phone agents utilize an online help system which houses policies and procedures in order to complete customer calls. She is a part of a team that updates, creates content and maintains the policies and procedures for that system. The most rewarding part of her job is being able to say that she works in a field that utilizes what she learned in her minor program, something that not all college grads can say. She finds it rewarding to know that the work she does directly affects those who service Capitol One customers on a daily basis. 

Raphael Perrino

B.S., Technical and Scientific Communication, James Madison University, 2007
M.S., Technical and Scientific Communication, James Madison University, 2009

Raphael currently works as an Aerospace Analyst for Bryce Space and Technology (formerly, The Tauri Group) and is onsite at NASA Headquarters in Washington, DC in support of the Space Technology Mission Directorate. Previously, he worked in support of the NASA Office of the Chief Financial Officer, Strategic Investments Division. Raphael has also worked as a Technical Writer and Technical Editor for SAIC and Vovici Corporation. In addition to his B.S. and M.S. at James Madison University, Raphael holds an M.A. in International Science and Technology Policy with an emphasis in Space Policy from George Washington University.

Raphael has authored or co-authored several aerospace conference papers and was an architect of the recently published Start-Up Space: Rising Investment in Commercial Space Ventures. He was also the recipient of the 2015 Future Space Leader Award, has served twice as a delegate in the Space Generation Congress, and is also an Eagle Scout.

Toni Ressaire

B.A., Communications, University of Louisiana, 1989
M.S., Technical and Scientific Communication, James Madison University, 2008

Toni worked at JMU in the School of Media Arts & Design and later as the Director of Communications for the College of Business. After she completed a technical user guide as part of her TSC graduate studies at JMU, she was hired as one of the first technical writers at Rosetta Stone Inc.

She now lives in Europe and works as a consultant in content strategy, primarily in software development, with a focus on information delivery in new and developing technologies. She is one of the promoters of the Information 4.0 movement in Europe.

Toni is a member of the Society of Technical Communicators (STC) in the U.S., former president of STC France, former board member of TCeurope, and a founding board member of Tech Writers Without Borders, an international nonprofit whose tagline is “Tech Writing for Good.” 

Alexa Senio

B.A., Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, minors in Humanitarian Affairs and Sociology, James Madison University, 2016

While at James Madison University, Alexa helped found the Digital Communication Center where she served as a Lead Media Fellow. She led professional development workshops, produced digital communication resources for students and professors, helped teach five classes to better integrate digital assignments, and tutored peers. She was awarded the DigiComm Excellence Award and was nominated for Student Employee of the Year. She also worked with two colleagues to publish a book chapter, "Strategies for Implementing Digital Assignments." Additionally, Alexa helped found the James Madison Undergraduate Research Journal and served as the Head Design Editor. Alexa was also part of the JMU Drones Challenge group, which worked to solve global problems using drone technology. She and her team researched, designed, prototyped, and presented a drone design that worked to disarm landmines.

Alexa currently works as a Marketing and Communications Specialist for Noblis, a nonprofit government contractor that specializes in strategic science and technology solutions. She has earned a certificate in User Experience (UX) Design and is continuing to advance her career in UX Design. She specializes in web and print design, but is also learning about designing mobile apps. Her favorite part about her job is conducting research and studying the thought process and reasoning behind users' actions. She is on the Noblis Connections Committee which encourages professional networking to create meaningful and lasting employee connections. 

Kristi Shackelford

M.A., Technical and Scientific Communication, James Madison University, 2000

Elizabeth Sonnenberg

B.S., Technical and Scientific Communication, James Madison University, 2007
M.S., Technical and Scientific Communication, James Madison University, 2009

Elizabeth Sonnenberg currently provides business, programmatic, and technical support to the FDIC’s Division of Information Technology (DIT). In this role, Elizabeth supports the FDIC with establishing and maintaining governance for corporate-wide DIT policies, guiding strategic planning, communication, user training, and furthering adoption of technology-related capabilities. Elizabeth is an experienced Instructional Systems Designer, a member of the Association for Talent Development, a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and Scrum Master, and has a certification in Change Management. She holds both an MS ('09) and a BS ('07) in Technical and Scientific Communication from James Madison University (JMU). She served as the first Executive Chair of the JMU Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication (WRTC) Alumni Council. In this role, Elizabeth supported the implementation of two programs to connect alumni with WRTC undergraduate and graduate students: the Mentor Program and the Portfolio Review Program. 

Keitha Truong

B.A., Technical and Scientific Communication, James Madison University, 2007
M.A., Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication, James Madison University, 2009

While at JMU, Keitha (Harmon) Truong was a member of the JMU Student Chapter of the Society for Technical Communication from 2004-2009, and over the years she served as secretary, vice president and president. As an undergraduate TSC major, Keitha focused on document design and online publications, and then moved into an instructional design focus during graduate school.

She is currently working at Jenzabar, a higher education software company, as a Technical Writer in the Product Development department. Working with a team of developers and user experience designers, Keitha is responsible for online help, companion guides, video examples, internal documentation/training and editing for several finance modules.

Keitha lives in Harrisonburg, VA, with her husband, Ben and their son, Keirin.

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