Rebekah Hood, '09

Rebekah HoodRebekah Hood has been tasked with an exciting new project called "I Wonder" and it is the first continuing feature created by and for KVUE.com. Viewers will send questions about things they wonder about (primarily about Austin). Interests, oddities, basically anything under the sun is fair game. Then, Rebekah will research the answers.

You can see the "I Wonder" section of KVUE.com here: http://www.kvue.com/entertainment/i-wonder






Sean Brindley, '10

Sean BrindleySchieffer School alum, Sean Brindley, currently works with Patient Conversation Media, Inc. (PCMi), a company that is working to innovate the information management system for the next generation of health care.

Patient Conversation Media, Inc. (PCMi), an eHealth media company, is a mission-driven leader in facilitating patient-provider communications. PCMi's consumer centric 1-800-Health-Brands enable health providers to enhance patient conversations, maximize appointment productivity and deliver a superior experience to both patients and providers alike.

PCMi publishes www.dailyRx.com The dailyRx Information Network addresses the underserved consumer demand for trusted information by producing, aggregating and syndicating trusted health and medication information.

Sean is the product manager for a network of brands that increase the efficiency of the pre-appointment patient. The company's goal is to create a "well-informed" patient to simplify the front door to health care. He has been writing press releases and functioning as a media contact as well as maintaining the day-to-day operations of PCMi's network of online media brands including budget management and advertising strategy.

Sean's favorite part of his job is working in an industry that is rapidly growing.

"Being part of a company that is pioneering the information delivery and management system is exciting and provides for new learning experiences daily," Sean said. "While at TCU we focused on the shift of media from print on online. Being part of this paradigm shift though my work is extremely rewarding."

In his spare time, Sean enjoys being outdoors, playing golf, kayaking, fishing and skiing.

Company websites: www.dailyRx.com and www.patientConversation.com

Katherine Lane, '10

Katherine LaneAfter spending time reporting in Abilene, Texas, and completing the challenging assignment of reporting on the devastating earthquake in Haiti only days after the event occurred, Katherine Lane is currently working for a non-profit in Dallas that helps find physicians to provide health care to the working poor.

"The stories and live shots from my time in Haiti aired nationwide. It was an assignment I never thought I would be fortunate enough to receive- it’s what all journalism students dream of. However, it also opened up a piece of my heart that wanted to serve others in need. I am so thankful for my job in Abilene, my time in Haiti, and the hundreds of stories I reported on that helped me find my favorite part of my job- sharing stories with hopes of making the subjects lives better."

GCG Marketing promotes Allyson Cross to Account Director

FORT WORTH, Texas - Jan. 11, 2011 - Fort Worth-based GCG Marketing announces the promoAllyson Crosstion of Allyson Cross to account director from her previous position as senior account executive.

Cross will serve as the primary liaison to clients in the agency’s healthcare division. As the chief administrator of one of GCG’s account services teams, Cross is expected to guide the teams on a daily basis and spearhead the establishment of necessary processes and protocol standards. Her responsibilities include promoting and managing senior-level relationships and ensuring clients’ needs and requirements are met.

As senior account executive, Cross was instrumental in creating and executing account plans that fostered new relationships. She brings these relationships with her in her advancement, along with seven years of experience.

“Allyson has continually shown dedication exemplified in her abilities to manage and maintain relationships with clients over the years,” said Neil Foster, president of GCG Marketing. “She has grown with the company and I have great faith in her as director.”

Prior to joining the GCG team in 2004, Cross worked in the Media Relations department at RadioShack Corporation. She graduated from Texas Christian University in 2002 with a degree in advertising and public relations. She currently serves as president-elect/vice president of membership for the Greater Fort Worth Public Relations Society of America and treasurer of the American Advertising Federation-Fort Worth.

About GCG

Fort Worth, Texas-based GCG Marketing is a full-service marketing firm providing strategy and consultation, along with advertising and public relations services, to clients in healthcare, corporate, consumer and business-to-business arenas since 1973. For more information, visit www.gcgmarketing.com or read the GCG blog at www.gcgideas.com.

"Allyson's promotion to account services director for GCG Marketing comes as no surprise to me. Allyson is a natural leader with a tremendous work ethic. She was on my TCU campaigns teams for two years and since less than twenty of TCU's best students are selected for this national award winning group each year, her selection speaks volumes about her talent and dedication."

Mike Wood, Advertising Professional-in-Residence, Ret. 

Cortney Strube

Cortney Strube is a copy editor for Yonhap News Agency's English Language News Bureau in Seoul, South Korea, where she edits news copy freshly translated from the Korean language to English. She was initially drawn to the Korean Peninsula with goals of immersing herself in Korean culture and writing about her travels throughout Asia.


Prior to making the transition to a full-time position in news media, Cortney worked as an English-language editor for Korean Air's in-flight travel and entertainment magazines Morning Calm and beyond, and as a contributing writer and freelance copy editor for such publications as The Korea Times and the Korean Ministry of Justice's KOREA magazine.


As a student at the Schieffer School, Cortney was worked for student publications the Skiff and Image magazine, experiences she said were invaluable in laying the foundation for her professional growth. Cortney graduated from TCU in December 2007 with a degree in news-editorial journalism. She completed an internship for Fort Worth, Texas: The City's Magazine and became the magazine's assistant editor upon graduation. She later served as interim managing editor for Hope For Women, a national quarterly Christian lifestyle magazine for women.

Christina Ruffini

Christina Ruffini is an Associate Producer for the CBS Evening News. Based in the Washington bureau, she helps cover The Congress,  State Department, Pentagon, White House and various other DC beats. Recently, she functioned as network pool producer for President Barack Obama. She is also a frequent contributor to the networks political blogs and hosts her own weekly webshow, "Wildcard" on Cbsnews.com.






Tim Bella

Tim BellaTim Bella is now with The Wall Street Journal as a researcher/contributor after stops at ProPublica and ESPN The Magazine.Tim has also been admitted into the grad program at Columbia.

Tim recently accepted a summer opportunity at CNN for Fareed Zakaria GPS.

Jacque Petersell

Jacque PetersellJacque Petersell (’03) has been promoted to Deputy News Editor for the Scripps Howard Central Desk in Corpus Christi, Texas. The Central Desk is responsible for the editing and design of the Caller-Times in Corpus Christi, the Standard-Times in San Angelo, the Reporter-News in Abilene, the Times Record News in Wichita Falls, and the Record Searchlight in Redding, Calif.






Brian Allen

In August, I was offered a job to teach and coach at a middle school in Denton. I teach one section of 8th grade English and 3 sections of remedial reading. My coaching duties include football and basketball. I also scout football for Denton Ryan High School. I enjoy my career. I moved to Mckinney. I enjoy the area.

It's hard to believe the first semester is over. I have one more to go and I will have completed my first year of teaching and coaching.

Birth Announcement

Congratulations to Jared HookerCongratulations to Jared Hooker for the birth of his child.






Jason Fochtman

Jason has joined the Houston Community Newspapers as the sports reporter for The Cleveland Advocate, Eastex Advocate and Dayton News.


Christopher Curtis, '83

Christopher is President of GoVision, one of the nation's premier providers of LED technology. Curtis serves on the TCU Board of Trustees and is only the second individual in school history to serve as president of both the TCU Frog Club and the National Alumni Association. In January 2009, he was among a select group of North Texas leaders appointed to the Super Bowl XLV Host Committee.


Hilary Whittier, '09

Hilary WhittierHilary is a reporter for KNDU-TV in Kennewick, Washington. She is responsible for developing stories, conducting interviews, and editing and delivering stories to over 250,000 viewers in the tri-cities area of Washington.








Lisa Albert, '01

Lisa is the Associate Director of Communications at Texas Christian University. Lisa is responsible for handling everyday media relations for the university. Lisa recently received her masters of Science in journalism, strategic communications sequence from TCU in 2008.


Anna Ruth Overbey, '09

Anna is the Assistant Director of E-stewardship at Texas Christian University. She oversees the creation and maintenance of all online stewardship tools including social media networks, e-newsletter, e-invitations and the Donor Relations Web site.


Bill Blair, '88

Bill recently joined Epson, where he is focusing on selling their projectors into the education market in North Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.


Allen Wallach, '88

Allen is the CEO and partner at Concussion High Impact Communications, a Fort Worth based full-service advertising agency that has earned a reputation for challenging conventional thinking. Concussion's entire staff of 50- including nine TCU alumni- is excited about the agency's new Reasons campaign for TCU football. Concussion also has developed award- winning work for clients such as the Armed Forces Bowl, Borden/ Cremora, Chesapeake Energy, Choctaw Casino Resorts in Oklahoma, NAI Huff Partners, The Fort Worth Zoo, Hillwood Development, HCA Hospitals, and The T (the Fort Worth Transportation Authority).


Wendi Taylor Fuller, '92, and Derek Fuller, '94

Wendi continues to use her "frog-honed" PR skills to manage communications efforts for various business-to-business segments of AT&T for Fleishman-Hillard as a Senior Vice President. Derek covers the other side of the professional pond as a Marketing Manager for Ivie & Associates, Inc., by utilizing his "frogified" advertising and marketing talents to further retail clients like Walmart, Sam's Club, Dollar General, B&Q, Albertson's and others in the U.S. and China.


Jenna Virtue, '09

Jenna handles all of the marketing and public relations at a professional services corporation called King Professional Group, p.c. in Fort Worth, TX. In the few short months she has been at KPG, she has developed the entire brand identity of the corporation including the design of the logo, Web site, letterhead, business cards and envelopes, along with designing all company promotion material.


Katie Giangreco, '09

Katie is the Public Relations Coordinator for the Fort Worth Zoo. Katie is responsible for maintaining the Zoo's social media presence and assists in the development, implementation and growth of the Zoo's public relations programs. In addition, Katie assists with the Zoo's television and radio appearances and all onsite publicity at the park.


Billy Wessels, '09

Billy is a sports reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

  Bibek Bhandari

"Just wanted to let you know about my journey after TCU. Currently, I am interning with Rolling Stone in Mumbai, India. After this three-month internship, I will be in Nepal working for The Kathmandu Post. I've had a talk with them and they're pretty positive about it.

"I am planning to apply for grad school next year. Meanwhile, I want to gather some experiences in different parts of the world."

Rebekah Hood

Rebekah HoodRebekah is the Web Producer/Web Reporter for KCEN-TV (NBC affiliate) in Waco, Texas. This is a new position for the station, as they find themselves in the midst of a constantly-evolving digital news era. KCEN recently became the first TV station in Central Texas to convert to high definition.

Rebekah was an integral part of creating the station's Web site (centraltexasnow.com). She is in charge of KCEN's social media accounts, and in addition to managing all of the site's content, she produces some of her own as well. She has reported and/or maintained a live blog during the Fort Hood massacre, the high-profile Matt Baker trial, and the 2010 political elections. Most recently, she put her TV reporting hat back on and did a news package on two Central Texans who moved in to a tent city in Haiti.



John Denton

John won Best Sports Play-by-Play for 2008 from the Texas AP Broadcasters...."I appear regularly on the Mountain West Sports TV network.... For the second straight year, the Frog Club raised more than $4 Million for scholarships for student-athletes."

Brad Horn

Brad was recently married and also completed his master’s degree at Syracuse.


Joanna Crain, President & CEO

Joanna CrainJoanna has over 15 years of professional event management and destination logistics experience. As the Director of Advance and Protocol for both the United States Secretaries of Commerce and Homeland Security, she executed over 75 trips. Working at that level, things moved quickly and there was little room for error. One gaff could be fodder for the national or international news. Joanna became accustomed to the high-profile nature of the visits and at being armed with a Plan B and Plan C, especially in foreign countries, where things do not always go as planned or agreed upon in advance.


In addition to her public service work, Joanna has planned over 100 special events ranging from intimate fundraising events with the Speaker of the House to entire 5K races to gala functions for more than 2,000 people.



  Jessica Lo, TCU '09

"I'm still enjoying work. My boss owns a magazine, Texas Sporting Journal, so now in addition to being a graphic designer for the marketing company, I'm also the associate editor of that magazine. It's been a fun four months so far!"

  Omar Villafranca, NBC 5 Reporter

Omar VillafrancaOmar Villafranca joined NBC 5 as a reporter in January 2008. Before arriving in the Metroplex, Omar worked as both a reporter and anchor at KOTV in Tulsa, Oklahoma and at KSWO in Lawton, Oklahoma. He covered everything from wildfires and the military, to state politics. His reporting has taken him to the Mojave Desert and Mexican border towns.


In early 2007, Omar aired an investigative story on unsuspecting renters and homeowners moving into toxic homes that were once methamphetamine labs. After the story aired, lawmakers introduced a bill into the state legislature to clean up former meth labs and protect renters and buyers.


He graduated from the Broadcast Journalist Department at Texas Christian University. Since Omar is a San Antonio native, he’s an unapologetic Spurs fans. He still supports the Mavs, just not when they’re playing San Antonio…especially in the playoffs. When he’s not late for something, Omar enjoys running, shooting hoops, reading blogs and non-fiction and trying his best at crossword puzzles.


He also has fun setting off the smoke alarm while cooking new dishes in the kitchen.





Alana 'Villegas' Dvorak

Alana 'Villegas' Dvorak is the Visual Merchandising Coordinator for Golfsmith International in Austin, TX. She is responsible for all graphics and signage that go into the 70+ stores, as well as designing and coordinating the visual elements of new stores. In just a few short months she's been nominated for New Associate of the Year, as well as the WOW Guest Experience Award.


Kristie Aylett APR

Kristie Aylett APR

"Public Relations Society of America (which includes Texas and the Fort Worth chapter). You may also want to know that I graduated from TCU with BS/Journalism in 1990 and then MLA in 1999. Taught Writing for PR and Advertising as a member of the TCU J-school adjunct faculty for a few semesters after that."


In 2009, the Public Relations Association of Mississippi and then the Southern Public Relations Federation named me the recipient of their highest individual honors, the Professional Achievement Award. I received the PRAM award in April, which made me Mississippi's nominee for the regional award, which I received in October. Here's a link to a newsletter article about the award and the organizations:

The article does not mention that I am also the 2010 chair of the six-state Southwest District of the Public Relations Society of America (which includes Texas and the Fort Worth chapter).



Carol Holowinski Richtsmeier, ’79

Carol Holowinski Richtsmeier"I was the editor of the Daily Skiff back in the '70s. I write an education blog (mybellringers.blogspot.com) that was recently named as one of the Best Education Blogs of 2010 by the Washington Post.

"I also recently published a book entitled, 'How to Lose Your Self of Steam and Other Teaching Lessons I Never Learned from Professional Development.' I also was recently named as a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund Distinguished Newspaper Adviser. I currently teach journalism at Midlothian High School in Midlothian, Texas."

 Emily Allen

Emily Allen"I am now working as a reporter for the Port Lavaca (Texas) Wave newspaper covering the Calhoun County area. While my regular beats include the Port Authority, the local school board and a city council, I've also started covering high school sports and general news."



Baby born to Alumni



Callum Everton, born August 4, 2009

Angele (Peters) Anderfuren (MA, '06), her husband Jerry and two daughters Ava and Ellerie are pleased to announce the birth of Callum Everton, born August 4, 2009 in Flagstaff, AZ. Callum weighed in at 8 pounds, 5 ounces and was 20 inches long. Angele is a freelance writer working for online and print publications.





Joe Kennedy, 1971 Schieffer GraduateShare

Metro columnist Dan Casey: Kennedy on a long, difficult recovery
By Dan Casey

Joe KennedyIt's hard to work in this newsroom and get around town much without hearing variations of one question over and over from people in the Roanoke Valley.

That would be: "What's Joe Kennedy doing these days?" or "How's A Cuppa Joe?"

Joe's writing graced these pages for 36 years, until he retired in September 2007.

Three times a week for the last 11 of those years, he wrote the column A Cuppa Joe. He wrote about average folks and forgotten places and ignored institutions. He also wrote about his own life, his wife's death and raising their son and daughter.

The column's mixture of sensitivity, sensibility and soul-baring endeared him to legions of readers.

The answer to the question is, Joe is doing OK -- but not nearly as well as he probably wishes.

Joe, 61, suffered a stroke back in February. It started with numbness in his hand, then progressed to problems with his eyesight. Soon he was in an emergency room, then a hospital, then a rehabilitation center.

After two months in assisted living, Joe is back in his Southwest Roanoke County home.

He's not complaining. But his life is far from easy.

'Every 40 seconds'

About 795,000 people in the United States suffer a stroke each year.

Most are caused by a sudden blockage to a blood vessel in the brain. The result can be one or more of a variety of symptoms, said Dr. Sidney Mallenbaum, medical director of Carilion Clinic's Stroke Unit.

The most common are a loss of vision, double vision, sudden unexplained headache, speech difficulties, numbness or weakness on one side of the body, problems with balance or difficulty in understanding others.

"On average, every 40 seconds someone in the United States has a stroke," Mallenbaum said.

Strokes can happen at any age, but the risk doubles in each decade after the age of 55.

The risk factors for stroke are clear, Mallenbaum said. High blood pressure, diabetes, smoking and high cholesterol are the primary culprits.

Strokes are the third-leading cause of death in this country, Mallenbaum noted, but usually they aren't fatal. The fatality rate is generally 10 percent to 20 percent.

Victims who get to a hospital within three hours of symptoms are much more likely to survive, and to survive without a long-term disability.

Still, "it's the leading cause for disability," the doctor said.

And that's where Joe Kennedy is today.

Partial vision loss

The good news is, Joe moves nimbly, thinks clearly and his speech is fine. He hasn't lost his sense of humor.

But the stroke left him with vision loss on the left side of each eye, a condition that's difficult for me to imagine. The eyesight that remains is blurry. It could take up until February for Joe to find out how much of that vision, if any, he'll regain.

He can't drive, and the sensory overload from riding in a car can be dizzying. He navigates stairs very carefully.

Joe cannot read this newspaper. He takes a lot of medication these days to keep his blood pressure and cholesterol down and his blood flowing.

His son, Michael, and his daughter, Katherine, live in the region and visit or are in contact frequently. The same goes for a number of friends Joe has made during his many years in the valley.

For part of the time he wrote A Cuppa Joe, I was his lucky editor. That was an easy gig, and I'm sure I learned a lot more from him than the other way around.

One of those things was never to take anything for granted, because anything will happen for any reason at any time.

Then, to use one of those cliches that Joe abhors, you must play the hand you're dealt, nobly and without an excess of self pity.

So that's where he is today.

Hang in there, old pal, and get well soon.


Dan Casey is The Roanoke Times' metro columnist.



Kendell Kelton, 2008 TCU GraduateShare

Kendell KeltonKendell graduated in May 2008 with a B.S. in Communication, emphasis in AD/PR. In July 2007, right before her Junior year at TCU, she was hired full-time by Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington as their Public Relations Coordinator. She continued in that position until this past June when she was promoted to become the Director of Communications for Six Flags Atlanta Properties in Atlanta, GA. Kendell is the youngest Communications Director in the company at only 23 years old. Her job requires her to:

  • Function as the sole spokesperson by communicating with local and national media outlets on current activities involving the Six Flags Atlanta Properties.
  • Manage all park communication efforts including media relations, community relations, crisis management, marketing and e-marketing
  • Plan and conduct public relation programs designed to create and maintain a favorable public image.
  • Prepare and distribute fact sheets, news releases, photographs, scripts and articles
  • Coordinate and execute major in-park special events
  • Produce all major video and photography shoots.
  • Coordinate community outreach programs
  • Manage Facebook and Twitter pages as part of social media reach.
  • Manage regional websites
  • Oversee the management of the rack brochures and Park Map and Guide.

Radhika Parameswaran, associate professor and TCU gradShare

Radhika ParameswaranRadhika Parameswaran's research has been published in a variety of academic journals including Journal of Children & Media, Communication, Culture, & Critique, Journal of Communication Inquiry, Critical Studies in Media Communication, Communication Theory, Qualitative Inquiry, Communication Review, and Frontiers: A Journal of Women's Studies.

She and co-author Kavitha Cardoza's monograph on the cultural politics of skin color and beauty in in globalizing India has been accepted for publication in Journalism & Communication Monographs.

A previous monograph "Global Media Events in India: Contests Over Beauty, Gender, and Nation" was published in the Summer 2001 issue of Journalism & Communication Monographs.

She is currently working on a large-scale project editing one of eight volumes of Blackwell's forthcoming International Companions to Media Studies. She will edit the volume on Audience Studies, consisting of 20 to 25 chapters authored by leading and emerging scholars in the fields of media, journalism, and communication studies.

Read more at:


Laura Chatham Mrachek, '84

"After taking a 15-year hiatus to raise my children, I have joyfully re-entered the working world and am covering education, transportation, and business stories for the North Central News, a neighborhood weekly distributed by the San Antonio Express-News."  

Katti Gray, '82

Katti GrayKatti Gray, '82, received a full scholarship to the Poynter Institute's November 2009 Multimedia Training Intensive. A freelance journalist since November 2005, when she took a voluntary buyout as a then-senior writer for Newsday in New York, she is angling to marry her fact-driven passion for story(ies) to the currently evolving news model. Also formerly a reporter at the Wichita Falls Record News and Fort Worth Star-Telegram, her work has appeared in a range of national and regional publications and online news sites, including The Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, New Orleans Times-Picayune, Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Diverse Issues in Higher Education, Ebony, Ebony.com, Niaonline.com, the Society for Human Resource Management's proprietary news site (SHRM.org) and Essence magazine, where she presently is listed on the masthead as a contributing writer. As a complement to her journalism, she also has reported and written for such philanthropies as the Open Society Institute, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, College Board, Southern Rural Black Women's Initiative (an arm of the Children's Defense Fund) and Deep South Delta Consortium.   

Jay Warren, WSLS10 Anchor

Jay Warren

Jay Warren is an award-winning journalist who's been with WSLS since 1998. He serves as the anchor of the station's 5, 5:30, 6 and 11pm newscasts. He also co anchors the FOX 21/27 10 o'clock news and is WSLS's senior political correspondent.

Over the past 11 years, Warren has covered all the big political and government stories affecting the people of Southwest Virginia, including the impeachment of President Bill Clinton, the 2000 Winston/Salem presidential debate, the inaugurations of President George W. Bush, the sex scandal involving former House Speaker Vance Wilkins, and every congressional election since 1998.

Warren gained state and national recognition for his coverage of the 2002 congressional races. He was awarded the Walter Cronkite Award for Individual Achievement and the Award for Outstanding Effort by an Individual Reporter by the Virginia Associated Press for his "Road to 2002" and "No Choice" series.

In 2008, Warren provided extensive coverage of the 2008 presidential and congressional races in Virginia. He interviewed Senators Obama, McCain and Biden several times each. Additionally, Warren served as the moderator for the only statewide, televised debate of the 2008 Senate campaign between Jim Gilmore and Mark Warner.

Warren got his start in television news in Lubbock, Texas, working as a producer and reporter at the ABC and NBC affiliates. He was also the weekend anchor at the CBS affiliate in Greenville, Mississippi, where he was recognized by the Mississippi Associated Press for spot news coverage.

Warren is also an adjunct instructor at Virginia Tech and Hollins University, where he teaches broadcast writing.

A Texas native, Warren earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism from Texas Christian University and Texas Tech University. While in college he interned at the White House and with "Larry King Live."