Alumni Support

Meet the Alumni Society Board

The Hubbard School Alumni Board is made up of 10 to 13 members who serve in 3-year terms. Members are drawn from the Hubbard School alumni community and represent both the journalism and strategic communication industries. The board meets monthly to coordinate a number of programs designed to keep alumni connected to the school, including the Alumni Mentoring Program, Alumni mixer events, the Alumni Award for Excellence, and the Above the Fold Award.

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Alumni Society Board Leadership

Karen Schultz, Board President
MA 2009
Karen Schultz joined the Hubbard School alumni board bringing her extensive marketing and business development experience. She’s worked in the airline industry as well as at various agencies— PR, digital marketing, energy efficiency marketing and three advertising—in client services and communications, but mostly as a director of business development while also leading agency PR and marketing. Currently, Karen runs a small business focusing on Business Development, PR and Marketing for agencies and small to mid-sized companies, called OneAirSpace. The name reflects her previous career in the airline industry, but also her passion for collaborative and authentic communications that help businesses reach their goals. 

Contact Karen at for more information about:

  • Identity, Marketing, PR and Business Development for agencies and small to mid-size companies
  • Entrepreneurship/Gig Life
  • Networking
  • Reimagining a career

Kelli Theiler, Board Vice President
MA 2014
In Kelli's current role as Associate Director of Strategy at Roundpeg Consulting, she takes a "consumer first" approach to research & strategy. By beginning with the attitudes, opinions and behaviors of people, she uncovers insights that help brands focus on what matters to their buyers in today's culture. Before joining Roundpeg, she spent time at local advertising agency, Carmichael Lynch, and consumer insights firm, Gartner/Iconoculture. Her work has impacted strong brands like Securian Financial, Corona, Modelo, Target, 3M & Subaru. She earned her Master of Arts in Strategic Communication from the University of Minnesota in 2014 and Bachelor of Science in Advertising from the Art Institute in 2010. As a lifelong Minnesotan, enthusiasm for the outdoors runs in her blood. On weekends, you can find Kelli camping, biking or taking in an outdoor concert.

Alumni Society Board Members

Riham Feshir
BA 2008
Riham Feshir is a reporter at MPR News, where she covers race and immigration. She was the co-creator of 74 Seconds, an innovative podcast that covered the first-ever trial of a Minnesota police officer charged in an on-duty death. Her work on the podcast won national awards, including a Peabody, Livingston and Third Coast Best Documentary. Since joining MPR News in 2015, Riham has dug deep into various issues important to readers and listeners of all communities, all across the state, including mental health, racial inequity and police shootings.

Nicole Garrison
MA 2002
Nicole Garrison is director of communications, content strategist at RBC Wealth Management-U.S., where she oversees all external communications, internal communications and some content marketing strategy for the firm. In her role, Nicolve bridges the gap between traditional corporate PR and classic marketing in order to help organizations increase brand recognition and connect with statekholders in an authentic way. 

A journalist by training, Nicole spent the first eight years of her career as a business reporter, covering a multitude of beats, including food manufacturing, health care and financial services. While working at the Pioneer Press, Garrison's work earned her multiple awards from the Associated Press, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers and the Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. 

Since leaving journalism, Nicole has established a reputation as a trusted communications advisor to senior corporate executives and government officials. She started her career in public relations at the state of Minnesota, where she served as communications director for the Department of Commerce, leading a team of six communications professionals and served as the lead advisor to two commissioners. She has also served as vice president of public relatinos for U.S. Bank, leadning external communications for all institutional business lines and for all of the bank's Midwestern and Eastern markets.

Contact Nicole at for more information about:

  • Public relations
  • Transitioning from journalism to corporate communications
  • Social media
  • Content marketing
  • Executive thought leadership
  • Leveraging sponsorships to build brand

Maggie Habashy
BA 2007
Maggie Habashy has been with GREATER MSP since December 2019 and in a full-time role since May 2020. Maggie is responsible for all strategic planning and execution of communications to support the goals and objectives of GREATER MSP and the region at large. Prior to joining the team, Maggie led communications, marketing, social media, local business and community engagement for the 2019 Men’s Final Four in Minneapolis. Maggie has worked in a variety of corporate and consumer public relations roles, with emphasized experience in media relations and crisis communications. Maggie started off her career in news at FOX-Minneapolis and a producer after she graduated from the University of MN with a Journalism degree.

Mukhtar M. Ibrahim
BA 2011 
Mukhtar should have grown up to become a doctor—at least that’s what his immigrant parents would say. Instead, while he was attending a community college in Minnesota, an instructor praised his writing. In place of a medical career, he went on to earn journalism degrees from the University of Minnesota and Columbia University. Soon after graduation, Mukhtar earned reporting jobs at Minnesota Public Radio News and the Star Tribune. Mukhtar learned a lot about the news business during his successful tenures in those newsrooms. One of the main things? The lack of diversity in the reporting and editing staff was not incidental. It reflected a missing commitment to providing reliable and authentic news for Minnesota’s communities of color. So in 2019, Mukhtar, a father of three young daughters, quit his job at the Star Tribune and launched Sahan Journal. Mukhtar has won recognition as an innovative journalist addressing issues of diversity and equity in media. He received the prestigious leadership fellowship from the St. Paul–based Bush Foundation; a "Great Immigrant" award from the Carnegie Corporation of New York; Twin Cities Business Magazine’s 100 People to Know; Islamic Resource Group's "Building Bridges Award in Media"; and an "Above the Fold" award, which honors alumni of the University of Minnesota Hubbard School of Journalism & Mass Communication under the age of 40, who have made exceptional contributions to their fields. He's an adjunct fellow at the University of Minnesota, where he supports the journalism school's inclusion, equity, and diversity initiative while co-teaching an intermediate reporting course.

Allison Kuznia
BA 2002
Allison Kuznia is an Account Director at Colle McVoy, where she provides senior brand leadership on Associated Bank, CHS and Cenex. Her more than 16-year agency career has landed her at several Minneapolis ad agencies, including GdB, Martin Williams and Olson (now ICF Next). Her brand experience encompasses award-winning work for brands such as the University of Minnesota, Explore Minnesota, 3M, Kraftmaid Cabinetry, Marvin Windows and Doors and MacPhail Center for Music. While enrolled in the Hubbard School, Allison was an avid member of the AdClub and National Student Advertising Competition, where her team placed third in the national competition.

Contact Allison to learn more about: 

  • Advertising and branding

Tim Nelson
BA 2009, MA 2019
Tim Nelson is a communication manager for RBC Wealth Management -- U.S. where he is responsible for building and protecting the brand in external channels and developing integrated storytelling programs to help grow the company in the U.S. market. He has a strong focus in media relations, crisis communication, social media, and has led strategic communication programs across the technology, manufacturing, finance and healthcare sectors. Prior to joining RBC Wealth Management, Tim was an Account Supervisor at Padilla, a strategic communication agency based in Minneapolis, where he oversaw integrated accounts and communication programs for B2B and technology-focused clients. 

He studied broadcast journalism and was nominated for a regional Emmy award for his reporting on "University Report." Most recently, he completed his master’s degree as part of Cohort 13 in the Hubbard SJMC’s strategic communication M.A. program. 

Contact Tim at for more information about:

  • public and media relations
  • corporate communications
  • crisis communications
  • working in an advertising agency
  • social media
  • broadcast + digital journalism

Jenni Pinkley
BA 1997
Jenni Pinkley is the senior video producer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. She oversees video production, including assigning, coaching and training on daily news stories and projects. She has won four Upper Midwest Regional Emmy awards, three National Edward R. Murrow awards and other industry awards for multimedia projects over the years, as well as multimedia teaching and judging engagements.

Contact Jenni for more information about: 

  • Photo and Video Storytelling
  • Working in the newspaper industry
  • Multimedia

Michael Schommer
MA 2009
Michael Schommer has served as the Minnesota Department of Health communications director since January 2013. In this role, he directs the department’s communications activities including media relations, social media and internal communications. Prior to joining MDH, he served as communications director for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and as a newspaper reporter in the southern Minnesota towns of New Ulm and Rochester.

Michael earned his master’s degree in strategic communication from the University of Minnesota in 2009. He is president of the National Public Health Information Coalition, and has served as a board member for the organization since 2015. Professional areas of interest include crisis and risk communication, communications psychology and information processing.

Jennifer Sorenson
BA 2001
Jennifer Sorenson is the Campus Director for Brightmont Academy, an accredited private school offering one-to-one instruction for students in grades 6-12, and tutoring for students in grades 3-12. She operates the Apple Valley, Minn., and Plymouth, Minn., campuses where she oversees all operations including student success initiatives, academic outcomes, staff development, and effective internal and external relationships. Her background includes operations, recruiting, and creating, implementing and facilitating an executive development program. She is passionate about providing all young people access to an education that allows them to pursue their chosen path.

Contact Jennifer for more information about:

  • networking
  • developing mutually beneficial partnerships
  • leadership development
  • working full-time during graduate school

Emme Strauss
BA 2005
In her current role as Head of Production + Creative Operations at Google Brand Studio, Emme Drews has been responsible for helping bring to life some of Google's biggest brand moments over the past few years including the Helpfulness brand campaign, Racial Equity, Year in Search, Covid-19 efforts, Google One, Olympics, and the Google Store (2015 Webby Award). Prior to Google, Emme worked on the agency side on clients such as Toyota, Nike, Visa, Intel, Bank of America and Merck in roles across account management, production and operations in San Francisco, New York and Minneapolis. She currently lives in the Bay Area with her husband and two young daughters. 

Tanya Wright
BA 1995
Tanya is currently the Communications Director at the University of Minnesota Admissions Office. She started her career working on events at the Ronald McDonald House and on the public relations team at Nordic Track. She’s worked in a wide-range of marketing areas including launch and management of the new brand "Be The Match," co-creation of the 5k Walk+Run event concept and re-launch and expansion of the Be The Match On Campus collegiate program.Contact Tanya for more information about:

  • non-profit healthcare marketing and communication
  • brand launch, growth and management
  • sales team collaboration and marketing support
  • cause product marketing

Ex-officio members
Elisia Cohen, Director
Sue Couling, Events Manager
Amanda Fretheim Gates, Communications Manager
Christine Mollen, Undergraduate Student Services Coordinator
Erika Nelson, Chief of Staff
Rebecca Rassier, Associate Director of Student Services