Women in communications panel to launch 2017-2018 MBU Media Talk series
A panel of women in communications leadership will launch the 2017-2018 Missouri Baptist University Media Talk Series on Nov. 7.
The free speaker series event will take place in the Don and Mary Pillsbury Wainwright Performance Hall of MBU’s Pillsbury Chapel and Dale Williams Fine Arts Center from noon to 2 p.m.
The panel features professional women with diverse backgrounds in communications leadership. The panelists will share their professional and personal experiences in the workforce.
Amanda Staggenborg, MBU assistant professor of public relations and communications, is the coordinator of MBU Media Talk. The series was launched in 2012 to inspire students to achieve their dreams by showcasing professionals at the top of their fields.
Each guest is selected to highlight the variety of opportunities in corporate, government and non-profit professions that are available in St. Louis.
Principal Attorney at Carmody MacDonald
Tina Babel is an experienced trial attorney practicing in trust and estates litigation, business litigation and Title IX.
Additionally, Babel also served as the Title IX Coordinator for Lindenwood University, and implemented and coordinated the University’s Title IX compliance efforts and oversaw numerous hearings relating to Title IX.
Babel received her bachelor’s degree from Missouri State University and earned her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of Law.
Director of Public Relations at Danforth Plant Science Center
Melanie Bernds generates exposure for the Danforth Center through digital and traditional media relations and special events.
Before working at the Danforth Center, Bernds worked at Black Twig Communications as the public relations account supervisor.
Bernds received her bachelor’s degree in communications, public relations and advertising from Fontbonne University and her master’s degree in communication management from Webster University.
Reporter, Anchor for KSDK News
Christina Coleman currently reports for “5 On Your Side” and as a news anchor for Saturday evening broadcasts. Coleman previously produced, reported and anchored in Waco and San Antonio, Texas and began her career in Anchorage, Alaska as a reporter and anchor on the evening news.
Communications Director at BioSTL
Maggie Crane leads communications for the innovation economy builder BioSTL and its initiatives in investment, inclusion and international company attraction.
Previously, Crane served as the director of communications and deputy operations director for the City of St. Louis under Mayor Francis G. Slay. In this position, she wrote speeches and press materials, served as a spokesperson, and advised on policy. Prior to public affairs, Maggie was an Emmy-winning broadcast news journalist, most recently at KMOV in St. Louis.
Maggie received a bachelor of arts in communication studies from Saint Louis University.
Assistant Vice Chancellor, Integrated Marketing and Brand Strategy at Washington University
Ellen Rostand works with digital, creative, editorial and data teams at Washington University to advance departmental and institutional priorities.
Previous to working with public affairs, Rostand joined the team from Washington University’s Brown School and served as a senior vice president at FleishmanHillard representing every sector of the healthcare industry.
Rostand received her MBA from the University of Chicago and an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Zofia Garlicka Sowers
Principal Attorney at Carmody MacDonald
Sowers has international law experience and concentrates her practice in the area of divorce and family law. Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers recognized Sowers as a rising star in family law from 2009-2011. Sowers received her J.D. in 2000 from Warsaw University School of Law in Poland, and Master of Law in 2001 from St. Louis University.
Director of Marketing & Communications at the National Association of Electrical Distributor
Linda Thurman manages internal and external communications for more than 5,200 electrical distributors. Before assuming this position, Thurman was the marketing manager of Kimberly Clark Professional, a name brand in safety and cleaning products.
Thurman received a master’s degree from Webster University and bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Missouri.
Communications Manager of the National Corn Growers Association
Cathryn Wojciki leads initiatives to cultivate female leadership within agriculture, reduce hunger with the Bill and Melinda Gates foundations and communicate efforts of the National Corn Growers Association, a farmer-led trade association with offices in St. Louis and Washington.
Previous positions include serving as a communications specialist for the U.S. Soybean Export Council, a non-profit organization that promotes the use of U.S. soy and related products worldwide. In addition, Wojcicki has served as an account executive for Musen and Steinbach, a public relations, advertising, relationship management and public policy advocacy firm in St. Louis.
Wojcicki is a graduate of Webster University and received her master’s degree in media communications with an emphasis in public relations.