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Staff

Ed Blaguszewski

Edward F. Blaguszewski

Executive Director of Strategic Communications and Special Assistant to the Vice Chancellor

Email: edblag@admin.umass.edu
Telephone: 413-545-2986

Ed Blaguszewski has more than three decades of professional communications experience and since 2004 has directed the News and Media Relations Office at UMass Amherst, one of the nation’s leading research institutions and the Commonwealth’s flagship public university. His portfolio includes promotion of groundbreaking discoveries and major events, emergency management and crisis communications, and video storytelling. A native of Cambridge, Mass., and a graduate of Boston University, he worked for 13 years as a journalist, including stints as weekend news editor of the Sunday Republican in Springfield, Mass., and editor-in-chief of a New Hampshire weekly, The Monadnock Ledger. He has done award-winning work in feature writing and page design, and staff under his direction have earned honors for spot news and investigative coverage. His career in higher education began as a national media relations consultant, representing leading public and private colleges including The College of William and Mary, Texas A&M University, Bucknell University, and the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University. Subsequently, he worked in Pennsylvania at Allegheny College as director of public information and at Penn State Erie as director of university relations. He is a past president of the College and University Public Relations Association of Pennsylvania.

Melinda Rose

Melinda Rose

Deputy Director

Email: melindarose@umass.edu
Telephone: 413-545-2990

Melinda Rose joined the News and Media Relations Office in August 2021 as the associate news editor for engineering. Before coming to UMass, Melinda worked in the marketing department at Elms College in Chicopee for nearly eight years. Prior to that, she worked as senior editor for Photonics Media, a publisher of magazines covering optics, lasers, imaging, and other light-based technologies in industries ranging from communications and information processing to aerospace, manufacturing, transportation, biomedicine and agriculture in the US and Europe. Melinda has experience in webinar and video production, graphic design, public relations, and newspaper journalism. She was the recipient of a Maine Press Association award for investigative journalism and a PBS Advertising and Promotions award for publicizing a science-based educational series as a PR professional at Maine Public Broadcasting. She earned her B.A. in journalism at the University of Maine at Orono and her MBA in management at Elms College.

louise coburn

Louise Coburn

Director of Social Media 

Email: louisecoburn@umass.edu

Louise Coburn has over two decades of professional communications and marketing experience with 10+ years dedicated to directing social media strategy in higher education. Louise joined the News and Media Relations Office in September 2022 as the Director of Social Media. She was a recipient of the Maine Broderson gold award for content creation and is a national conference speaker on reputation management on social media. Louise is a native of Ireland and is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine.

Signe Dugger

Signe Dugger

Associate News Editor

Email: sdugger@umass.edu

Signe Dugger joined the News and Media Relations Office in early June 2023 as associate news editor covering university academic initiatives, Commonwealth Honors College, the Graduate School, University Without Walls, and is also a co-editor for Inside UMass. For four years prior to the News Office, she was the communications project coordinator in Undergraduate Admissions Communications and Events and staff copyeditor for the University MarCom Group. 

Before joining UMass Amherst, Dugger worked in public relations and development for the Clarke School for the Deaf in Northampton, Mass., where she wrote, edited and co-designed publications for its main campus and its four extension schools.  She also worked at the Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones Co., in Chicopee, Mass., as a proofreader, at Marshall Color Studios in Belchertown, Mass., as a production artist editor and was a freelance copywriter for Yankee Candle Corporation in So. Deerfield, Mass.

After receiving her bachelor’s degree in English/journalism and a minor in studio art from the University of New Hampshire, Dugger began her editorial career as a staff reporter for daily newspapers in New Hampshire and Massachusetts including The Beverly/Peabody Times, Laconia Citizen, the Union-News/Sunday Republican and The Nashua Telegraph.  

Andrew Gooding-Call

Andrew Gooding-Call

Associate News Editor/Social Media

Email: agoodingcall@umass.edu
Telephone: 413-800-5554

Andrew Gooding-Call (he/they) holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Binghamton University, where he was a reader for the Harpur Palate, and a master’s degree in library science from Syracuse University. After graduating from Syracuse in 2010, he performed reference, event, and communication services for public and research libraries. Now he’s part of the UMass social media team and focuses on promoting student experience, campus events, and the fun of learning and working at UMass Amherst. He has writing credits at several media outlets, including Book Riot. Andy is an avid environmentalist and enjoys spending time outside with his family.

Aaron Kupec

Aaron Kupec

Associate News Editor

Email: akupec@umass.edu

Aaron Kupec joined the News and Media Relations Office in May 2023. Before coming to UMass, he was director of communications for the City of Greenfield. Prior to that, Aaron worked as a radio news anchor/reporter for CBS Radio and Audacy. His work has been honored by the Society of Professional Journalists and the Connecticut Associated Press Broadcasters Association, including twice for personal excellence in radio news reporting. Aaron has also worked in media relations and government affairs for AAA. He holds a B.A. in political science from Eastern Connecticut State University.

Olga Kyle

Olga Kyle

Video Producer/Director

Email: olga.kyle@umass.edu
Telephone: 413-545-2501

Kyle joined the News and Media Relations Office in May 2020. Previously, she worked at UMass Amherst IT. A multimedia content producer, strategic communicator and media consultant, Olga has a background in video production and post-production, motion graphics design, content marketing, interactive media production, audience engagement and monetization strategies. She is also an Apple and Adobe Certified Trainer and a media educator with years of teaching and consulting experience. Prior to UMass, Olga worked at the Missouri School of Journalism and the Reynolds Journalism Institute, produced a video program for PBS, worked as a producer for CNN International and several TV stations in the U.S. and Europe. Olga continues to put her graduate and post-graduate degrees in Journalism (Missouri School of Journalism) and Marketing (Cornell University) to use by teaching part-time at the UMass Journalism program and consulting for several European Union programs and foundations.

Daegan Miller

Daegan Miller

Associate News Editor, Science

Email: drmiller@umass.edu

Daegan Miller joined the News and Media Relations Office in February, 2021 as the associate news editor for science. Before coming to UMass, Daegan was the outreach and communications manager for the NASA Health and Air Quality Applied Sciences Team headquartered at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He holds a Ph.D. in environmental history and the history of science from Cornell University.

Nancy Miller

Nancy Miller

News Content/Office Manager

Email: nancy.miller@umass.edu

A member of the New and Media Relations Office since October 2017, Nancy began her university service in 1986 with the UMass President’s Office, where she worked for 20 years in the Information Technology Services department as a desktop support specialist. Since then she has worked as a graphic arts technician in Telecommunications, and a technical writer and trainer in IT Student Systems.

Jared

Jared Sharpe

Associate Director of News Content 

Email: jsharpe@admin.umass.edu
Telephone: 413-545-3809

Jared Sharpe joined the News and Media Relations Office in November 2012.  Previously, he spent nearly a decade as a literary publicist for Media Connect (formerly Planned Television Arts), a division of The Ruder Finn Group, securing national media interviews for best-selling authors, Hall of Fame athletes and coaches, and corporate executives.  He graduated from Boston University in 2000 with a B.S. In communication.

Patty Shillington

Patty Shillington

Associate News Editor

Email: pshillington@umass.edu
Telephone: 413-545-2997

Patty Shillington joined the News and Media Relations Office in January 2019. A seasoned journalist and corporate communicator, she worked as a staff writer and editor for The Miami Herald for more than 20 years. She received the Educational Press Association of America’s Distinguished Achievement Award for her reporting on book-banning and censorship, and the Florida School Board Association’s Media Award for Excellence in Education Reporting, among other honors. After leaving The Herald, she served as the senior writer and editor for the largest not-for-profit healthcare organization in South Florida, specializing in medical content. In the decade before joining UMass Amherst, she ran her own writing/editing and communications business, serving a broad range of clients with a diverse set of needs. She earned a B.S. in journalism from the University of Florida.

Nina Sossen

Nina Sossen

Analytics and Digital Content Specialist

Email: nsossen@umass.edu
Telephone: 413-577-4741

Nina Sossen joined the News and Media Relations Office in 2014 after 11 years managing the UMass Amherst homepage and other campus websites. She previously worked as an interactive media producer at the Hiebing Group , a marketing, advertising and public relations agency in Madison, Wisconsin. Previously, she held dual appointment at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and at Wisconsin Public Television where she developed the network’s online presence and won the PBS award for best national website, and led the broadcast graphics team. She earned a B.A. in history from Reed College and an M.B.A. from UMass Amherst.

Angelyn Thornton

Angelyn Thornton

Associate News Editor/Social Media

Email: acthornton@umass.edu

Angelyn Thornton joined the News and Media Relations team in 2022 as Associate News Editor/Social Media. Before coming to UMass, Angelyn worked in marketing and outreach at Icahn School of Medicine’s Levy Library. Prior to that, she was a freelance social media specialist and held administrative positions at New York University and New York Film Academy. She graduated from The Catholic University of America with a B.A. in Drama.

Julia Westbrook

Julia Westbrook

Associate News Editor

Email: jwestbrook@umass.edu

Julia Westbrook joined the News and Media Relations team in 2023 as the associate news editor for the College of Engineering. She has a decade of journalism experience across various national publications, specializing in science writing. Her most notable role was that of associate nutrition editor of EatingWell Magazine. She graduated from Lehigh University with a B.A. in English and in Psychology.

Office of News and Media Relations

University of Massachusetts Amherst
109 Munson Hall
Amherst, MA 01003
Telephone: 413-545-0444
Fax: 413-545-3082
scoop@admin.umass.edu

The Office of News and Media Relations, which received the 2022 Chancellor's Citation Award for outstanding performance, works closely with journalists and the campus community to provide the latest information about faculty and student achievements, the university's programs and policies, research accomplishments and community outreach efforts. Emergency management communications are directed by our office. 

If you are a journalist in need of an expert to comment on breaking news or to provide insight for a feature or opinion piece, contact our office. We'll draw upon our knowledge of the university's nearly 1,300 full-time faculty to match you with recognized authorities in their fields.

We're always on call. If you need information for a story after business hours call 413-545-0444, and a recorded message will provide contact information for the staff.

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Nominated by Vice Chancellor for University Relations John Kennedy, the Office of News and Media Relations was awarded the 2022 Chancellor’s Citation Award in recognition of the office's outstanding performance "beyond the call of duty."