Contact Us

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
www.umass.edu/newsoffice

The Office of News and Media Relations 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.

Staff

Edward F. Blaguszewski, Executive Director of Strategic Communications and Special Assistant to the Vice Chancellor
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.

Patrick J. Callahan, Associate News Editor
Telephone:
413-545-0496

Patrick Callahan joined the News and Media Relations Office in November 1996, where he has reported and written on a wide variety of subjects, with a special interest in business, public policy and public health. He previously spent 11 years as political reporter and analyst for the Daily Hampshire Gazette, where he covered state and congressional politics. He is a 1976 UMass Amherst graduate with a B.A. in political science.

Mary Dettloff, Deputy Director
Telephone:
413-545-2500

Mary Dettloff joined the News and Media Relations Office in August 2017. Prior to UMass, she worked as director of media relations at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass. Before relocating to Massachusetts in 2015, she had a 22-year career in public service working for the State of Michigan in public and media relations positions in the Michigan House of Representatives, for Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm, and finally as the public information officer for the state department of natural resources. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from Northern Michigan University in Marquette.

Shiera D. Goff, Associate Director
Telephone:
413-545-2990

Shiera D. Goff joined the News and Media Relations Office in May, 2019. Prior to UMass she worked as a public information officer with the DeKalb County Police Department and the Office of Communications for the Chief Executive Officer of DeKalb County. Georgia. Prior to her position in Georgia she lived in Rochester, N.Y., and served under three mayors in the City Hall Bureau of Communications as the communications producer. She managed a team of videographers, editors and still photographers, and produced, hosted and voiced television programs, commercials and public service announcements for City12 TV. Shiera began her career as news director and morning show co-host at 103.9 WDKX-FM, helping to make it the top-rated morning radio show in the market. She also worked as a news reporter with the ABC News affiliate in Rochester. She has a B.S. in communications from the State University of New York at Brockport.

Janet Lathrop, Associate News Editor/Science Writer
Telephone:
413-545-2989

Before joining the News and Media Relations Office, Janet Lathrop was a science writer and managing editor for two environmental communication firms reporting on international health effects research, and a staff writer for the University of New Hampshire News Bureau. Her newsroom experience includes general assignment reporting for newspapers in Arizona and Michigan. She has a B.A. in journalism and an M.S. in agricultural journalism (now life sciences communication) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Crystal Maldonado, Associate News Editor for Digital Content
Telephone:
413-577-9903

Crystal Maldonado joined the News and Media Relations Office in July 2017, first serving as its diversity communications manager and transitioning to associate news editor for digital content in June 2018. In this role, she manages and creates content for the UMass Amherst social media accounts. Prior to her time at UMass Amherst, she worked as a journalist, digital communications editor and social media manager. She graduated from the University of Connecticut with a B.A. in journalism and English.

Nancy Miller, News Content/Office Manager
Telephone:
413-545-0445

A member of the New and Media Relations Office since October 2017, Nancy Miller 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, a technical writer and trainer in IT Student Systems, and a customer service representative in Facilities and Campus Services.

Jared Sharpe, Associate News Editor
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, Associate News Editor
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.

Samm Smith, Associate News Editor, Digial Content
Telephone:
413-545-3086

Samm Smith joined the News and Media Relations Office in December 2018. For three years, she served UMass Amherst as the assistant director for Alumni Communications before joining University Relations. In her current role, she manages and creates content for the UMass Amherst social media accounts, as well as provides photography and videography assets for news releases. Prior to her time at UMass Amherst, Samm worked as a communications manager for other higher education institutions, including Hampshire College and Mount Wachusett Community College. She is an alumna of UMass Amherst, graduating in 2008 with a B.A. in Journalism.

Nina Sossen, Analytics and Digital Content Specialist
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 in Madison, Wisconsin and held a post at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and at Wisconsin Public Television where she developed the network’s award-winning online presence. She earned a B.A. in history from Reed College and an M.B.A. from UMass Amherst.

Elizabeth Wilda, Video Producer/Director
Telephone:
413-545-2501

Elizabeth Wilda has produced educational videos and television documentaries for the University of Massachusetts Amherst since 1998. She was honored in 1999 by being named one of the “Top 100 Media Producers” and featured in Video Multimedia Producer magazine. She was also Emmy nominated three times for her work as a documentary producer, writer, editor and videographer. Her work airs nationally on American Public Television and often features UMass Amherst faculty. She joined the News and Media Relations Office in 2009 and currently produces promotional and news videos for the university. She is a 1993 graduate of UMass Amherst with a B.A. in educational media.