Carnegie Mellon University

Content & Communications

The Content and Communications team generates and disseminates stories and messages about the university, for internal and external audiences, through channels such as web packages, campus emails, electronic newsletters, social media and cmu.edu/news. These stories capture and convey the student experience, the university's world-changing research and CMU’s distinctive contributions to higher education. The team further spreads the good news through external media relations, while protecting the university's reputation and serving as the main contact point for media inquiries. The team aims to build a sense of community among faculty and staff by keeping them informed about university news and campus events.

Martin Mbugua

Martin Mbugua

Assistant Vice President, Content & Communications

Martin, the chief content officer, oversees media relations and issues management, social media, online news content, and internal communications. He has more than two decades of experience in journalism and higher education communications. Prior to CMU, he was director of media relations and university spokesperson at Princeton University. As a reporter at the New York Daily News, he was part of a team recognized as Pulitzer Prize finalists for the paper’s coverage of the terrorist attacks on 9/11. He is a news and politics junkie who enjoys the outdoors, cycling, great company, good food and constructive debates.

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Dave Dycus

Web Content Specialist

As a member of the communications team, Dave applies his graphic design expertise to various projects and checks the university homepage and other websites for errors. He also works with other offices to design and send email newsletters and notifications, and assists with website coding and content management projects. Dave loves Airedale terriers and enjoys playing, repairing and building guitars, and tinkering with amplifiers. He enjoys discussing dogs, rock n' roll or work.

Bruce Gerson

Bruce Gerson

Director, Internal Communication

Bruce keeps faculty and staff informed of "news they can use" through various communications channels, including a very popular weekly e-newsletter. In more than 30 years at CMU, he has served as sports information director, helped to  develop internal communications for senior administrators, written and edited news and features, and helped to maintain digital assets. His voiceover work includes the house announcements during commencement and the Andy Awards. He also is a member of the university's Emergency Response Team. In his free time, Bruce enjoys exercising, playing golf, watching sports and spending time on the beach.

Laura Kelly

Laura Kelly

Social Media Manager

Laura oversees strategy and content for CMU’s central Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Snapchat accounts. Prior to joining CMU, she coordinated marketing and communications for Innovation Works, VisitPittsburgh and Coldwell Banker. Laura received her bachelor’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She has won numerous awards including being named one of Pittsburgh Magazine’s 40 under 40, Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest and a Dignity and Respect Champion. She is a Young Ambassador for Tickets for Kids Charities and is on the Young Professionals Advisory Committee for Light of Life Rescue Mission.

Julianne Mattera

Julie Mattera

Content & Communications Coordinator

Julie helps tell Carnegie Mellon University's stories through news and feature articles, videos, and social media. Prior to joining the university’s central Marketing and Communications office in July 2016, she worked as an award-winning journalist at PennLive/The Patriot-News in Harrisburg and newspapers in Michigan. She earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan, where she also began developing a taste for craft beer thanks to Ann Arbor's array of local breweries and brewpubs. 

Heidi Opdyke

Heidi Opdyke

Communications Manager

Heidi coordinates the editorial calendar for the university’s homepage. As a member of the communications team, she also writes, edits and assigns stories to other writers. Heidi works closely with the social media and internal communications teams to extend the reach of CMU content. When she’s not tooting CMU’s horn, Heidi toots another: She has played French horn for more than 25 years and performed once with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Shilo Rea

Shilo Rea

Director, Public Relations, Dietrich College

Shilo promotes faculty research through local, national and international media and within the college and university. She publicizes faculty, student and alumni accomplishments and produces videos to help tell their stories. She also leads communications for the Simon and BrainHub initiatives. Previously, Shilo was the marketing and public relations coordinator for CMU’s Software Engineering Institute and a marketing coordinator for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. She has a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in history from the University of Pittsburgh.

Kelly Saavedra

Kelly Saavedra

Assistant Director, Internal Communications

Kelly keeps faculty and staff up to speed on university news and is part of a team that alerts the campus community of emergencies. She has written and published hundreds of stories showcasing the impact that our faculty, alumni and students are having in the world. Kelly has a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Penn State, and prior to CMU, she prepared marketing materials for Kaiser Engineers and Hatch Consulting. She is an artist, musician and songwriter, and has worked with several Grammy Award-winning country stars in Nashville.

Abby Simmons

Abby Simmons

Associate Director, Media Relations

Abby is a university spokesperson and the central point of contact for members of the news media. She develops and pitches stories to promote university-wide news, including the student experience. She also advises members of the campus community on media relations issues and crisis communications. She earned a bachelor's degree in marketing from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. When she’s not at work, you'll likely find her with a garden shovel, hockey stick or travel planner.

photo of Robert Vickers

Robert Vickers

Senior Writer for Strategic Initiatives

Robert helps the university communicate to internal and external audiences, at high level, about initiatives that cross institutional boundaries and disciplines, and represent some of the university’s highest priorities.He also contributes to messaging and strategic executive communications planning and execution. Robert spent 20 years as a journalist writing about politics, government, legal affairs and higher education. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Howard University and a master’s degree in international Relations from Syracuse University. He is a Southerner by birth, a citizen of the world by choice, and a lover of the Beautiful Game and all things Cleveland, Ohio, by providence.

Ken Walters

Ken Walters

Senior Director, Media Relations

Ken is a university spokesperson who also provides strategic media relations counsel to administrators in central offices and colleges. Prior to CMU, he was a project management director for an agency where he managed clients’ websites, interactive presentations, email newsletters and animated banner ads. He has extensive experience in developing and executing marketing communication strategies, which required him to create, write and implement a wide range of print and electronic marketing vehicles. His favorite places to be are at the ball park and on the beach.

Pam Wigley

Pam Wigley

Director, Public and Media Relations, College of Fine Arts

Pam promotes the work of faculty, students, staff and alumni of the university’s College of Fine Arts. She has worked in the communications and public relations industry for more than 30 years. She graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and earned her master’s in human resource management from La Roche College. She travels so often to New York City as part of CMU’s Tony Awards partnership that she looks confident enough for tourists there to keep asking her for directions!