Carnegie Mellon University

Internal Brand

The Internal Brand team’s focus includes marketing for admissions, university events and high visibility partnerships as well as CMU’s visitor experience and campus tours. The team oversees the Coulter Welcome Center which hosts thousands of visitors each week, and also is responsible for the student Tartan Ambassadors who guide campus tours - both in-person and virtually. We partner with the campus community to best unify brand efforts by offering consultation, support, strategy and project management to enhance and safeguard the university brand.

photo of Kara Kessler

Kara Kessler

Senior Brand Manager, Projects & Research

Kara helps coordinate and manage major projects, such as the university's Tony Awards partnership and participation in the World Economic Forum. She earned her undergraduate degree in communications from Clarion University of Pennsylvania and her master's degree in journalism and mass communications from Point Park University. Prior to CMU, she worked for UPMC and Allegheny Health Network, United Way of Allegheny County and H.J. Heinz Company. While at Heinz, she was a part of the corporate team who created the company's float for the 2000 Rose Bowl Parade.

photo of Thomas Swiech

Thomas Swiech

Marketing & Brand Creative Project Manager

Thomas drives projects forward for departments throughout the university, including Admission, Athletics and the College of Fine Arts. Prior to CMU, Thomas worked as a project manager for a creative agency based in Los Angeles where he specialized in print and digital creative production for philanthropic, cultural and entertainment events. With his husband, Thomas is raising two goldendoodles, Duke and Duchess, who are constant reminders of what matters most in life.

Brandi Underwood

Associate Director, Admission Marketing

Brandi serves as associate director for Admission Marketing, creating compelling strategy and marketing initiatives to benefit student enrollment. A native West Virginian, Brandi earned her master’s degree in integrated marketing communications and bachelor’s degree in public relations from West Virginia University, where she also worked prior to joining CMU. Outside of work, Brandi is always on the hunt for special pieces for her vintage clothing shop and loves nature, animals and exploring all the fun happenings of Pittsburgh.

photo of Samantha Webb

Samantha Webb

Associate Director, Visitor Experience and Campus Tours

Sam oversees the campus tour program as part of the Visitor Experience team. Born and raised in this great city of Pittsburgh, she completed her bachelor's degree in management and marketing at Wilkes University and is working towards an MBA. Prior to joining CMU, she worked in the Wilkes University Admissions Office and at Penn State University Park campus as the student volunteer coordinator where she oversaw hundreds of tour guides. After visiting Ireland, Greece, and Italy, she and her husband are always looking for what's next — locally or internationally. When Sam isn't working with tour guides, you can find her planning her next adventure. She also loves shopping and spending time with her fur babies!